After a number of years of work and preparations, the European Commission has adopted a new common training test (CTT) for ski instructors to facilitate the recognition of their qualifications. Exploiting for the first time the opportunity provided by the Revised Professional Qualifications Directive (2015), the Commission has worked with Members States and relevant stakeholders to create this novel instrument to facilitate the access of professional instructors to activities in other Member States, while ensuring the high level of skills and knowledge of safety and environmental issues needed.
The CTT does not harmonise national rules and is thus voluntary in nature for the Member States. What it does is to offer those, who have passed the aptitude test, to pursue their profession in any host Member State concerned under the same conditions as the holders of a professional qualification acquired in that Member State. The CTT builds on the previously adopted Memorandum of Understanding, which constituted a pilot project for professionals having passed the Eurotest and the Eurosecurity test, and which was signed by eleven EU Members States. The provisions agreed in the Memorandum have been taken into account as basis for the new regulation establishing the CTT, in particular in the technical parts describing how the tests should be organised.
All citizens of the EU, and not only those from Members States regulating the ski instructor profession, who hold or who are in training to obtain a qualification listed in the Annex to the Commission Delegated Regulation (each Member State has identified an appropriate qualification and an awarding institution) will be entitled to participate in the CTT. After a candidate passed the CTT, each Member State should recognise that the successful completion of the CTT effectively gives the said candidate access to the professional activities of ski instructors under the same conditions as the holders of professional qualifications acquired in that Member State.
The EP and the Council have 2 months to scrutinise the Commission Delegated Regulation, after which the act will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
The topic of mutual recognition of professional qualifications in sport has been on the EU’s agenda for a number of years; and with it the particular issue of ski instructors’ qualifications as it is regulated in 13 EU Member States and is characterised by an important need for mobility. The subject has been dealt with by the Commission Expert Groups and followed up by Council Expert Groups under both the 2011-2014 and the 2015-2017 Work Plans. To get an overview of the situation and prepare the grounds for the establishment of the CTT, the Commission published in 2016 a short study mapping the ski instructors’ qualification environment in the EU Members States.