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Dinghy, keelboat and multihull instructors

This section is for people wanting to teach the RYA Sailing Scheme. This scheme can be taught in dinghies, small keelboats and multihulls, and the instructor qualifications endorsed accordingly.

For simplicity, we will generally use the term 'dinghy instructor' here, but there is also specific information below about qualifying as a keelboat or multihull instructor.

Assistant Instructor

Required certificates One of the Sailing Scheme advanced modules
Pre-entry assessment Recommendation by Principal of the Recognised Training Centre
Training course Training should be based on a 20 hour course covering basic teaching principles, centre procedures and specific training in any unfamiliar equipment (see RYA book G14). Candidates will be assessed on their teaching ability with beginners.

The training and assessment can be conducted by an appropriately trained Senior Instructor who has been nominated by the Principal or Chief Instructor.

The Principal/Chief Instructor will authorise and sign the certificate.

Qualified to teach Up to Sailing Scheme Level 2 or Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 3 under the supervision of a Senior Instructor. As the AI's training is limited to assisting qualified instructors and does not include first aid or powerboat handling, AIs must never be allowed to work without direct supervision.
Certificate validity This is a centre-specific certificate, awarded by the training centre and valid for five years

To find out more about becoming an Assistant Instructor, please contact your local training centre.


Minimum age 16
Required certificates

First aid certificate

RYA Powerboat Level 2

RYA Safe and Fun certificate and pre-course work

Experience Experienced sailor in strong winds
Pre-entry assessment To be completed within one year prior to the instructor course. Read more...
Training course

Normally a 50 hour/5 day week but could be modular over a number of weekends or days, with extra time allowed for revision. Training in teaching techniques afloat and ashore is provided during the course.

Run by an RYA Coach/Assessor and moderated on the final day by another RYA Coach/Assessor who has not been involved in the candidate's training.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate competence in course preparation, delivery and management, as well as customer liaison.

Course dates

Qualified to teach

Sailing Scheme: Levels 1, 2 and 3, Day Sailing, Seamanship Skills and Sailing with Spinnakers (if suitably experienced and approved by the Principal or Chief Instructor)

Youth Sailing Scheme: Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Instructors are qualified specifically to teach on either dinghies, small keelboats or multihulls, depending on their training course and experience.

Instructors are not assessed as competent in running a training centre, and should always work under the supervision of an RYA Senior instructor.

Validity Five years from the date of issue, provided that a valid first aid certificate is maintained.
RYA membership Required

Keelboat/Multihull endorsement

Candidates who complete their instructor course in dinghies, but who want to teach in small keelboats or multihulls should obtain the relevant endorsement. Endorsement courses are run over two days by Coach/Assessors with the relevant experience, who have been appointed by the RYA.

During the course, candidates must demonstrate their pre-entry test skills and teaching techniques.

Candidates will be assessed on a continuous basis afloat and on successful completion, the course organiser will sign their logbook.

Health declaration

You will be asked to sign a health declaration stating that you are not suffering from any physical or mental impairment which has an adverse effect on your ability to properly discharge your duty of care as an instructor. If you are unable to sign the standard declaration, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire.

Progressing through the coaching scheme

Teaching within the RYA Sailing Scheme is progressive - you can develop your skills and qualifications by taking endorsement courses, working towards Senior Instructor level or, ultimately, becoming a Coach/Assessor.

See the Qualifications section of our Training Support Site for further details.

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