The new RYA Strategy, Together on Water seeks to support an inspired, inclusive, and connected community in sailing and boating. We are very aware that the network of RYA affiliated organisations are key enablers to achieve this vision.
There are now greater expectations on organisations of all shapes and sizes from potential members, regulatory and funding bodies. Therefore, these changes will help our affiliates to meet expectations. We want to make it easier for potential members to identify safe spaces for them and their families.
The current RYA Affiliation scheme does not visibly provide a level of assurance to demonstrate what it means to be a RYA affiliate. There is also a lack of reassurance for those comparing sailing and boating against the other sport and leisure options available to them.
We are in the process of finalising the details, but from 01 April 2025 affiliates must meet requirements in the following areas:
The expectation to meet these requirements will be defined by the level and type of activity led by the affiliated organisation. These will be made available in November 2023. We want to help you so together we can create a safer environment for our community. To do this we will be providing up to date guidance and templates for you to use.
Our vision is to have a connected, inspired, and inclusive sailing and boating community. As an affiliate you are part of this vision. The information you provide will help us understand our ‘activity’ landscape and inform us how we can better support you going forward.
From 01 April 2024 all affiliates will be required to respond to a short set of questions each year when they renew their affiliation, to help us identify areas that we should prioritise our support. Depending on the level and type of activity some of these questions will relate to a requirement of affiliation.
You will not need to formally meet the new requirements until 01 April 2025. As with any deadline it makes sense to start work sooner rather than later and we will have the resources to support you.
All RYA affiliates will be asked to respond to the affiliation questions when they renew each year. The level of requirement is based on the type and scope of activity delivered.
To make this process easy to use and a benefit to our Affiliates, we have invested in a governance platform called JustGo – RYA Connected portal. This platform is used by over 80 national governing bodies, supporting us in providing a simple, proven, easy to use platform.
Each RYA affiliate will be provided with a unique profile where they can answer questions and find associated information and resources. The portal also offers the ability for you to manage key contacts and store relevant and useful documentation.
You can contact the RYA directly through our affiliation team for details on how to reset your login
The invitation to join the portal will be sent to the main contact that your organisation provides to the RYA. Once you have followed the sign-up process can add additional officers, members or staff to the portal. You will also be able to let us know what role they have in your organisation and if they are happy to share their contact details with us. This will allow us to contact your committee members with information that could help them with their role in your club. For example, your junior lead may be interested in receiving coaching cards from our OnBoard programme. Alternatively, your treasurer may be interested in receiving VAT advice from our VAT expert.
Information will be stored on each club's portal. Other than key RYA staff only those you give permission to will have access to your portal. The RYA will use the information to support those venues who may need to develop their policies. Additionally, this information will be used to reassure the national sports councils that all our affiliates operate in a safe, inclusive environment. In turn, increasing our ability to campaign for the rights of sailors and boaters.
You won’t need to meet any of the new requirements until the 01 April 2025. So, you have plenty of time to prepare and will be supported by us between now and then.
We will require all affiliates to answer these questions every year before the 01 April to renew their affiliation. This helps us to ensure the safety and welfare of our community on the water. In turn, making it easier for potential members to identify safe spaces for them and their families.
RYA recognised training centres will already meet many, if not all, of these requirements. It is important to note that we will require all the activity of an affiliate to meet these standards, not just that of the training centre.
Yes, the Sailability checklist has been incorporated into this process, providing one set of questions and parameters for all RYA affiliates.
The requirements relate to organisations directly affiliated with the RYA, not it’s individual members. In the situation of an association of clubs, such as BUSA, holding RYA affiliation we would only require responses from the parent body.
A safety management system is a proactive approach to managing the safety and risks of activities on the water. We have a series of resources and support available to help develop or review current practices, which are available here and will be covered in more detail at the RYA Connected events.
An Equality Policy is a written agreement outlining how RYA affiliated organisations can avoid discriminating against people. To actively create a safe and inclusive atmosphere for members, customers, or service users.
It’s a great step to acknowledge that you are open to all. Equality policies are a great way of making sure that the community within your organisation feels supported. They also ensure that your organisation is in line with anti-discrimination legislation (such as the Equality Act 2010). Equality policies help to prevent discrimination against everybody in your setting, they also provide a platform for concerns to be raised.
Yes, absolutely! You can find the policy templates within the RYA Community Engagement Guide. You can also RYA Equality Team for support with reviewing and implementing equality policies or call 02380 01 2796 (select option 2 for equality).
We suggest that someone undertaking the welfare role within an affiliate has some knowledge of safeguarding. However, we understand that this may not always be possible. When a new Welfare Officer registers with us they receive a comprehensive information pack. In the pack is a role description, policy templates and useful guidance documents.
The RYA currently offers an online Welfare Officer course that can be booked by emailing the safeguarding team. The course is available online and costs £18.
We offer CPD throughout the year to RYA registered Welfare Officers. More information around safeguarding training opportunities can be found on the safeguarding hub.
Clubs offering regulated activities, family memberships, or activities for children and young people, have an added duty of care.
If you have members who could be defined as an adult at risk or offer activities for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, you have a responsibility for these groups.
An adult at risk is defined as ‘anyone aged 18 or over and is in need of care or support, and who, because of those needs, is unable to always safeguard themselves.’ However, any adult can find themselves at risk or additionally vulnerable at any time. Therefore, we would recommend that you have the policies and procedures in place to support all adults.
Note, that adults at risk in Scotland are defined differently. Full definitions can be found in the RYA’s safeguarding policy.
Anyone aged 16 years or over that is deemed to be in ‘regulated activity.’ Regulated activity is defined as teaching, training or supervising children or adults at risk 4 times or more in any 30-day period or overnight. More information can be found on the safeguarding hub.
The RYA are umbrella bodies for DBS (disclosure and barring service) in England and Wales, PVG (protecting vulnerable groups) in Scotland and AccessNI in Northern Ireland.
You can email the RYA team or call 02380 012796 ext 1 for safeguarding team and ext 2 for Inclusion team.
If you have a safeguarding concern or are looking for specific advice, you can also complete the RYA safeguarding referral form.
We would encourage all clubs and centres to have policy and procedures in place. It is possible that we could all be defined as an adult at risk at different points in our lives. For example, due to illness, bereavement, and mental health issues etc. We may all need extra support or sign posting to a safeguarding policy and procedure. A policy provides the foundation to offer support and guidance should a concern arise.
Yes, even if you don’t have children and young people regularly accessing the club, we still recommend you have a policy and procedure in place. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and the policy will ensure that everyone in the club is equipped with the knowledge and information should they need to use it. A concern may arise with the club from outside of the club activities, which must be acted upon.
Yes, we do. We have created policy templates, procedures, and guidance. The policy statement is designed to incorporate everyone, including adults at risk and children and young people. The procedures consider the nuances between safeguarding children and adults and provide guidance on how to deal with concerns. The policy mirrors the RYA’s own safeguarding policy, and we would encourage clubs to adopt this. The policy is also included in the information pack for welfare officers.
If you have any questions about welfare and safeguarding including Criminal Records Disclosure Checks, creating an inclusive environment, or complaint resolution please email the affiliation team.