Changes Afoot to CYA Instructor/Coaching Model

CYA is reporting that it is in the midst of making changes to the model for certifying  instructors and coaches – a model that has been with us for many years.  The new model will have two “steams”: a Learn to Sail recreational stream and a Racing competitive stream.  The base course for everybody entering the instructor/coaching development programs will be a Fundamental Course, which encompasses the old NCCP Level 1 Theory and much of the old Level 2 Theory, but within a sailing-specific context. Completion of this course will be required for all instructors/coaches prior to entering into either either stream.

As is the case whenever changes are introduced, there is some confusion as to what these changes mean and how coaches will fit into the new system.  The most current version of the CYA Coach Development Model posted on the CYA website contains an outline of the different proposed coaching “streams”.  It is difficult to follow, but this is what I have gleaned.

In the Learn to Sail Coach stream, the old Green and Blue Levels will be replaced with the LTS White Sail Coach and LTS Bronze Sail Coach designations.  In addition to being designated as a LTS White Sail or Bronze Sail Coach, coaches will be offered specialized ‘Modules’ that can be added to their LTS designation.  For example, LTS White Sail Coaches will be able to take a “Wet Feet” module (introduction to boating and water safety for sailors aged 4 to 7) or an “Opti” module (introduction to basic sailing techniques in Optimists or Mosquitos for sailors aged 7 to 12).  All LTS Coaches will be able to take a “Spinnaker & Trapeze” module (instruction of double handed sailing skills using spinnaker & trapeze for sailors moving from a single handed boat to a double handed boat), a “Fibreglass and Boat Repair” module (dear to our heart at SLSC) or an “Able Sail ” module for coaching those with special needs.  LTS Bronze Sail Coaches looking to be employed in a head instructor or management role will be able to add a “Program Manager” module.  These seem to be like doctors, who are all trained as doctors but they make take specific training to become specialists.

In the Racing competitive steam coaches will be certified as a Learn to Race Coach, a Competitive Race Coach and a High Performance Race Coach. 

A significant difference between this new proposed model and the old model is that there will no longer be the requirement for a linear progression that coaches are familiar with (Green then Blue then…).  There will be no requirement for coaches to be certified in the Learn to Sail stream prior to entering the competitive stream.  A qualified racer with his or her Silver Sail will be able to enter directly into the competitive steam as a “Learn to Race Coach” at age 16 without first becoming certified in the Learn to Sail stream and, if that racer were to complete the course successfully, he or she would be capable of certifying Silver Sail.  More experienced coaches and more highly competitive sailors may seek to be qualified as Competitive Race Coaches, without ever having been certified at any other level beforehand.  Coaches will also not be restricted to one stream. Under the new system, someone will be able to become certified and employed as both a LTS Coach and a LTR Coach.

Those currently certified will not lose their certification.  Current Green instructors will be automatically designated LTS White Sail coaches and current Blues will become Bronze Sail coaches.

What progress has CYA made so far? 

Learn to Race Coach – CYA’s Learn to Race Coach program received “final approval” from the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) in 2006. This program is now being offered across Canada.  Learn to Race Coaches will be qualified to introduce racing skills at the Silver Sail level and would serve as coaches at local competitions.

Learn to Sail Coach – CYA’s new LTS Coach program, which includes the White Sail Coach & Bronze Sail Coach, recently received “conditional approval” from CAC. This program is being implemented in most provinces in 2008/2009.

Competitive Race Coach – development of this program, which will replace the current Orange, is set to begin development in 2008/2009.  It is anticipated that this program will be ready for implementation in 2010.  These are coaches who will be qualified to refine racing skills at the Silver Level and introduce racing skills at the Gold Level, as well as coach at provincial and national competitions.

High Performance Race Coach – this program will be the last program to be implemented. Development will begin once the Competitive Race Coach program is implemented.  This is the designation for national and international competition coaches.

Professional Development Modules – a number of professional development modules for coaches have already been developed, and more are planned. The Program Manager Module, which is designed to assist individuals to become competent administrators of a sailing school program, is now being offered across Canada. The Wet Feet & Opti modules, which were developed by BC Sailing, are being implemented across Canada in 2008.

For a more detailed, but slightly more confusing description of what CYA is proposing, see the CYA website at the followig link:

This is something for our Instructors and senior sailors considering entering the coaching ranks will need to think about for 2009 and beyond – although most will I expect enter the coaching development programme at the LTS White Sail Coach level, there will be choices to make as to specialized modules and an option for those who would like to cocentrate on competive coaching immediately.  The programme and hiring committees of the Club will be looking at these proposed changes in more detail and I will post more on this as more information becomes available.


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