Key roles at a training centre



A3.1 Introduction

The Principal, Chief Instructor and Primary Contact must fully understand their responsibilities to comply with these Recognition Guidance Notes (RGNs).

Before applying for RYA recognition a Principal and Chief Instructor must be in place. The same person may fulfil both roles.

A3.2 Principal's undertaking

The Principal of a Recognised Training Centre (RTC) must be aged 18 or over and have sufficient authority within the organisation to manage the activities.

The Principal does not need to be a qualified instructor, but in such situations a Chief Instructor must be appointed for each discipline. One Chief Instructor can cover multiple disciplines if appropriately qualified.

By submitting a signed Application for Recognition, the Principal undertakes to maintain standards of RYA recognition. In particular the following should be noted that the Principal:

  • is required to give a personal undertaking to ensure compliance by the RTC with the RGNs and the relevant vessel checklists, training scheme logbooks and handbooks.

  • holds overall responsibility for compliance with these RGNs.

  • along with the organisation they represent, must be fully aware of their responsibilities under any statutory or common law duty of care owed to trainees.

  • has sought professional advice to assure themselves that they hold adequate insurance cover and comply with the RYA’s public liability insurance requirements.

  • is expected to ensure all activities at the centre are conducted within the spirit of recognition and the Code of Conduct, using suitably qualified or experienced staff.

  • confirms continued compliance by signing the annual inspection report.

A3.3 The Chief Instructor

Chief Instructor of an RTC should be aged 18 or over and have sufficient authority within the centre to manage the disciplines for which they are appointed.

The Chief Instructor undertakes to maintain standards of RYA recognition. In particular the Chief Instructor:

  • has day-to-day responsibility for the standards of training, equipment maintenance and wellbeing of the students and instructors.

  • has responsibility for staff training, selection, mentoring and compliance with the Code of Conduct.

  • must ensure that instructors are suitably experienced and competent for the particular role they are being asked to fulfil.

  • must be readily available to deal with issues relating to course delivery, particularly issues arising from instructors and students.

  • must be sufficiently engaged with the day-to-day operation of the centre to enable adequate oversight of all processes relating to course booking and delivery.

  • can only hold this position at one RTC

It is expected that Chief Instructors will reside in reasonable proximity of the centre.

    A3.4 Qualifications required

    The Chief Instructor must be qualified as shown below.

    Some courses have specific requirements for instructor endorsements beyond what is required of the Chief Instructor. Details are shown under the relevant courses in the Practical Centres and Shorebased Centres sections.

    Training scheme/discipline

    RYA minimum qualification to be held by the Chief Instructor

    Recognition required

    Youth Sailing Scheme and Sailing Scheme

    Senior Instructor who is also a Dinghy, Keelboat or Multihull Instructor depending on the discipline being offered


    Youth Windsurfing Scheme and Windsurfing Scheme

    Senior Instructor who is also a Windsurfing Instructor


    Wingsurfing Scheme

    Supervised by an appropriately qualified Senior Instructor (Dinghy or Windsurfing) who also holds a Wingsurfing Instructor certificate.

    For Wingfoiling courses a Wingfoiling Instructor is required.


    Powerboat Scheme

    Powerboat Instructor (if offering only Level 1, Level 2 or Safety Boat courses)

    Advanced Powerboat Instructor (if offering Intermediate, Advanced or Tender Operator courses)


    Personal Watercraft

    Personal Watercraft Instructor


    Inland Waterways

    Inland Waterways Instructor


    Yachtmaster (Sail)

    Yachtmaster Instructor Sail


    Yachtmaster (Motor)

    Yachtmaster Instructor Motor



    Shorebased Instructor, Yachtmaster Instructor or Powerboat Trainer (if offering only Essential Navigation and Seamanship courses)

    Shorebased Instructor or Yachtmaster Instructor (if offering Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore courses)

    Shorebased Instructor or Yachtmaster Instructor who also holds the RYA Ocean Certificate of Competence (if offering Yachtmaster Ocean courses)


    Basic Sea Survival

    Sea Survival Instructor



    Shorebased or Practical Instructor who is familiar with the CEVNI rules


    Diesel Engine

    Diesel Engine Instructor


    First Aid

    First Aid Instructor


    Marine Radio

    SRC Assessor


    Offshore Safety

    Sea Survival Instructor


    Professional Practices and Responsibilities

    Yachtmaster Instructor or Advanced Powerboat Instructor who holds the PPR certificate



    Radar Instructor


    Safe and Fun

    Practical Instructor who holds the Safe and Fun certificate and has experience of instructing RYA courses for children


    A3.5 Primary Contact

    A Principal may nominate a Primary Contact for business communication with the RYA. The Primary Contact must have sufficient understanding of the RYA and recognition to ensure communication is dealt with appropriately. The Principal remains accountable for the overall compliance with the conditions of recognition and therefore must remain informed and be fully aware of the recognition requirements and processes.

    A3.6 Certificate Administrator

    A Principal may nominate a Certificate Administrator for the purposes of registering any certificates that are required to be registered online via the RYA website.

    A3.7 Contact with the centre

    In general, the RYA will make contact with the Principal, Chief Instructor and/or Primary Contact using the contact details provided on the Application for Recognition Form (AR1).

    In exceptional circumstances, such as in relation to a serious incident, the RYA may use any other details available, including personal addresses, email addresses or phone numbers in order to make contact.

    A3.8 Access to training centre-related information

    The Principal, Chief Instructor, Primary Contact and Certificate Administrator have access to all pages and documents on the Training Support Site which are restricted to training centres.

    The Principal, Primary Contact and Certificate Administrator have access to the Certificate Registration Hub.


    Related pages

    Code of Conduct
    Who teaches what
    Withdrawal or suspension of recognition