Qualifying Awards


Royal Yachting Association Coaching Scheme

Assistant Instructor
This is an employment specific award which allows trainees to assist under supervision.

Level 1 Instructor
This qualification allows the instructor to teach beginners in the UK and abroad.

Intermediate instructor
At this level instructors are assessed on two levels: non-planning and planning (equivalent to the old level 2-3 instructor).These qualifications allow you to teach in the UK and abroad

Advanced Instructor
This qualification allows the holder to teach all levels of the Youth scheme. Training at this level is also more skill specific, including for example carving skills or ‘Bump and Jump’
Level 4 and 5 Instructors under the old scheme may transfer their qualification to Advanced Instructor by attending a conversion course.

Senior Instructor
This is an appointment for experienced windsurfing instructors. This is the appropriate qualification for the manager or a team of instructors in the context of a windsurfing school.

For full details of these awards refer to the RYA website

Guidance For Leaders


Careful planning and preparation contribute greatly to the safe and enjoyable outcome of any activity.

Specifically the following should be considered:

  • Prior Knowledge of the location to be used should be first hand where possible
  • Venues should be appropriate to the student’s level of skill and the aims of the session.
  • Flexibility should be built into planned programmes to allow for last minute modification or curtailment, to take account of changing conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
  • Know the group, in particular, their experience and physical capabilities, including any relevant medical problems.
  • Weather forecasts should be obtained and there should be a continuing awareness of changing conditions. .
  • Notify relevant bodies as to your plans e.g. Coastguard, Harbourmaster, colleagues at base.
  • Tidal Conditions - Seek local knowledge and exercise caution in tidal areas, particularly in relation to sea state and tidal flow. Where possible teaching should be done round the slack water periods.
  • Safety Boat - A powered safety boat must be in attendance for all sessions involving dinghies and windsurfers except when cruising in larger dinghies. The safety boat driver must hold as a minimum the RYA National Powerboat Certificate Level 2. In addition there should normally be a second competent adult aboard.
  • Other Constraints - Be aware of any other operational constraints such as available time, daylight hours, wind strength and direction, overhead power cables etc.

Operational Procedures

  • Students should normally be able to swim 50 metres. In the case of non-swimmers, the instructor should satisfy him/herself that the student has a reasonable level of water confidence whilst wearing a buoyancy aid.
  • A common cause of accidents is failure to exercise adequate control and it is implicit when assuming the role of person in charge that the responsibilities of the position are recognised and accepted.
  • The sailing area must be carefully defined and the fleet communication system must be clear to all relevant persons. This will normally require a pre-session briefing for all staff, helpers and rescue personnel.
  • All students should be comprehensively briefed regarding expected conditions, operational limits, emergency procedures and any other particular hazards.
  • Careful consideration should be given to the dangers associated with polluted or contaminated water. In particular instructors should be aware of the dangers of blue green algae and be aware of the causes and early symptoms of Weil’s disease and Lyme’s Disease. Students should be encouraged to washing hands in fresh water before handling food or consideration should be given to carrying antiseptic gels or hand wipes


Group Size and Supervision

The following ratios are a maximum and should not be exceeded. In some instances it may be necessary to reduce this ratio further:

1 Instructor: max 6 participants.

Refer to for further information



  • If a simulator is being used it needs to be of an appropriate type and be in good order.
  • If tethers are used afloat they should incorporate a length of shock cord.
  • The instructor should carry, or have access to, first aid kit, tow-line, spare line, knife, and whistle.
  • There must be the facility to evacuate casualties to shelter and further care if required, via the emergency services

Clothing and Personal Equipment

Windsurfing is a total immersion water sport and in the Grampian area cold conditions can be expected at any time of the year. Students need to be provided with correctly fitting wet suit, steamer, or dry suit. A CEN approved buoyancy aid of a recognised type and appropriate for the weight of the student must be worn by children and beginners. As students progress they should adhere to the normal code of practice Consideration should be given to the use of orange day-glo flags. It is recommended that helmets be worn by complete beginners and in serious conditions.

Recommended Reading

Intermediate Instructor notes
W33 Coaching Instructor Handbook
W4 Instructor Logbook
G51 Intermediate Windsurfing handbook
G47 National Scheme Syllabus Log book
W1 Youth Windsurfing Logbook
G49 Start Windsurfing Handbook
DVD 23 Faster

Help us improve