Good question.

After all we know that there are a lot of ski instructor courses out there – not just in Europe but all over the world.

So where do you go? Where do you start?

And there are so many different examining bodies – the British, the Canadians, the Austrians, the New Zealanders and many more…

Who do you choose? And why? It can all get a bit confusing.

Then you have to decide what you do afterwards. Will you stay or leave resort? Will you teach or not? How do you get a job? Will you do another exam? Will you need a work permit?

It all means that it can be a tough job choosing the right course – and the right people to do your course with.

So it’s no surprise we often get asked “Why should I book with Peak Leaders?”.

Well, the quick answer is that for over twenty years Peak Leaders has been focussed on making sure every single trainee has the best possible experience.

So we’re confident that a course with Peak Leaders is always an unforgettable adventure where you always get more than your money’s worth.

But we thought it was time to write a few words about it to explain a bit more…



Peak Leaders Gap course logo


We think experience is a huge factor when you take a course. It’s not the only factor but it makes a huge, huge difference.

Peak Leaders was formed in 2000, and we’ve been running courses all over the world since then.

That’s a lot of courses, a lot of trainees and a lot of qualified ski instructors. It also means we’ve had a lot of chances to learn and keep improving our courses, making sure every course is even better than the last.

That means we’ve had years to improve, adapt and develop our courses – from finding better and better accommodation to getting awesome pro-deals with shops in town to making sure you have the best coaches.

It even means we have been able to see when the best timing was to run courses – not just for the best snow but for the best employment opportunities afterwards.

Our experience also means whatever happens we’ve been there before – we know what to expect on a course, how to solve problems as they happen (or before they happen), and who in resort we need to talk to about anything.

We have a professional team that knows all of our resorts inside and out, with local experts on the ground.

Plus we have years and years of experience making sure everyone has an amazing time.

Swiss gap course specialists



We like to think we have become the Swiss GAP course specialists.

But over the years we have run courses pretty much everywhere you can ski.

In fact, for a long time we increased the number of courses we ran, but then we decided to cut down to just focus on our favourite places.

Why? Because we realised that the courses were always best when we knew resort best.

We could do a better job and give a better experience when we knew the resort, the people and the culture perfectly. In the places we think of as home.

So now we operate in two key resorts – Saas Fee and Verbier.

The combination means that we offer courses in the Northern Hemisphere autumn and across the whole winter. And all the courses are timed so that you can train, qualify and get a job teaching afterwards.

Saas Fee courses are finished in time to apply for a job and work the full winter, whilst the Verbier courses have staggered start dates, allowing you to train for the first half of the winter and perhaps work for the second half of the season, start in January and teach at Easter, or perhaps take our spring course and use it as springboard for the Southern Hemisphere winter.

Above all these are two hand-picked resorts that we have specifically chosen after over 20 years of research – because these are the mountains we love skiing in.


Verbier gap course
Saas Fee gap course


BASI Gap course coaches


Peak Leaders is part of Element – a ski school based in Verbier with a team of BASI qualified ski instructors.

So whether you’re dealing with the office, thinking about booking, preparing for your course, training, taking exams or looking for work afterwards, you’ll be supported by people who know what it’s like to do your first BASI exams and get your first job.

There’s more to the team than that though, because our coaching team are all BASI Level 4 coaches led by Emma, who is BASI 4 as well as a BASI examiner – which means you’ll be talking to an examiner before you even get to resort.

That also means our coaches haven’t just been through the entire system – and experienced all the ups and downs of instructor training – but they also know the exam criteria and are perfectly placed to help you make the changes to pass your exams.

It’s an experienced team who all love teaching and coaching, but also a team that knows exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes and can help you prepare for the course perfectly and get the most out of your season when you get on the snow.

In fact our team has designed the courses to be precisely how we would like to have done a GAP course.


Verbier Basi mentors

Another massive part of what you get from the Peak Leaders team is mentoring.

This means that throughout your course you will have a team of permanent mentors who will not only make sure every aspect of the course runs smoothly, but who are also on hand to help and advise you.

Most of our Mentors are chosen from the coaching team – so you are always able to talk to experienced ski instructors who know exactly what it’s like to train for exams and they know resort and the industry inside out – and they know about exam pressure from first hand experience.

But our mentors understand what seasonaire life is like, and they know how difficult it can be on your first season. So they are on hand to help and support everyone on their journey.

This all means that whatever you need and whatever questions you have, there’s always a local expert on hand to help.


The British Association of Snowsport Instructors is an internationally recognised training body, with exams that are accepted by every skiing nation on earth.

The system is modern and clear so that from the very start of your course you are introduced to concepts and ideas about skiing that are both hugely beneficial and easy to digest.

We’ve all been BASI members for years and we’ve seen how BASI has developed and improved at every opportunity and that’s why their qualifications are so widely respected and recognised.

BASI qualifications are also now aligned with the SCQF points systems so they count as credits towards for university – click here for more information.

That means when you start to apply for ski teaching jobs, employers know exactly what the BASI Level 1 and 2 represent and they often already employ instructors with these qualifications, especially the BASI Level 2.

They know what they are going to get and they like it.

BASI Partner logo


Saas Fee Ski Gap course


We’re committed to making every single course as good as it can possibly be.

So our coaches have created a training programme that’s designed to help you make the maximum progress during your course. It’s a formula that produces well-rounded ski instructors by thoroughly covering all the technical and teaching content.

It also includes freestyle training, off-piste training and avalanche safety training, as well as race training on a GS course – so a huge variety of skiing to keep everyone developing and engaged.

We also keep a professional routine – training runs for full days from Monday to Friday, with off-snow sessions after skiing including video analysis.

So everyone has a regular schedule and they know where they stand, which we have found to be an essential part of preparing to pass these professional exams.

We’ve added French lessons to some courses, Spanish and Tango lessons to others, whilst fitness is a common theme on every course – we know how vital improving you fitness is to being able to pass you exams.

We’ve worked for years to make everything run better, run smoother and give you the best experience.


Ski instructor jobs - national flags

Helping you get a job is a major part of what our mentors do during the course.

Peak Leaders has a massive network of contacts built up over 20 years, as well as a brilliant reputation with ski schools all over the world.

That means we have been able to agree deals with ski schools across Japan, Canada and Europe who will guarantee interviews (and jobs) to Peak Leaders trainees.

These are ski schools who actively want to recruit Peak Leaders instructors. And our members’ area has information about who they are and how to apply – so you can get the ball rolling before your course starts.

This is a massive bonus and it means you can get your foot in the door very early on.

And despite Brexit changing the employment landscape for British trainees, there are still plenty of options to teach with your qualifications all over the world – plus there are new opportunities emerging all the time.


Ski instructor gap course job opportunities with Les Elfes

We know that when the course stops our responsibility doesn’t end.

We spend months training instructors and we don’t want to switch off when the Level 2 finishes, we want to make sure you have support if and when you need it.

We even get trainees get back in touch years after the course for advice and recommendations.

So when the course ends we’re still there to help you once you start work, offer advice on local work permits, even help you choose new ski kit or select skis and even help trainees recovering from injury or perhaps planning further exams and further training.


We’ve thought long and hard about every aspect of every course.

In fact the secret of Peak Leaders is probably our constant desire to keep adapting and improving what we do – plus the fact we absolutely love running these courses.

It really is a competitive marketplace and there are certainly a lot more operators now than when we started in 2000.

So now more than ever we know we have to deliver the best possible courses and make sure every single trainee has the best possible time in the mountains.

Because, above all, we want you to have an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.