Dinghy, keelboat and multihull instructors

Information about teaching the RYA Youth and National Sailing scheme courses and instructor qualifications

Temporary adjustments to the provision of RYA instructor training due to COVID-19 restrictions

If local restrictions allow, all RYA National Sailing Scheme Instructor Training can return to usual delivery including all endorsements and Senior Instructor training. This also includes: 

  • Delivery of Part 2 of the temporary adapted Dinghy Instructor course for those that require it (holders of the DI Part 1 certificate only)
  • Restart delivery of the full 5 day RYA Dinghy Instructor course

To aid the transition, the Temporary Adjustment to the Dinghy Instructor Training course, Part 1 and Part 2, can continue to be delivered throughout 2021. 

Please note: we expect the courses above will be able to take place in England once restrictions are lifted on Monday 19 July. 

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
Required certificates
First aid certificate
RYA Powerboat Level 2
RYA Safe and Fun certificate and pre-course work
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.

2021 Course dates TBC
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.
Five years from the date of issue, provided that a valid first aid certificate is maintained.
RYA membership

Keelboat/Multihull endorsement

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

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

Candidates will be assessed on acontinuous basis afloat and on successful completion, the course organiserwill sign their logbook.

Foiling Instructor

Minimum age 16
Required certificates

RYA Dinghy Instructor

RYA Sustained Flights Certificate

First aid certificate

RYA Powerboat Level 2

RYA Safe and Fun certificate and pre-course work

Health declaration form or medical questionnaire

Experience RYA Sustained Flights
Pre-entry assessment RYA Dinghy Instructor with personal foiling experience to a RYA Sustained lights level
Training course

Four day course. You will be assessed continuously throughout the course.

2021 Course dates TBC

Qualified to teach

RYA First Flights or higher (Personal foiling level dependent)

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


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.