The RYA is the national body for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and narrowboats, and personal watercraft.
RYA training is forward thinking and designed for whatever level of skill, professionalism and knowledge you want to achieve. RYA delivers over 100 courses to professional and recreational boaters, which are right up to date with safety issues, regulations, and emerging trends.
There are over 2,200 RYA recognized training centers in more than 44 countries; 22,000 RYA instructors across the world; 15,000 professionals working on commercial vessels using RYA Certificates of Competence; 155,000 people completing RYA courses every year; Over 300,000 expert RYA publications are added each year to the personal libraries of recreational and professional boaters; and Over 100 professional and recreational courses on the water, in the classroom and online.
RYA works closely with Governments and official organizations and is given the responsibility for issuing certificates of competence by the British Government through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an agency of the Department of Transport.
RYA qualifications open doors for everyone from sailing and motor cruising instructors to superyacht captains and military personnel. These training courses are completed by professionals across the world.
Crewing - Yachts up to 24m in length: In most cases no formal qualifications are required. However, many skippers will prefer to take crews who have undergone training to at least Day Skipper level.
Crewing – Superyachts: You may need an MCA Yacht Rating Certificate as a certain number of crew on board are required to be qualified. For this you should hold the RYA's Day Skipper or Watch Leader and Competent Crew certificates. You will also need additional STCW training in sea survival, fire fighting and prevention, first-aid, personal safety and social responsibilities.
Skippering yachts (over 24m and up to 200GT): Any skipper of a British flagged private or commercial yacht of this size, operating in UK and many non-UK ports, must hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Ocean Certificate of Competence with a commercial endorsement. Additionally, to enable your qualifications to be valid worldwide and on non-British yachts, you can take three short MCA courses on fire fighting, first aid and social responsibilities to obtain an STCW endorsement on your RYA certificate of competence.
Skippering superyachts (200gt to 3,000gt): There are a range of MCA qualifications up to MCA Master of Yachts 3000gt. Full details of Master of Yachts training can be found in the Guidance and Regulations section of the MCAs website.
Delivery skippers and crew: You should hold at least an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence with a commercial endorsement. However, more jobs will be open to you if you hold an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence. The main requirement for crew is enthusiasm, but it often helps to have a trade such as electrician, boat builder or engineer. The RYA's sail and motor cruising courses are also useful for crew members to give them a background in seamanship and enable them to work towards qualifications to further their career.
Flotilla yachts – Skippers: The usual requirement for skippers on flotilla holidays is a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. Tuition is often offered on flotilla holidays, so skippers may also need to hold the RYA Keelboat Instructor or RYA Yachtmaster Instructor qualification.
Flotilla yachts - Bareboat Skippers: The usual minimum requirement for bareboat skippers is a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence.
Flotilla yachts – Mates: Mates should hold a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence, RYA Yachtmaster Instructor or RYA Keelboat Instructor qualification.
Flotilla yachts – Engineer: The role of the engineer is to familiarize clients with their boats and solve any immediate mechanical problems during the cruise, so you will need a knowledge of marine diesel engines.
Sail training vessels: Paid posts exist for holders of Coastal Skipper and above. Coastal Skippers usually sail as a mate, with skippers being required to hold a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence or above. On larger vessels, 20m to 24m, mates may be required to hold a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. Vessels over 24m usually require STCW 95 OOW (Yachts), Chief Mate (Yachts) or Master (Yachts), depending on the position in which you sail onboard.
Watersports management: These include working in commercial training centers, local authority centers, charitable trusts, voluntary groups, holiday companies or sailing clubs with full time staff. All these groups will have slightly different requirements for their management staff, ranging from RYA coaching and instructing qualifications (eg. Senior Instructor, Yachtmaster Instructor or Powerboat Instructor) to a degree, youth work or teaching qualification. Others may also require specific job related experience.
Workboats and other commercial craft: RYA certificates are a nationally accepted standard and are used by charter angling boats, small passenger launches, thrill ride operators, harbor patrol launches, construction site safety boats and corporate charter vessels. In many areas they are accepted as equivalent to local boatmans licenses. Generally, there is an RYA qualification suitable for most workboats of up to 24 meters in length and carrying up to 12 passengers.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is a UK government body which is responsible for implementing UK and International maritime law and safety policy. The MCA has three distinct elements - provision of search and rescue and prevention activity through the Coastguard, port and flag state control of shipping through a network of Marine Offices and the development of international standards and policy for shipping through the International Maritime Organization.