Like Austria, the Swiss authorities recognise and have different qualifications for Alpine, Snowboard, Nordic and Telemark disciplines. Although in the past, the authorities in some Cantons have been relaxed about qualifications and have permitted people to teach after 5 days of in-house training, this option is quickly diminishing. Most ski schools now insist on employing qualified instructors from a recognised governing body such as BASI or its Swiss counterpart, Swiss Snowsports. However, the good news is that BASI's Level 2 Instructor (formerly Grade 3) qualification is accepted.
As Switzerland is not a member of the EU, work permits are required. An instructor must apply to a recognised ski school in Switzerland and obtain a job offer and contract. Once a contract is in place, the ski school will apply for a work permit and only when a permit has been granted can the instructor work for that ski school. The general impression that Switzerland is more relaxed about instructors working illegally than for instance France, is mistaken.
Instructors should be very careful if they are offered work without a permit because, if caught (through the regular police checks on ski schools and individuals), the financial penalties are severe for all parties concerned and could result in deportation from Switzerland!
An instructor cannot work in Switzerland independently without holding the Swiss level 3 qualification and Patente. This is difficult to obtain and a time-consuming process. Again, not only are penalties severe but, just as importantly, neither the instructor nor the clients are covered by insurance.