COVID-19: Temporary adjustments to the RYA Conditions of Recognition

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    This page was last updated on 17 July 2020.

    Please note the adjustments set out below are temporary measures to enable RYA Recognised Training Centres (RTCs) to resume activity with the minimum restriction. Please refer back regularly for any changes. 

    RYA Instructor courses

    Most RYA-organised instructor courses have been postponed until further notice. There are also a number of temporary adjustments centres should be aware of when looking to organise instructor courses. Please read the ‘Organising instructor courses’ page on the Training Support Site for guidance.

    RYA Instructor revalidations

    We have implemented a range of temporary extensions and adjustments to help RYA Instructors retain their credentials at this time. Please consult the 'How to revalidate' page on the Training Support Site for further details. 

    Commercial endorsements and medical fitness certificates

    The MCA has agreed to extend:

    • ENG1 and ML5 medical fitness certificates up to a maximum of 6 months
    • RYA certificates with commercial endorsements which expire after 01 March 2020 extend up to 30 September 2020

    Details of the specific extension that may apply to your certificate can be found in this Letter of Extension.

    RYA First Aid certificates

    RYA First Aid certificates which expire after 01 March 2020 are deemed to be valid until 30 September 2020 as detailed in the Letter of Extension above. RYA First Aid certificates may be extended by one year from their expiry date following a short update delivered by an RYA recognised First Aid training centre. This update may be delivered by video conference.

    The First Aid training centre will issue a statement to the candidate confirming the update and the extension of one year from the stated expiry date. This statement must be dated and include:

    • Name of First Aid centre 
    • Principal’s name
    • First Aid instructor’s name
    • Candidate's name

    For a list of centres that are able to offer the First Aid update, please click here.

    RYA Instructors requiring an in-date First Aid certificate

    Where an RYA Instructor certificate requires an in-date First Aid certificate in order to remain valid, the RYA will accept a one-year extension on any suitable First Aid certificate, provided a short update is delivered by an RYA First Aid Centre, or the original issuing centre. This update may be delivered via video conferencing. Instructors should make every effort to fully update their First Aid qualification at the earliest opportunity to maintain a sufficient level of duty of care to students and to alleviate pressure on those who are being relied upon as full first aiders.

    First Aid cover at RYA Recognised Training Centres

    Where RTCs are relying upon extensions to First Aid certificates for their instructors they must have, as a minimum, one in-date first aider on site during training. This first aider must have completed the full syllabus of their First Aid award, and it should not rely upon an extension.

    Where suitable first aiders are available from neighbouring centres or businesses it may be possible to share a first aider for this purpose. Centres should conduct a risk assessment to determine whether additional fully qualified first aiders are required. This risk assessment should consider whether reducing the size of the sailing area, and possibly the number of students afloat may be necessary if full First Aid cover is limited.

    RYA centre inspections

    Inspections in some locations have now recommenced and we will continue with the annual inspection programme in other locations when it is safe and Government restrictions allow us to do so. To find out more about restarting inspections, the system of prioritisation currently in place, as well as considerations and resources for both inspectors and centres, please watch our recent webinar 'Restarting RYA Inspections'

    Where international travel is required, the RYA will be led by Government guidance regarding the ability to enter the country and any requirement to quarantine on arrival or return. At the moment, most inspections outside the UK are not possible, however we have implemented a temporary virtual inspection system to assist centres and inspectors. Information and specific guidance for RYA Inspectors can be found on the Training Support Site 'Inspectors Hub'.  

    Rest assured that lack of inspection due to COVID-19 will not result in any negative impact on your RYA training centre’s recognition status. Should you have any queries, please contact

    Residential courses

    Centres that are able to safely deliver sail and motor cruising courses may day-sail from their home port and these courses no longer have to be residential until further notice. For more information about running Sail and Motor Cruising courses during the coronavirus pandemic click here.

    Personal Watercraft Proficiency course

    We have temporarily relaxed the requirement for the instructor to share a personal watercraft (PW) with a student during the first session. For more information about running PW courses during the coronavirus pandemic click here

    Digital course materials

    Due to the unprecedented circumstances presented by COVID-19, there may be delays in orders being fulfilled and printed course packs being delivered. As a result, we have implemented a temporary ePack process to give centres that are still able to deliver remote shorebased courses access to the key training materials needed to support their students.

    When placing an order through the RYA Online Trade Shop (, please confirm whether you also require digital access in the Comments section. You will then receive an eBook voucher redemption code by email for every pack ordered, along with full redemption instructions. Each code provides access to the eBook versions of the particular course pack material, excluding course completion certificates or assessment papers, through the RYA Books app.

    Additional RYA guidance