AIARE courses are designed to be a complete program of avalanche education. Within each course the lesson plans, student materials, and teaching aids are fully integrated. What you hear and see when an instructor delivers the content of a lesson plan in class or in the field is linked with what you take home when you leave.
Each course of the progression builds on knowledge and skills gained in the prerequisite course(s). The core curriculum for each course is established by:
- Review and meet guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association
- Comparison/alignment with other recognized programs, such as, the Canadian Avalanche Association’s Recreational and Industry Training Programs.
- Review and approval from the AIARE Technical Director who regularly discusses issues and ideas with course leaders, instructors, and course providers to develop, maintain, and upgrade curriculum.
The AIARE program of courses and instructor qualifications are unique in several ways:
- Instructors are required to meet specific personal qualifications and training prerequisites before being allowed access to AIARE course materials.
- The AIARE standard is established and maintained on a widespread basis and is not limited or restricted to an individual, company or organization. AIARE instructors and courses can be found in a number of places across the USA.
- AIARE curriculum meets or exceeds existing national and international standards.
- Decision making is a crucial and critical component of the program. Everything taught, demonstrated, and practiced in any AIARE course is aimed at helping you improve your decision making in the field.
There are three levels in the AIARE program:
- The AIARE 1 course is an introduction and review of the avalanche phenomena, travel techniques, decision making strategies, and avalanche rescue.
- The AIARE 2 course provides technical and scientific information that improves participants’ understanding of how and why avalanches occur, covers the factors that indicate and affect snow stability, and introduces the snow stability analysis and forecasting process.
- The AIARE 3 course incorporates snow stability analysis and forecasting, avalanche hazard analysis and forecasting, and activity/operational planning in a high level decision making framework.
AIARE facilitates avalanche safety by developing avalanche course curriculum and providing support, training and instructional materials to independent instructors who in turn deliver the AIARE training.
AIARE recreational courses are delivered by a network of over 100 AIARE Course Providers who are responsible for hiring AIARE instructors and delivering the AIARE curriculum
- AIARE does not certify AIARE instructors or monitor their performance as instructors.
- AIARE does not supervise or control the classroom or outdoors activities or safety decisions of AIARE instructors.
- AIARE does not choose the terrain or monitor the conditions for AIARE field sessions.
- Instructors teaching AIARE Courses are not employees, agents, representatives, independent contractors or subcontractors of AIARE.
- AIARE assumes no liability for loss, injury or death incurred during participation in AIARE training.
AIARE has developed minimum criteria for AIARE instructors. Those qualifications can be found on the Instructor Qualifications page. Persons considering enrollment in AIARE training are urged to inquire about the training, experience and instructional history of the course instructor(s), and satisfy themselves that the AIARE program they are considering will meet their needs.