|Hello American Avalanche Association (A3) Members & Friends,
A3 and our alliance of six professional course providers are excited to announce this season’s Pro course offerings. We have been working collaboratively for years to develop a program of professional avalanche education in the United States. Most recently, on October 20th, A3 professional course providers met in Golden, Colorado to iron out some of the last details of this season’s course rollout. As a result, we are now proud to introduce a distinct program of high-quality and consistent professional training designed for the advancement of our nation’s avalanche workers.
If you are considering a Pro course this season, the following course providers are progressing through a multi-year A3 Pro Training review process:
Alaska Avalanche School – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge
American Avalanche Institute – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, Pro 2
American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, Pro 2
Colorado Mountain College Leadville – Pro 1 – CMC Avalanche Science Certificate format
National Avalanche School – Pro 1 – NAS format
Silverton Avalanche School – Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge
Please contact each of these Pro Course Providers directly about schedules and enrollment on a Pro Training course this winter. At this time, A3 recognizes Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, and Pro 2 courses from the six providers above who are proceeding through a rigorous review process. Our goal is to hone course quality and consistency amongst this initial group of pro providers before potentially expanding the program in the future. Other courses may still provide valuable training and/or continuing education, however, they are not recognized as part of the A3 Pro Training Program. For general questions about the A3 Pro Training Program you can visit the a3. Read on for more information on the new Pro courses…
Who should take a new Pro Course? And why?
A3 Pro Training courses – currently, Pro 1, Pro 1 Bridge, and Pro 2 – offer valuable, relevant skill development for avalanche workers at a variety of points in their careers. These programs provide a clear path for avalanche workers just entering the industry, as well as serve as excellent resources for seasoned professionals to gain the most current updates and refresh their skills. All A3 Pro Training courses:
- Meet or exceed collaboratively designed, industry-driven skill and proficiency guidelines.
- Are taught by top educators who also have a solid background of operational avalanche experience.
- Teach, coach, and evaluate students to a consistent standard.
Pro 1is appropriate for entry-level avalanche professionals newly employed or seeking employment within the industry as well as seasoned avalanche professionals who wish to refresh their skills and get up to speed with current practices. The course covers skills and proficiencies that enable an individual to be a contributing member of an operational avalanche program, including making and documenting relevant observations to SWAG standards, managing personal and group risk in avalanche terrain, and contributing informed opinions during risk management discussions. Find more specific Pro 1 course details here.
Pro 1 Bridge is appropriate for individuals who recently took a Level 2 course and/or regularly apply snow and avalanche observation skills to SWAG standards in an operational setting and wish to demonstrate proficiency at the Pro 1 Level. To be set up for success, students should have their SWAG observation skills well-honed prior to this condensed course and be ready for rigorous evaluation. **Students who took a Level 2 course a long time ago and/or have not been applying snow and avalanche observation skills to SWAG standards in an operational setting are encouraged to consider a full Pro 1 course.** Review the Pro 1 Bridge evaluation criteria here.
Pro 2 is designed for developing avalanche professionals with several seasons of applied professional experience as well as seasoned professionals who are looking to develop skills applicable to leadership roles within their operation. The course covers skills and proficiencies that enable an individual to step into a leadership role within an operational avalanche program. A focus on operational risk management and decision-making skills such as forecasting, risk mitigation strategies, and professional communication. Find more specific Pro 2 course details here.
Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to A3 and/or individual Pro Course Providers with questions.
A3 & The Pro Training Provider Alliance