RYA recognition



RYA training schemes are split into two categories:

  • Practical courses These are courses delivered on the water. The requirements for recognition are covered in the Practical Centres section.

  • Shorebased courses. These are theory or specialist courses delivered either in a classroom or via distance learning. The requirements for recognition are covered in the Shorebased Centres section.

Within the two categories of practical and shorebased recognition are training schemes and courses for specific disciplines. Recognised Training Centres (RTCs) must hold recognition specifically for the schemes and courses they wish to offer. Each requires a suitably qualified Chief Instructor responsible for the standards of safety and tuition.

Recognition is granted to the entity responsible for the running of the centre. This could be, for example, a company, partnership, local authority, charitable trust, unincorporated association (eg. members’ club) or sole trader. Recognition is linked to the entity’s operating base and its Principal. The Principal is the RYA’s main point of contact for all matters relating to the RTC's operation.

RYA recognition means that all RYA courses must be run by RTCs using suitably qualified staff following the relevant syllabi, using appropriate well-maintained equipment and with suitable safety support, as defined by the RYA in these Recognition Guidance Notes (RGNs), the logbooks and instructor handbooks.

An RTC is expected to comply with the requirements at all times when conducting training in the disciplines for which the centre is recognised, regardless of whether RYA certificated courses are being run at the time.

If an RTC conducts activities outside the remit of its RYA recognition, it must exercise all reasonable care to conduct such activities in accordance with good practice and/or established national guidelines for the activity.

The centre must not do or omit to do anything which could damage the image and reputation of the RYA, RYA training or RYA qualifications or which may otherwise bring the RYA into disrepute.

Neither the legal entity that operates the training centre nor the Principal or Chief Instructor may endorse, promote or offer conflicting or competing third party products or services. This includes but is not limited to training programmes which conflict or compete with any RYA trademarks, products or services, including RYA training schemes, without the prior written approval of the RYA Director of Training and Qualifications. In practice, this normally means that only schemes such as those run in the home country by other governing bodies are acceptable.

All RYA training must be delivered in English unless the centre has been approved by RYA Training and holds specific RYA recognition to deliver courses in another language. Translators are not permitted for any language. Contact RYA Training for further information about delivering in another language.

The RYA does not ‘approve’ centres, it recognises them and, when recognised, licenses them to use the RYA training scheme.

An annual recognition fee is payable to the RYA in January each year except for the calendar year in which recognition is granted. The recognition year runs from 1 April - 31 March.

Some forms of recognition require an inspection prior to approval and subsequent periodic inspections for continued recognition.

Training excludes casual instruction by affiliated club members to friends etc.