Roller Ski Level 1 Instructor


The Level 1 (Instructor) award is gained on successful completion of an approved Level 1 training and assessment course, led by an SSE Tutor or Senior Tutor.  The award qualifies instructors to work on roller skis with beginners and those in the early stages of their skiing careers.  
Level 1 Instructors should demonstrate a solid basis of skills, knowledge and experience necessary to introduce others to the sport and to provide a foundation for further progress.   The award is intended for those working within a club environment. 
The Level 1 Instructor will have fundamental skiing/instructing skills and relevant information.  A basic level of the competences listed below is required, rather than an in-depth level of skills and understanding.   Similarly, candidates for the award will be assessed on evidence of appropriate levels of the skiing and teaching performance specifically required. 
Level 1 Training and Assessment Course 
This course, lasting for a minimum of 2 days or 14 hours, covers both training and assessment.  It may take place over a single weekend, or two separate days, not more than two weeks apart.     
The course will cover:  

  • The candidate’s own personal skiing performance  
  • The fundamentals of cross-country skiing  
  • The fundamentals of working with novice skiers, including planning and delivering safe and enjoyable sessions which provide the basis for further progress 

Prerequisites for accreditation 
It is a prerequisite for participants on these courses that they satisfy minimum requirements of skiing experience and skill as specified below:  

  • be at least 18 years old  
  • be registered with SSE  
  • have had a minimum of 30 days’ cross-country skiing experience recorded in their log book, of which 10 days must be on snow and 20 hours on roller skis  
  • be able to demonstrate a basic competence in both classic and skating techniques.   This is illustrated by attainment of an appropriate level in a relevant Proficiency Award Scheme, e.g. 3 in the Snowsport England Scheme.         

Assessment for Level 1 (Instructor) accreditation 
The assessment part of the course follows the training section, and will include the following activities:  

  • teaching assignment:  candidates will be asked to teach beginner skiers  
  • skiing assessment  
  • communication assessment 

Once the assessment is successfully completed, for full accreditation the candidate needs to provide their completed logbook showing required skiing experience, a current First Aid certificate, a CRB check and complete a safeguarding and protecting children course. 
Level 1 Skiing: Fundamental Techniques 
Level 1 Instructors must be able to demonstrate posture, balance, movement, control of speed and direction of travel on tarmac surfaces of flat or gentle gradient.   Demonstrations must display an “understandable and reproducible” picture of the technical aspects of cross-country skiing. 
The Instructor will illustrate in all techniques at a standard appropriate to  Level 1:  

  • appropriate and relaxed posture  
  • consistent balance  
  • weight transfer (where appropriate)  
  • correct movements  
  • rhythm  
  • coordination  
  • control 

Level 1 Instructor Skiing tasks  
Competent performance of the classic diagonal stride, double poling and double pole kick, step and skate turns, skate 1, 2 and 3 techniques, straight running, and emergency stop relevant to roller skiing.  In all these skiing movements skiers will be expected to display the general features of sound technique specified above. 


3 Proficiency Award standard
Overall level of skiing Skis confidently over medium terrain, without undue hesitation.  Achieves full weight transfer:  able to remain on one ski to glide, and shows clear and well timed compression of new drive ski.  Correct angulation of ankles, knees, hips, elbows, with a degree of body angulation and full range of movement of legs and arms.   
Diagonal Stride Correct body alignment permitting static one leg balance and a clear glide phase. Full range of smooth movements of both arms and legs to generate forward momentum
Double Pole Full range of movement of arms with relaxed hands and shoulders.  Poles planted with hands in front of baskets.  Body weight rises and falls by compression/extension of ankles, knees, hips and abdominals.
Double Pole Kick  Double pole action as above with well timed compression and drive off kick ski and a well balanced glide phase.  Able to execute on alternate kick leg  



Overall Full weight transfer on both sides with clear use of drive ski to generate power. Coordinated and full range arm/leg movement with correct angulation of joints, relaxed posture and slight forward lean of upper body.  Able to use each technique appropriately on varied terrain.
Herringbone skate Rhythmical action with short glide phase on well angled skis. Correct timing (each pole planted with opposite ski) 
Skate 1 Synchronized arm and leg actions; poles planted asymmetrically with the lead pole planted with lead ski and driving in direction of the glide ski.  Full weight transfer, clear glide phase and generation of power from both arms and legs.   
Skate 2  Correct timing of arms and legs: one drive of poles on each gliding leg.  Symmetrical pole plants and glide phases, with body facing direction of travel. Compression and extension of body on each glide.   
Skate 3 One symmetrical arm action for each full leg cycle.  Full effective arm swing with extended glide on lead side. Placement of flat glide ski. Body compresses on lead side with pole plant, and extends upwards on recovery side so only one extension phase per full leg cycle.
Free Skate Balanced symmetrical skating action without the use of poles.  Stable upper body facing direction of travel.  



Turns and braking

 Overall  Good posture and able to adapt to terrain.  Remaining balanced over ski with changes of speed and direction.  Good control on medium hills and corners. 
Skate turn Turns to both left and right on a gentle gradient.  Definite edging of outer ski with glide and drive. Controlled/unrushed un-weighting and placement of both skis. (Inside ski placed at appropriate new angle, outside ski placed close, although not quite parallel to inside ski).
Step turn

Controlled and accurate

Placement of flat skis showing  

Ability to stand comfortably on one ski.

Roller ski brake by rolling onto grass Able to brake in a controlled way on a slope by rolling onto grass with one foot forward, maintaining balance as skis stop 
Roller ski snowplough Able to slow skis on a moderate slope.  Pushing out the rear of the roller skis maintaining a flat ski at all times.  Ski poles must be in a safe position, and not used to aid the slowing of the skis. Tips of skis must be closer than tails, overall wide stance is acceptable. 

Level 1 Teaching 
Level 1 Instructors should demonstrate a solid foundation of information and experience to be an effective coach for beginner skiers on roller skis.   A basic understanding of how to manage the learning environment of groups of different sizes and ages and fitness levels is needed. 
The Level 1 Instructor will be assessed by the examiner in delivering a practical coaching session and through discussion and questioning.  This will include the use of video, where the candidate shall video a skier carrying out a basic technique, and provide one-to-one feedback to the skier. 

Level 1 Communication 
Candidates will make a short informal presentation to a small group.  The subject will be one of the non-skiing elements of the Nordic Proficiency Awards eg waxing, clothing, or equipment. 
Underpinning Knowledge  
Knowledge requirements for Level 1 Instructors reflect a practical awareness of general terms and concepts, and an ability to use these concepts in basic lessons for beginner skiers.   Decisionmaking and lesson content will most likely follow pre-planned options.   
The Level 1 Instructor will be able to:

  • Background
    • Define and explain basic terminology  
    • Describe equipment needs for novice skiers (including safety equipment)
    • Identify common safety issues (including safe areas for instruction and practice) 
  • Movement Analysis  
    • Identify the components of good skiing  
    • Recognise general movement patterns found among beginner skiers  
    • Identify desired outcomes in various types of beginner skiing
    • List exercises and tasks which address student needs, the equipment being used, terrain options, etc  
    • Discuss the skiers’ posture, movement and balancing  Identify effective movement for beginner skiers  
    • Understand the fundamental skiing movements involving posture, balance, and weight transfer  
    • Teach an appropriate blending of these movements suited to the needs of novice skiers  
    • Create an activity/task list appropriate to the needs of these skiers
  • Session Delivery  
    • Understand and meet the needs of novice skiers
    • Identify an appropriate learning pathway based on the needs of beginner skiers  
    • Demonstrate an ability to develop a relationship with their students  
    • Understand how to create an appropriate learning environment and how to incorporate this knowledge into sessions that will maximise opportunities for safety, enjoyment and further learning  
    • Teach the skiing public as beginners and provide solid foundations for further learning  
    • Identify learning styles and preferences and discuss examples of use in a lesson  
    • Handle a group based on group energy levels, conditions, safety and lesson content  
    • Demonstrate ability to assess Proficiency Awards where available

All Level 1 instructors are required to attend an approved SSE refresher course at least once every three years.   This is to keep them abreast of the latest developments in both skiing and coaching techniques. 
A revalidation session will be a minimum of one day.  It will include:

  • Refresher from Tutor  
  • Demonstration by Instructor of up to date coaching methods and skiing techniques 


Tutors for the Level 1 Award:   
The assessment will be the responsibility of Tutors, who will hold a minimum of a Level 3 Coach Award, or a Senior Tutor who will hold a Level 4 Coach Award.  Tutors have three options in assessing the candidates for this Award:

  • Pass - when all aspects of the assessment have been approved  
  • Deferral - when one or more aspects of the assessment have to be retaken  
  • Fail - when the candidate has to repeat all aspects of both the Training and Assessment Course components of the course. 


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