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The results are in: RYA Membership survey 2017

by Emma Slater, RYA 9 Feb 14:10 GMT
2017 RYA Membership Survey © RYA

From October to December 2017 the RYA undertook its biennial Membership survey engaging with members, non-members and ex-members to get a better understanding as to what members and people in the boating community know, and feel about RYA Membership.

The survey covered a whole host of topics focused around membership and the membership experience. It looked at the reasons why people do or do not join, how people perceive the benefits of RYA membership and where possible improvements can be made to the membership offer. It also allowed for insight in to what people see as the role of the RYA and the type of work they are involved in, from specific events and activities to political engagement and boating issues.

"Firstly our thanks to the 1,336 respondents who participated in the survey from the UK, EU and further afield. Whilst the findings have been extremely useful in guiding where we can improve our service to members, with the majority of responses coming from existing members or credential holders and very few under 18s, the sample doesn't allow us to draw many conclusions on how better to attract new, and especially younger, members," commented Gemma Garrett, Membership Engagement Officer.

"Any feedback we receive, either via the survey, at boat shows or direct to the team, is essential in helping us shape the work of the Membership Development team to create a valued Membership Package that is attractive and relevant to existing members and potential new members," continued Gemma.

Top line results:

  • Over 90% of Members were satisfied with the membership benefits they have used including the RYA Magazine, InBrief e-newsletter, advice services, third party benefits, RYA Shop, Certification and website.

  • When asked about their interaction with the RYA approximately three quarters of respondents stated they were 'very satisfied' about the service they received from the RYA Certification team, followed by advice services and the RYA Shop.

  • When asked 'What would you like to see added to the membership services provided?' discounts on RYA courses was seen as most valuable. This is great news following the recent introduction of a RYA Training Centre discount section on the website which highlights Training Centres that offer discounts to RYA members. rya.org.uk/go/trainingcentrediscount.

  • Three quarters of respondents ranked the work of the RYA to promote and protect British boating and rights of access as very important. Over 85% of respondents were aware of the government and current affairs issues affecting boaters, with campaigns such as Kill Cord, Red Diesel and Poorly Marked Fishing Gear most associated with the RYA.

  • When asked 'What is your main reason for being a member of the RYA' almost a third of respondents wanted to support the work of the RYA in protecting and promoting British boating, while just over a quarter wanted to receive globally recognised certification, personal and professional qualifications.
"It was also great to receive so many great ideas and thoughts as to how respondents think the RYA could do better to service and support our members," Gemma added.

Suggestions ranged from training and representing members' interests, to how the RYA presents the work it does for the boating community. "A better understanding of the RYA's complex and wide ranging services would be the first step to better service and support for its members...The RYA protects the freedoms that allow us to go to sea in the first place and help us use it safely", commented one respondent.

Everyone who took part in the survey was also entered in to a free prize draw to win a Navionics + 28XG chart.

Christopher Cole from Saffron Walden was the first name out of the hat and chose a Navionics + 28XG chart covering UK, Ireland and Holland worth £229 with a year of daily chart updates. Christopher commented: "The RYA perform a crucial role to everyone involved with cruising sailing and water sports and membership is a must, and it is great to win one of the best navigational tools available".

Having a strong Membership base enables the RYA to be the voice of boating and truly represent boaters' interests. "The more members we have, the louder our voice to act on members behalf to protect their boating freedoms, with minimum restrictions," concluded Gemma.

Whether you're a member or non-member the RYA welcomes your ideas and suggestions on how we can make changes and improvements to our membership offer. If you would like to get in touch and share your ideas please email the RYA's Membership Engagement Officer gemma.garrett@rya.org.uk

Why join...

  • Choose from one of four membership categories offering different types of membership tailored to best suit the boating you do.
  • Combine your voice with over 110,000 RYA Members, giving you peace of mind that we are working on your behalf to keep the boating you do free from unnecessary regulation.
  • Access to free boating-related specialist legal, regulatory and technical advice and support from our experts.
  • Over 70 rewards partners working with us to cut the cost of your boating with exclusive offers and discounts.
  • Feel part of a community sharing the same passion and making a positive difference to the boating you do.
Membership starts from just 12p a day. Find out more at rya.org.uk/go/join

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