Southern California Region



Certified Program

The Certified Program is a series of tests designed to evaluate a candidate’s level of knowledge in every subject area of ski patrol. The process of being tested is legendarily brutal and for good reason. Certifying in a subject means that the candidate has not only demonstrated an encyclopedic grasp of the facts and figures, but understands the higher level reasoning behind decision making at a ski resort. Full certification means that a patroller can be counted on to serve their resort in any capacity when necessary. To pass the Skiing Module, the candidate must ski at the level of a PSIA instructor. The Ropes Module requires the skills of an advanced mountaineer. The Medical Evaluation is routinely given by a brain surgeon. For every module, perfection is expected. There is a good reason why after 75 years and  250,000 ski patrol members in NSP history, only about 800 patrollers have achieved full certified status. It takes on average 3 to 10 years to complete all of the modules, and after all that effort, full certified patrollers are encouraged not to display their achievement with the available patches and pins, at least here in Southern California. All that effort, and no one will ever know…

So why do it?

Isn’t that the million dollar question? The answer is different for everyone, but the common theme seems to be the challenge. It is the hardest thing you can do in ski patrol. It is the highest level. It is the most exclusive club. You get to learn from the best….and it is achievable, with one constant: hard work. Like all things worth achieving in life, there are no shortcuts, and to pass all of the tests requires a level of commitment that most aren’t willing to give. Then again it wouldn’t be very exclusive if everyone could do it. So does this sound interesting? If you are intrigued talk to us. Certified is a training program and not just a series of tests. It is less important where your skill level is now then where you wanted to be in the future and how hard you’re willing to work to get there. We are here to help you become one of the best. Are you ready to try?

In the Far West division the Certified program is administered by the Association of Professional Patrollers. For more information please visit their website.
Association of Professional Patrollers (APP)

Program Supervisor 

David Moore  DMoore@BigBearSkiPatrol.com  Association of Professional Patrollers (APP)


Skiing, Snowboarding and Telemarking

  • Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) 
  • American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) 


  • 5th Edition Outdoor Emergency Care 
  • Emergency Medical Technician Text 
  • American Red Cross (ARC) 
  • American Heart Association

Sled Handling

  • Association of Professional Patrollers - Criteria Coordinator - Patrollers Training Manual (Local Protocol) 
  • APP 2011-Study Guide

Risk Management

  • National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Accident Investigation Manual 
  • (NSAA) "Your Responsibility Code" 
  • www.terrainparksafety.org 
  • Federal, State and Local Laws and Ordinances

Hill Safety

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B77.1 
  • (Lift Manufacturers Operational Manuals 
  • (NSAA) Lift Evacuation Manual 
  • (NSAA) Freestyle Terrain Notebook 
  • Smart Style, Get Smart 
  • www.terrainparksafety.org
  • Local Ski Area Protocol 
  • APP-Study Guide (2011)

Rope Rescue

  • Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills-Graydon 
  • National Ski Areas Association and National Ski Patrol: The Lift Evacuation Manual 
  • www.osha.gov 
  • Local Ski Area Protocol 
  • APP-2011 Study Guide

Avalanche Rescue

  • Avalanche Handbook: McClung and Schaerer 
  • Transceiver Manufacturers' Instruction Manuals and Websites 
    • Ortovox BCA 
    • Barryvox SOS 
    • Pieps ARVA 
    • American Avalanche Association 
    • Local Ski Area Protocol and Avalanche Rescue Plan

Avalanche Science


  • The Avalanche Handbook 
  • International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) "Blasters Handbook" 
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  • Explosive General Industry Safety Orders 
  • Explosives Manufacturers' Web Sites 
  • State Explosives Regulations 
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF&E) 
  • Federal Explosives Laws and Regulations 
  • Association of Professional Patrollers-Study Guide 2011 
  • Southern California-CERTIFIED CONTACTS