Principals and Chief Instructors

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    RGN A3

    A3.1 Introduction

    The Principal and Chief Instructor 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 Practical
      Youth Windsurfing Scheme and Windsurfing Scheme Senior Instructor who is also a Windsurfing Instructor Practical
      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 Practical
      Inland Waterways Inland Waterways Instructor Practical
      Yachtmaster (Sail) Yachtmaster Instructor Sail Practical
      Yachtmaster (Motor) Yachtmaster Instructor Motor Practical

      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 Shorebased
      First Aid First Aid Instructor Shorebased
      Marine Radio SRC Assessor Shorebased
      Offshore Safety Sea Survival Instructor
      Professional Practices and Responsibilities
      Yachtmaster Instructor or Advanced Powerboat Instructor who holds the PPR certificate
      Radar Radar Instructor Shorebased
      Safe and Fun
      Practical Instructor who holds the Safe and Fun certificate and has experience of instructing RYA courses for children

      A3.5 Contact with Principals and Chief Instructors

      In general, the RYA will make contact with the Principal and/or Chief Instructor 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.