What is the The Test Technique?
Test Technique Information
The Test Technique is a slalom exam that allows people to legally work in France before they have their BASI ISTD Level 4.
The exam can be taken at specific times of the year in Alp D'Huez, Les Menuires, Morzine, Le Grand Bornand and a few other smaller resorts. You are allowed two efforts per season, once between December-February and once between March-April. Whether you pass or not is based on time setters and some calculations detailed below.
If you don't have the BASI ISTD Level 4 then you will need to pass the Test Technique to work in France. It is the entry exam into the French ski system and, combined with a minimum of BASI Level 2, allows Brits to legally work in France.
BASI Level 2 or above + Test Technique = Stagiere status
Stagiere status means you are able to teach under guidance of a mentor in a French ski school such as ESI or ESF. You are given a training log book (or 'Livret de Formation') and permission to teach for four years.
The test is tough and candidates learn a lot during their training for it. It is also excellent training towards BASI Level 3 ISIA and BASI Level 4 ISTD, as well as complementing a performance training programme.
If you can speak fluent French then there is the option of joining into the French Instructor system called ENSA. To do this you will need to successfully pass the Test Technique and then complete the pre-formation. This will then allow you to teach beginners in a mountain environment, but you would not be allowed to teach on a black slope or off piste, the same applies for Brits with their BASI Level 2 qualification. The reason for this is because you have not completed sufficient training to carry out lessons in those environments and you may put your clients in danger.
How the Test Technique Works
The Test Technique is a time trial and works in the following way:
There are two runs.
The time setter (or 'opener' as they are often referred to) sets a time in the slalom course.
Men are required to get within 20% of this time.
Women are required to get within 25% of this time.
In contrast to the Euro Test there is no need to worry about calibration or making the time equivalent to 0 FIS points. We just add 20% (men) or 25% (women) to the opener's time.
The opener does not close the Test Technique, which means that later bib numbers are at a disadvantage as the course deteriorates and often becomes slower. To try and make it as fair as is possible, the order of bibs is reversed for the second run.
An example of pass times would be:
Opener = 40 seconds
Men's Pass Time = 48 Seconds
Women's Pass Time = 50 seconds
We hope this makes things a little clearer!