Avalanche Operations Level 2
 

“I had a 110% positive, exceptional experience that was quite higher than my expectations with my L2! I'm just thrilled with what I got out of it and impressed with all that was asked of us as participants before and during the program." - Angela Hawse, M.A., IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide
 
The CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2 Program is an advanced program for people who work full time with avalanche safety and control operations. Participants must have at least 100 days of operational field experience recording and collecting weather, snowpack, and avalanche activity observations before applying. This requires at least two full time seasons of active operational experience as a team member, ideally working under the mentorship of CAA Professional Members. As a team member, you are involved with daily operational meetings and participating in operational activities involving anticipating and forecasting avalanche risk.

  

The Level 2 Program is divided into three modules. All modules include a significant amount of pre-course readings and questions to be completed before course begins.
  • Module 1 focuses on decision making, advanced snow science concepts, and operational risk management principles in a four day, theory based classroom environment. (Module 1 sample schedule)
  • Module 2 is a four day field course involving the application of Module 1 principles into real life operational decision making and risk management. (Module 2 sample schedule)
  • Module 3 is a seven day field course where students’ skills and competency, in both technical knowledge and practical application of Level 2 concepts, are evaluated. (Module 3 sample schedule)

A Level 2 certificate is granted to students who successfully complete the AvSAR Practical Skills Assessment and the Module 3.

 

Visit the Level 2 application information webpage for application requirements to the Level 2 program, or the course calendar for course dates and locations. Course dates for the following year are updated in the spring. Course registrations open in May/June and are for accepted applicants only. For 2017 online registration will open Monday, July 3.

 
Please note:
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation on the course.
  • There are scholarship/grant opportunities for the Level 2 program. More detailed information is found in the Tuition and Funding Opportunities section below. 

Program Goals

For each course the Canadian Avalanche Association creates specific course goals and learning objectives. These reflect industry standards and current best practices and are updated accordingly. The Avalanche Operations Level 2 course goals and objectives are displayed in the course DACUMs:

If you are unfamiliar with DACUMs please read the document "Learn what a DACUM is and why it is important".

Prerequisites

Applicants must have and prove at time of applying to the Level 2 program:

1 If you are missing these prerequisites but believe you have similar training and/or experience, you may apply for prior learning in order to have the prerequisite waived. Please visit the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) application webpage for details. Students can concurrently apply to the Avalanche Operations Level 2 program while a PLA application is under review. Please see the details of this option on the PLA Application webpage.

 

2 These courses must be completed prior to the Level 2 Module 2. For those who wish to apply to the Avalanche Operations Level 2 program but have yet to take either of these prerequisites, they must submit a Letter of Intent during the online application process indicating that they will provide proof of completion prior to the start of the Module 2. 

 

3 Operational field experience is defined as a team member attending daily operations meetings and participating in operational activities involving the anticipation of and forecasting for avalanche risk management.

 

4 Students who do not have an affiliation with a CAA Professional Member may provide references from: their current avalanche industry employer or supervisor, their mentor, a fellow industry professional, and/or a Level 2 graduate who is familiar with the candidate’s avalanche resume. Links to reference forms are on the Level 2 Application Information webpage.

 

Application/Registration Process

Students are required to apply for the Level 2 program and are accepted based on meeting the outlined prerequisites above. For all Level 2 application information, and the link to the online application process, please visit the Level 2 Application webpage. Questions can be directed to the CAA office by email (itpmanager@avalancheassociation.ca) or phone 250.837.2435.

 

If accepted into the program, students will be emailed regarding their registration date. Course registration opens each spring for the following season; courses can fill quickly. Full payment for each module is taken at time of registration. For 2017 online registration will open July 3.

 

Note: ACMG Guides are not automatically exempt from the Module 2. They must apply for Prior Learning Assessment for equivalency to the Module 2. APLA reference form must also be sent in: PLA CAA Professional Member Reference Form or PLA Non-CAA Professional Reference Form.

Course Fees and Funding Opportunities

****The following are 2017-18 course fees. Prices are location-specific to reflect ACTUAL costs associated with course locations.****  

 

Module 1

Revelstoke: $1,182

Squamish: $1,192

 

An additional $100 registration fee for the Module 1 is applied to students with an international mailing address to account for shipping costs of course materials.

 

Module 2 (note that students must register for the AvSAR Practical Skills Assessment separately)

Whistler: $1,214 (includes lift access)

Golden: $1,127(includes lift access)

Golden - sled-specific: $1325 

Lake Louise: $1,204 (includes lift access)

 

Module 3

Whistler: $1,917 (includes lift access)

Golden: $2,178 (includes lift access and a helicopter flight)

 

Full payment is due at time of registration.

 

The Avalanche Canada Foundation yearly offers scholarships for students.  

There is also the Alberta job grant, a Golden Area scholarship, and the ACMG also has funding available for eligible students. Often local organizations have funding as well (e.g search and rescue clubs, employment centres, local industry grants etc.).

Continuing Professional Development

Module 1, 2, and 3 courses are open to past Level 2 graduates as CPD. Typically 2% of Module 1 students are CPD students, enabling a rich and collaborative learning environment for all involved. Numerous organizations have sent significant numbers of senior avalanche personnel to participate in these courses annually.

Course Equipment and Materials

Upon registration all students will receive a confirmation e-mail that contains links to the course's logistical information. Alternatively you can click on the course's title in the course calendar to view logistical details.

 

Module 1 students will be mailed a program package1 that includes:

  • Level 2 Student Manual & readings;
  • Recommended technical references.

1 It is the student's responsibility to contact the CAA office if they have not received this package 1 month prior to course start. The package will be mailed to the address you provided during your online registration.

 

Pre-course readings and questions take time, 20+ hours, and must be completed prior to starting each module of the Level 2 program. Be sure to read your digital logistics letters thoroughly as they contain pertinent information in preparing for courses.

 

Module 1 is a classroom based course. Students will need to bring their Level 2 program package and personal items needed to ensure good learning.

Module 2 and 3 are a mix of classroom and field based learning. There is no specific equipment list for the Level 2 field course portions. If you have questions about equipment please approach an instructor in your module 1 course.

 

Use the sample schedules to help anticipate daily needs:

Course Evaluation

Participants’ learning during the Level 2 program will be formally evaluated during the Module 3. This formal evaluation is a combination of written tests and exercises, field book observations, practical examinations, field discussions, and AM and PM Operational Hazard Analysis. Students must pass the following mandatory elements: Data Collection/Record Keeping, Snow Profile, and Terrain/Hazard Analysis with an overall mark of 71% or greater. Retests are allowed in specific situations only.

 

Detailed evaluation criteria will be provided as part of course materials. Students are encouraged to clarify questions with their instructors on course prior to the examinations. Informal personalized feedback will be provided throughout the Module 1 and 2 courses. A passing grade results in the CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2 certificate of completion being granted to the student.

International Courses

Industry Training Program curriculum is delivered every year in countries such as Japan and New Zealand. If you are interested in finding out more about our international outreach projects, please go to the websites listed below or contact the CAA directly.

 
 
 
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Revelstoke, BC Canada, V0E 2S0
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