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Becoming an RYA Instructor: the nitty gritty.

Dec 21, 2017

Author: Fin

Fintan Hartnett is the Principal and Chief Instructor at Topmast Maritime Training and an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor as well as Sail Canada and ASA instructor.

Topmast gets a few enquiries from Sail Canada and ASA instructors who want to become RYA instructors. Because of the difference between the schemes there is no easy cross-over.  Find out how below.

This is the process:
1. Become an RYA Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement.
a. Take the Yachtmaster theory course.
b. Obtain an appropriate First-Aid certificate.
c. Have 50 days of sea time, 2,500 nautical miles of experience, including at least 5 passages over 60 miles, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be conducted in tidal waters. All within ten years of the exam date.
d. Take the exam. This is a practical examination conducted through a recognised RYA Training Centre (like Topmast) by a third-party examiner appointed by the RYA (there are 2 in Canada).
e. Pass a medical.
f. Take and pass the online Professional Practices and Responsibilities course.
g. Become a member of the RYA.

2. Develop extensive skills in excess of those covered in the RYA syllabus – this is unquantifiable and a matter of establishing a level of ‘credibility’ with the students which leaves them in no doubt as to the instructor’s depth of knowledge and passion.

3. Apply to take the RYA Cruising Instructor course.

4. Candidates are required to pass an online pre-course module prior to being eligible to attend the course.

5. Pass the RYA Cruising Instructor course.
a. 5 days in duration.
b. A Moderator joins the Trainer on the final day of the course to provide a secondary impartial assessment of the candidates.

RYA Cruising Instructors can teach up to the level of Day Skipper.

For those wishing to advance further to become Yachtmaster Instructors they will need at least two years part-time or one season full-time as an RYA Cruising Instructor and be an experienced skipper with a minimum of 7000nm logged sea time. They will also have to pass a 5- day moderated course.

While the process may appear arduous (ok, it is!) it ensures that the RYA instructor standards remain high.

If you’re qualified and interested then feel free to contact us at Topmast for more help.

COVID19 and Sail Training (Updated: Jan 2022)

Topmast is committed to conducting courses in a safe and responsible manner to ensure the health and safety of our students and Instructors.

RYA Training Centre