Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct is for RYA Instructors, Coach Assessors, Trainers and Examiners and is the code under which all RYA instructor qualification and training appointment holders (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:

  • If working with people under the age of 18 or adults at risk, read and understand the Safeguarding Children and/or Safeguarding Adults policies and guidelines as detailed on the RYA website at
  • 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.
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the RYA with regards specific training or coaching programmes.
  • Not develop inappropriate relationships with students (especially children). Relationships must be based on mutual trust and respect and not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward.
  • Encourage and guide students to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.
  • Ensure that the activities they direct or advocate are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the individual.
  • At the outset, clarify with students (and where appropriate their parents or carers) exactly what is expected of them and what they are entitled to expect.
  • Always promote the positive aspects of the activity (eg courtesy to other water users).
  • Behave appropriately to ensure the safety of instructors and others under your direction.
  • Treat all RYA instructors, appointment holders and other stakeholders with respect.
  • Not do or neglect to do anything which may bring the RYA into disrepute.
  • Hold relevant up to date governing body qualifications as approved by the RYA.
  • Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.
  • Act with integrity in all customer and business to business dealings pertaining to RYA training.
  • Not teach or purport to provide RYA courses or RYA certification outside of 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).
  • Notify RYA Training in the event of any health issues that may affect their ability to carry out their responsibilities.
  • 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.

The RYA will provide updated information relating to your qualification and information regarding Continuing Professional Development opportunities as appropriate via Training Notices, Training Guidance and other communications. Instructors should make reasonable endeavours to keep up to date with this information and ensure their continued compliance with this Code of Conduct.

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Last updated: May 2020