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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 www.rya.org.uk/training 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.

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