Senior Program

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Senior Program

The NSP's Senior Program offers all Basic patrollers the opportunity to advance to the next level of performance in carrying out their patrolling duties, including first response medical care, skiing/snowboarding, toboggan handling, and emergency management.

Why become a Senior?

Patrollers who become Seniors...
  • enhance their skills, developing greater confidence and competence.
  • gain recognition from their peers and NSP as a whole.
  • are eligible for certain meritorious service awards such as a National Appointment or Leadership Commendation Appointment.

What is involved in becoming a Senior?

As of this writing, the official reference for all things Senior remains the 14th edition of the Ski Patroller's Manual, specifically chapter 18 ("Senior Program").

Patrollers interested in becoming Seniors should have a copy of this manual and read through the entire chapter. The following sections will attempt to summarize the requirements and the process.

Senior Requirements

First of all, note that there are three types of Senior Patroller, namely Senior Alpine, Senior Nordic, and Senior Auxiliary. Tables 18.1 through 18.3 in the Ski Patroller's Manual define the requirements for each of these types; some requirements are common to all three, others are specific to a particular type of senior.

As this document is intended for the benefit of TBSP patrollers, only the Nordic Senior requirements are listed here. NOTE: the following information is from the 2012-2013 NSP Policies and Procedures, as some of the relevant terminology in the 14th Edition Ski Patroller's Manual of 1997 is out of date.

Senior Nordic Core Requirements
  • Senior emergency management
  • Toboggan construction and handling
  • Nordic skiing and endurance
  • Mountain Travel and Rescue 2 course
  • Two additional electives from Senior elective list (below)
Senior Elective List
  • Instructor Development course
  • Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals course or Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 course
  • Mountain Travel and Rescue 2 course (required for Senior Nordic Patroller candidates)
  • Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Rescue
  • Standard or Level 1 Avalanche course or Level 1 Avalanche for Rescue Personnel course.
  • Level 2 Avalanche for Rescue Personnel course
  • Patroller Education Conference (PEC)
  • National Avalanche School didactic sessions
  • National Avalanche School field sessions
  • Skiing Enhancement Seminar
  • Ski Trainer’s Workshop
  • Toboggan Enhancement Seminar
  • OEC Enhancement Seminar (two modules equal one Senior elective)
  • Patroller Enrichment Seminar
  • NSP leadership module, course, or equivalent course approved by the Board of Directors
  • NSP instructor status (any discipline)
  • NSP instructor trainer appointment (any discipline)
  • Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Certified Level II
  • PSIA Certified Level III
  • BLS CPR instructor or instructor trainer certification (American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Safety Council, American Safety and Health Institute, or Medic First Aid)
  • AED Instructor Course (AHA, ARC, NSC, ASHI, or Medic First Aid)

Senior Application/Evaluation Process

1. Print out a Senior Candidate Application <>, complete it to the extent feasible, and get it signed by your Patrol Representative. NOTE, at the top of the application, there is a place to indicate the "Date of Senior Candidate Application". This should be the date that the form is signed.
2. Print out a Senior Activity Record <>, and complete the top section. NOTE, the "Date of Senior Candidate Application" must be transcribed onto this form as well.
3. Maintain your Senior Activity Record as a record of your completion of the various required Senior Components. At the completion of each Senior Component, you must get the signature of the IOR (Instructor of Record) on this form in the appropriate location. ("Senior Alpine Skiing" and "Senior Alpine Toboggan" are not required for Senior Nordic.) It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you keep an backup copy of this document, updated with current signatures, in a safe place!
4. Plan out which training events, evaluations, and electives you will attend to complete all the Senior Components. Note that MTR2 is a required elective for Senior Nordic.
5. From the Ski Patroller's Manual, ch. 18, p. 127, 2nd paragraph
"The Senior Program consists of core and elective requirements that must be completed within three years." This means that the completion dates of all the core and elective requirements must fall within a three year period. There are only two exceptions to this rule.
a. First, from the Ski Patroller's Manual, ch.18, p. 128
"A senior candidate need only complete the senior OEC component one time." This means that SEM, once passed, does not lapse, as long as OEC certification is maintained via regular refreshers. In other words, an SEM evaluation can come too late for a particular activity log three-year window, but can not be too early unless OEC certification itself has lapsed.
b. Second, from National Ski Patrol POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 2012–2013 Edition, Revision 09/2012, section 17.3.3. C 2
"If Divisions, Regions, Sections, or NSP registration units require all Patrollers to complete one (or more) of the electives listed in 17.4.1 B as a requirement for continued membership, a Senior candidate who has completed that option may credit that course toward completion of one Senior elective." This means that any of the electives that have already been completed, that are required by the Division, Region, Section, or Patrol for continued membership, may be included on the activity log regardless of date. TBSP requires MTR2, MTR1, and AVY1.
6. When all the required Senior Components on your Senior Activity Record are signed off, submit this record to your Patrol Representative for final certification and submission to NSP.

Notes on Senior Emergency Management

Senior Emergency Management (SEM) is usually considered to be the core Senior Component requiring the most preparation, training, and practice. Review the references below from for further information on how to prepare for and successfully complete this requirement. In particular, you should print out the Senior OEC Skill Checklist (A.K.A. "Training Log") and plan to get it completely signed off prior to the SEM evaluation (signoffs can be done as part of dedicated SEM training sessions).
A Senior candidate is required to provide one patient and one judge (who must be a Senior OEC instructor) at the SEM evaluation.
SEM evaluations are typically arranged for either Senior Alpine or Senior Nordic, not both; the equipment provided, and expected protocols, may differ between the two cases. Nevertheless, from the point of view of NSP's Senior Program, there is only one SEM Core Component, and any patroller passing any approved SEM has satisfied that requirement. TBSP patrollers should not hesitate to attend an SEM evaluation intended for Senior Alpine, and should be prepared accordingly, especially since a candidate might not pass the first time, and may wish to attend a subsequent SEM evaluation to try again.

Last known status of TBSP Senior Candidates


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