Code of Conduct


The RYA values and respects the very talented people that make up our training network, and views them as important ambassadors of the RYA’s brand and values.

This document outlines the code of conduct to which all holders of RYA instructor qualifications and RYA training appointments (hereafter referred to as instructors) are required to comply.

The code of conduct is intended to make clear to all participants, instructors and RYA appointment holders, the high standards to which all are expected to conform.

Instructors must:

  • Behave in a manner that is consistent with the values of the RYA, particularly with regards equality, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat everyone equally within the context of their boating activity.
  • Place the wellbeing and safety of the student above the development of performance or delivery of training.
  • Encourage and guide students to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.
  • Only develop relationships with students that are appropriate and legal, (especially those under 18) whether face to face or in a digital context. Relationships must be consensual, based on mutual trust and respect and must not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  • Ensure the activities they direct or advocate are student focused, and appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual. Always clarify with students (and where appropriate their parents or carers) exactly what is expected of them and what they are entitled to expect.
  • Behave appropriately to ensure the safety of instructors, students and others under your direction.
  • Treat all RYA instructors, appointment holders, staff and other stakeholders with respect.
  • Act with integrity in all customer and business to business dealings pertaining to RYA training.
  • Read, understand, and comply with the Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Adults policies and guidelines as detailed on the RYA website at
  • Comply with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which they are operating.
  • Follow all RYA guidance and standards with regards specific training or coaching programmes.
  • Not do or neglect to do anything which may bring the RYA into disrepute, including through the use of social media.
  • Hold relevant, up to date governing body qualifications as approved by the RYA.
  • Only teach or provide RYA courses or RYA certification within the framework of an RYA recognised training centre.
  • Notify the RYA immediately of any court-imposed sanction that precludes the instructor from contact with specific user groups (for example children or adults at risk) and be aware that certain sanctions may result in the automatic withdrawal of your qualification.
  • Notify RYA Training in the event of any health issues that may affect their ability to carry out their responsibilities, including the use of medication which may impact their role.
  • Not carry out RYA training, examining or coaching activities whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Failure to adhere to the RYA Instructor Code of Conduct may result in the suspension or withdrawal of RYA qualifications or appointments.

Related documents


Last updated: February 2023