Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Lockdown learning with the RYA

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 3 May 09:00 BST
Emma Fletcher studying at home © RYA

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a stop to on-the-water activity all over the world, many boaters have been using the time to brush up on old skills or learn something new with one of the RYA's online training courses.

The RYA has been working with RYA recognised training centres and instructors to quickly adapt to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, implementing new digital 'ePack' course materials to relieve pressures on the postal services and exploring opportunities for virtual learning.

"There are a number of RYA courses that have options for online and distance learning, all you need is access to the internet," says RYA eLearning Manager, Jane Hall.

"In the past few weeks, we've seen a dramatic increase in people opting to do the already existing online navigation courses, but many people don't realise just how many different courses can be completed in the comfort of your own home."

RYA courses currently available online include:

Public Health worker and lifelong-sailor, Emma Fletcher has been using her time in lockdown to complete the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship course. She commented: "I would really have struggled to fit in the fixed commitment of a classroom course and this online course has been ideal.

"I now know what the various buoys and marks indicate, much more about tides, how to plan trips using the various charts and much to my partners delight - the rules of the road! All of it seems so much simpler now."

In fact, Emma enjoyed the course so much she's already midway through the RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) online course and has enrolled to do the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course online after that.

She concluded: "Even when lockdown is lifted, I plan to continue with the online courses as they are perfect for flexible learning."

There really is a course for everyone, no matter what your age, experience or boating discipline. As well as improving your knowledge, courses like the RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) online course and the CEVNI test are designed to meet regulatory requirements. Whereas, the RYA's Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) and Safe and Fun (safeguarding) courses are aimed at RYA Instructors and those working as professional skippers or crew.

RYA Director of Training and Qualifications, Richard Falk concluded: "We're currently looking at how we might be able to adapt our training courses as the lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted. Clearly we're not out of the woods yet, and don't yet know what the coming weeks and months will look like, but one thing that is certain is eLearning will continue to have a big part to play in the RYA's training schemes as we move forward."

There are a number of RYA courses that have options for online and distance learning. Visit for further information and to find an RYA recognised training centre.

If you have any queries that are directly related to the current pandemic, please take a look at the Coronavirus Hub on the RYA website. Club Commodores and Training Centre Principals are also encouraged to check out the RYA Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for Affiliated Clubs, Classes and Recognised Training Centres for detailed support and guidance.

Related Articles

RYA encourages boaters to share training memories
Share your story for the chance to win a special commemorative glass This year marks the 50th anniversary of the RYA's world-leading training schemes. And to celebrate the exciting milestone, the RYA is encouraging anyone that's ever taken a course, or been impacted by RYA training in any way to share their stories. Posted on 31 May
Honor Preston Volunteer Award nominations open
Celebrating, encouraging and supporting a positive change in the attitude to diversity The RYA is delighted to introduce the brand new Honor Preston Award that will be included as part of the RYA Volunteer Awards that recognise the outstanding contributions of volunteers across the UK. Posted on 30 May
Planning for a return to racing
Club Zone discusses how sailors can satisfy their competitive nature In this episode of Club Zone we are chatting to RYA Racing Services Manager Niall McLeod and RYA Keelboat Development Manager Jack Fenwick about some suggestions on how sailors, clubs & classes can satisfy their competitive nature Posted on 28 May
Finalists chosen from 2,932 competitors
Live RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship final to be held on Saturday morning Since the RYA announced the launch of the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship, thousands of club sailors have been taking their tactics and strategies onto the virtual waters in an attempt to represent their club in the national final. Posted on 27 May
Planning to Safely Reopen Club Buildings
This week's Club Zone Development video This week's Club Zone Development is on the topic of 'Planning to Safely Reopen Club Buildings' and features two guests from Draycote Water Sailing Club discussing how they are implementing a plan at their club. Posted on 21 May
Develop your knowledge with RYA eBooks
Exclusive 30% discount for RYA members The RYA's selection of accessible eBooks have been proving popular with locked down boaters all over the world. And with many of us now preparing for a return to boating, what better way to brush up on your knowledge before getting back out on the water? Posted on 15 May
RYA welcomes Government guidance
Enjoy the benefits of being outside, while protecting yourself and others The RYA has today welcomed Government guidance that sets out the key principles of enjoying the benefits of being outside, while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus. Posted on 13 May
RYA and RNLI pave the way
For safe return to boating Following changes in Government guidance for England, which allow people to travel to the coast and use the water, the RYA is engaging with the RNLI and representatives from the industry to help ensure a safe return to recreational boating activity. Posted on 12 May
RYA issues guidance for English Sailing Clubs
In response to Sunday's Government announcement that unlimited outdoor activity will be permitted In response to Sunday's Government announcement that unlimited outdoor activity will be permitted in England, the RYA has issued guidance for English Affiliated Clubs that are considering a safe plan to restart their boating activity. Posted on 12 May
RYA welcomes the return to boating
Boaters urged to take a considerate and cautious approach as we return to the water The RYA warmly welcomes a return to the water following the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday during which he stated that from this Wednesday, the Government wants to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. Posted on 11 May