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RYA Cruising Instructor Course Syllabus


Teaching and Learning Theory
How students learn
  • Learning styles
  • Stages of learning
Barriers to learning
  • Comfort/Stretch/Panic
Neurolinguistic Programming

Simple coaching models and their uses and limitations

Questioning techniques
Structuring Feedback
Observation skills

Prioritising feedback - safety-learning-fun

Practical Course Syllabus



  • Structuring a lesson
  • Identifying achievable tasks/transferable method
  • Identifying key teaching points
  • Prerequisite knowledge
  • Logical order of delivery
  • Location and time management – planning v. opportunism
  • Use of teaching aids


  • EDICT(S) as a benchmark to discuss, but not restricted to using this model


  • Self-review
RYA Orientation
  • Operating procedures
  • Centre policies
  • Role of RYA Cruising Instructor/Chief Instructor/Principal
  • Dealing with complaints
Debriefing / Feedback Skills
  • Observation skills
  • Feedback
  • Prioritising – safety/learning/fun
  • Action Plans
Catastrophe Clinic
  • Avoiding pitfalls
  • Learning from accidents/incidents

Assessment Criteria

Practical Courses

Knowledge of:

  • Start Sailing, Start Yachting, Competent Crew, Start Motor Cruising, Helmsman, and day Skipper Shorebased and Practical Courses


  • RYA programme of courses
  • Levels of competence required for award of the above certificates
  • Instructional Technique


  • Set up tasks and teaching sessions appropriate to individual students
  • Brief clearly
  • Ensure tasks are undertaken correctly and safely
  • Observe the task and note areas requiring improvement
  • Debrief students and agree an achievable plan for improvement
  • Demonstrate any part of the Start Sailing, Start Yachting, Competent Crew, Basic Skills, Start Motor Cruising, Helmsman, and Day Skipper Practical courses
  • Explain the practical application of any part of the Day Skipper Shorebased Course

Interpersonal Skills

  • How to give and receive feedback
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