How to Maintain Your Instructor Status
AIARE believes in creating and facilitating meaningful professional development opportunities for its instructors. We don't want you to feel like you're jumping through hoops or attending sessions that aren't relevant to you just to check a box. That's why our Continuing Education program continues to evolve—to keep up with the latest offerings in our industry and ensure instructors can get credit for continuing education that actually helps you in your career.
In order to maintain your instructor status, you will need to upload proof each season* that you have met the annual continuing education requirement. To do this:
- You must complete 8 hours of CE each season
- Choose from AIARE-offered and/or non-AIARE CE opportunities**
- Log into your avtraining.org profile and add your previous season's CE when you pay your instructor dues and sign the code of conduct. This can all be handled on the "Instructor Status Requirements" webpage.
AIARE recognizes that there is a great number of high-quality resources available to help instructors hone their skills; as a result, we have waived the requirement to have at least half of your hours come from AIARE-offered CE opportunities.
[NEW FOR THE 2023–24 SEASON] Your 8 hours per season can now include any combination you like of AIARE-offered and non-AIARE CE.
*Previously, instructors were asked to upload proof of the previous two seasons' CE every other season. We're changing that to every season for the previous season only to avoid confusion.
**Don't forget—if you take an AIARE Course Leader Training or Pro 2 from any A3-approved provider, it counts for 8 hours of CE!
Continuing Education Webinar Series
AIARE began offering an annual CE webinar series in the 2021–22 season in order to provide CE opportunities to our instructors despite being unable to gather in person due to COVID. That first series was very well attended, so by popular demand, we have continued to curate a series of 5+ webinars each season that instructors may use for CE.
Whenever possible, we encourage instructors to attend these webinars live, as this offers a chance to interact with other participants and ask questions of the presenters—both things we're often told instructors have missed during the pandemic era.
Most webinars are later uploaded to our YouTube channel, where instructors are welcome to view them at their convenience and may still count them toward their CE requirement.
Check out this season's offerings and follow the links to register. Individual workshops are $15, or bundle and save by registering for the full series ($45). Registering for any webinar entitles you to access to the recording, so you don't need to be available to attend all 5 workshops live in order to make this worthwhile!
NOTE: We'll also offer a handful of free webinars this season. If you'd like to attend those, you'll need to register for each one separately.
AIARE will offer two different in-person workshops for the 2023–24 season: a Teaching Workshop and a Rescue Workshop. Check out the details and learning outcomes of each workshop below.
All workshops are capped at 20 participants, so register soon!
Non-AIARE Continuing Education Opportunities
We review and add non-AIARE opportunities to this list a on a regular rolling basis. General guidelines for acceptable CE opportunities are those that are open to any AIARE Instructor to enroll (i.e. not in-house employee trainings) and are relevant professional development for avalanche educators.
The courses in the list below have been approved as non-AIARE CE opportunities. Please note that because the purpose of CE is to engage in continuing education yearly, the maximum number of “credit” hours that will be honored for single course is 8, even if the length of the course exceeds the requirement. This means that if you engaged in more than 8 hours of CE in a given season, the extra hours do not count toward your CE requirement for any future seasons—we want AIARE instructors to continue learning every season!
Non-AIARE Courses or Conferences approved for Continuing Education Credits
(as of 11/22/2023)
- American Avalanche Association Member Webinars (1-1.5 hours)
- AIARE Women’s Mentorship Program – Participation in the program either as a mentor or a mentee. (8 hours)
- AMGA Ski Guide Course, Advanced Ski Guide Course, or Ski Guide Exam (8 hours)
- AMGA Alpine Guide Course, Advanced Alpine Guide Course, or Alpine Guide Exam (8 hours)
- AMGA Alpine Skills Course – ski or alpine focus (8 hours)
- AMGA Ice Instructor Course (8 hours)
- AvSAR course from an A3 Pro course provider
- AAI – Professional Avalanche Search & Rescue Course (8 hours)
- CAA Operations Level 1 Course (8 hours)
- CAA Operations Level 2 Course Module 1, 2, or 3 (8 hours)
- CAA Operations Level 3 Course (8 hours)
- CAA Spring Conference Case Studies and Research Presentations (4 hours)
- Foundations of Stress Injury Awareness for Winter Rescue & Guides (8 hours)
- International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) (attendance or presentation) (8 hours)
- National Avalanche School (NAS) Classroom session (8 hours)
- Pro 2 course from any A3 course provider (8 hours)
- Psychological First Aid Online Course (4 hours)
- Regional Professional Avalanche Workshop (8 hours)
- CAA Continuing Professional Development Seminar
- Gallatin Professional Development Seminar
- Sawtooth Avalanche Center Professional Development Seminar
- Regional Snow and Avalanche Workshop (SAW) (up to 8 hours)
- Responder Alliance Training or Events (hours vary, up to 8 hours per event)
- Virtual Snow Science Workshop (VSSW 2020) (up to 8 hours)
- Weather Courses
- AAI – Winter Forecasting (8 hours)
- CAA Advanced Weather Course (8 hours)
- CAA Introduction to Weather (8 hours)
- Colorado Mountain College/CAIC – Mountain Meteorology Workshop (8 hours)
- Curso de Pronosticador de Meteorología Invernal (8 hours)
- Mountain Weather – Winter Weather Forecasting (8 hours)
- Mountain Weather – Advanced Winter Weather Forecasting (8 hours)
- Mountain Weather – Alaska Winter Weather Forecasting (8 hours)
- Silverton Avalanche School – Mountain Weather Workshop (8 hours)
- What to Say (and not say) When You’re Not Sure – Inclusive Language in the Outdoors (2 hours)
- Wilderness Risk Management Conference (attendance or presentation) (up to 8 hours)
Don't see your training listed?
Suggestions are welcome! If you would like to suggest a course, or want to know if a training you took (or taught) can count as CE, please send a course description, syllabus, and the number of hours, to Education Director Liz Riggs Meder (email@example.com).
Frequently Asked Questions
Instructors are required to engage in at least 8 cumulative hours of continuing education each year in order to remain current as an instructor. This may be accomplished with one event, or by summing up hours completed from multiple shorter events. You may use in-person, virtual, AIARE-provided, or non-AIARE CE.
No. We recognize that there are tons of excellent resources out there to help AIARE instructors improve their skills as educators. You may use any combination of AIARE CE and opportunities listed on the Non-AIARE CE Opportunities list towards your 8 hours per season.
Non-AIARE courses are approved by AIARE on a regular rolling basis. General guidelines for acceptable courses are those that are open to any AIARE Instructor to enroll (i.e. not in-house employee trainings) and are relevant professional development for avalanche educators. Suggestions of synchronous and asynchronous virtual training, as well as in-person training, are welcome. If you would like to suggest a course, or want to know if a training you took (OR taught) can count as CE, please send a course description, syllabus, and the number of hours, to AIARE Education Director Liz Riggs Meder.
Maybe! We're always looking to add more opportunities to that list. We'd like to ensure that anything on the non-AIARE CE list is relevant and rigorous enough to be a worthwhile opportunity to recommend to our instructors. Non-AIARE courses are approved by AIARE on a regular rolling basis. General guidelines for acceptable courses are those that are open to any AIARE Instructor to enroll (i.e. not in-house employee trainings) and are relevant professional development for avalanche educators. Suggestions of synchronous and asynchronous virtual training, as well as in-person training, are welcome. If you would like to suggest a course, or want to know if a training you took can count as CE, please send a course description, syllabus, and the number of hours, to AIARE Education Director Liz Riggs Meder.
If you decide to take a season (or more) off from teaching with the intention of resuming your instructor status at a later time, we ask that you still remain current on CE requirements during the season(s) you take off. Instructors who are inactive for more than one season will need to contact the Education Director to determine a professional development plan to become an active AIARE Instructor again.
Yes! Please just list your ITC on the CE tracking template, and upload that as a PDF to your Instructor Status Requirements page. Alternatively, you may upload your ITC certificate of training.
Because the purpose of CE is to engage in continuing education yearly, the maximum number of “credit” hours that will be honored as non-AIARE CE for a single course is 8, even if the length of the training exceeds the requirement. In other words, if you engaged in more than 8 hours of CE in a given season, the extra hours do not count toward your CE requirement for any future seasons.
It depends! We encourage instructors to engage in CE as learners, but we recognize that teaching often requires learning. For example, if you taught a course that required you to learn about a subject area or student demographic, or in some other way venture beyond what you typically teach, you can send a description and syllabus of what you taught, along with the number of hours, to Education Director Liz Riggs Meder for review.
We know that many providers already offer high-quality annual training for their winter staff. We are focusing on creating more educational content and activities that fit into training your employer provides for their staff. To that end, Providers can now apply to have their annual training count as continuing education. Providers who are interested in having their staff trainings count as CE for their instructors can fill out this application and submit it to the Education Director.