KWSC Standard Operating Procedures


  1. Overview
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Staffing
  4. Management of Course Attendees
  5. Start of Season Checks
  6. Daily Course Management
  7. Safety
  8. Operating Areas
  9. Courses/Training
  10. Boat and Equipment
  11. Summary


The KWSC Standard Operating Procedures were last updated on 29th April 2012.

These procedures apply to all formal training at KWSC in all disciplines (Dinghy, PowerBoat, Windsurfing) and also to coaching by Race Coaches in all disciplines. Whilst any informal (un-certificated) training falls outside of these procedures, any coaches or instructors undertaking informal training or coaching are strongly encouraged to run such training or coaching to the same rigor as if it were formal training. Formal activity also includes such activities as squad training and Summer Camps.

KWSC is a family centric, friendly, volunteer led club. The club's aims, among others, are to encourage growth through training, encourage use of club equipment in a responsible manner and to take care of such equipment to a high standard and in which the Instruction team shall lead by example.

Training and coaching is delivered exclusively to members and is not open to the general public. Training operates from the club house at Tower Knowe, Northumberland and utilises the lake known as Kielder Water.

Trial sails are available by arrangement for the general public and non-members, with an objective of member recruitment.

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Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Principal, Chief Instructors and qualified Instructors of all disciplines are set out in the RYA page "Key Roles at Training Centres" and are not repeated here. Any additional responsibilities to these roles are set out in these procedures.

The club is a members' club run by the KWSC Committee on which the Principal sits as a committee member. Management and organisation of all training is delegated to the Principal who reports to the KWSC Committee.

Others with whom the training team may liaise or be involved include the bosun(s) and Assistant Instructors (Windsurfing and Dinghy).

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Although KWSC is a volunteer led club any persons involved in training or coaching delivery, including visiting Coaches or Instructors, will be regarded as staff in the context of these procedures.

Visiting Instructors or Coaches MUST be authorised in advanced by the Principal.

All courses will follow RYA guidance on staffing levels and ratios. NO course will run without appropriately qualified and trained staff as per RYA guidelines or with ratios outside of RYA guidance. Indeed, ratios at KWSC will often be better than those recommended by the RYA. Staffing may be supplemented by Assistant Instructors (who will not count towards teaching ratios), RIB drivers and helpers.

Clarity for ratios on Racing Courses, Club Squads and Coaching: For all Start Racing Courses, whether ran by RYA Instructors or Level 2 Race Coaches, a ratio of 6:1 (single handers) or equivalent recommended double handed ratios or mix thereof as per RYA Publication, G14 - National Sailing Scheme Instructor Handbook, will apply. For Intermediate Racing or Advanced Racing, or for Club Squads larger ratios may be permitted as the sailors at these levels are usually more experienced, capable and able to self rescue. A risk assessment by the Instructor/Coach on the day will determine how many sailors/boats may participate and will especially consider factors such as weather conditions, student's abilities (including the weakest students) and number of manned rescue craft available.

RYA Sailing and Windsurfing instruction will only take place in the presence of a discipline specific Senior Instructor (or greater), irrespective of the RYA permitted exceptional circumstances.

All staff will be responsible for keeping the Principal informed of: any changes/gains in qualifications; expiry of qualifications; and provision of up to date copies of First Aid certificates and qualification certificates; plus any other request for relevant information as required by the Principal.

Where the RYA permits centre specific exceptions for training e.g. non Advanced Dinghy Instructors with appropriate experience may teach "Sailing with Spinnakers" courses, this may only happen with the permission of the Principal in advance. This does not negate the need to have a Senior Instructor present on the day.

Chief/Senior Instructors or Coaches will be responsible for mentoring of junior staff in addition to their normal RYA responsibilities in that role. This will include debriefing and feedback.

All Instructors and Coaches across all disciplines and at all levels are strongly encouraged to attend one or more of the following:

In addition to these the Principal may organise an optional annual Instructor get together day which shall include but not be limited to:

The Principal shall be responsible for monitoring of staff performance in conjunction with the Senior Instructors where appropriate - including appropriate debriefing and feedback as required and if necessary dealing with any complaints against staff.

The Principal shall in conjunction with the Senior Instructors identify potential new Assistant Instructors and Instructors and those staff ready for further development and encouragement to more advanced levels. The Principal shall be responsible for organisation of any Assistant Instructor courses or may delegate them to appropriate Chief/Senior Instructors.

There shall be a designated Chief Instructor for each discipline. The Chief Instructors shall be responsible to the Principal or assist the Principal in the following:

The club's policies on Child Protection and references/self-disclosure are set out here.

The Principal will maintain a record of all staff qualifications and certification.

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Management of Course Attendees

Our ethos is for attendees to have a professional training experience in a friendly volunteer club environment and this must be reflected in everything we do from course booking, pre-course information, welcome, training (afloat and ashore) and end of day/course debriefs. It must reflect into the welcome they feel from other club members (many of whom will also have been recipients of our training in the past). It must be a place they would want to recommend to their friends and family.

The responsibility for attendees' enjoyment of their course and experience at KWSC lies with every Instructor at all levels.

Attendees will be welcomed and made to feel at home - a specific Instructor will usually be designated to do this. They will be made aware that they can talk to any Instructor about any concerns or worries they may have and whom else they may talk such as the Principal, Senior Instructor or Child Welfare Officer.

We will always display the Club Child Welfare poster with Child welfare Officer - current role holder and contact details clearly completed together with photograph in a prominent place in the club house.

Course booking forms are made available by club enews or web contact with the training team and will be completed prior to the course. Deposits may be asked for but in any case successful completion of a course and any associated certification is dependent upon all fees being fully paid.

Following booking all course attendees will be provided with a course introduction email outlining the course contents and plan, instructions on what to bring on the day, start times and expected finish times and any other relevant information.

All course attendees (or their parent/guardian where they are under 18 years old) will complete a Course Health Declaration form prior to undertaking any training or Coaching.

All course attendees (including Juniors/Youths) will be offered a Course Assessment form (Junior version here)at the end of their course or coaching sessions in order to provide feedback on the training delivery and performance. We strongly encourage these to be completed as we take all feedback (positive or otherwise) very seriously and aim for continual improvement in the delivery of training at Kielder.

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Start of Season Checks

At the beginning of the Season the Principal, in conjunction with the Senior Instructors, shall ensure all equipment is repaired, cleaned and checked ready for the season and replaced where required. This shall include as a minimum, the following:

  1. Rescue craft equipment;
  2. Club boats and boards including foils, sails, spars and ropes;
  3. Buoyancy Aids;
  4. Other resources such as Whiteboard pens etc.
  5. Last seasons paperwork will be removed including:
    1. Activity Logs (mini risk assessments);
    2. RIB check lists;
    3. Course Declaration forms (which shall be shredded);
    4. Course Assessment Forms.

Where appropriate in the above, check lists will be completed and retained by the Principal ready for RTC annual inspection.

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Daily Course Management

For all courses at KWSC the following will apply:

There will be a daily briefing between all instructors of all levels, RIB drivers and any helpers. Where courses are running in parallel across disciplines this will involve all disciplines for co-ordination of resources and sailing areas, for example. This may have been preceded by a pre-course email briefing from the Senior Instructor designated for the day. The daily briefing will be managed by a Senior Instructor or higher and take place before any course starts. At this briefing roles and responsibilities for the day will be finalised and agreed.

No activity may take place until the following have been completed or agreed by the team and preferably before the start of a course.

  1. The rescue craft have been checked using the club's RIB check lists.
  2. All equipment and resources for the day have been checked and are in good order (although some of these checks, such as those on boats, may be undertaken by trainees as part of their course).
  3. A daily mini risk assessment is undertaken by each Instructor in the form of the Daily Activity Log and is passed to the Senior Instructor present.
  4. The ratio of rescue craft to boats/trainees is agreed with the Senior Instructor responsible for the day together with their sailing areas/course of responsibility.
  5. A weather briefing has been promulgated to all Instructors.
  6. Sailing areas are agreed in advance between Senior Instructors and/or Powerboat Instructors. A Senior Instructor must agree to any sailing areas for any course where the intention is to use a sailing area out of direct line of sight of the club house.
  7. All radios have been checked for transmit and receive.
  8. Course health declaration forms for all attendees have been completed and passed for safe keeping to the Principal or the Senior Instructor for the day.

The RTC, club and VCC flags should be displayed other than in very wet or windy conditions.

At the beginning of any course all Instructors shall be clearly introduced and identified to attendees. On subsequent days any Instructors not previously present should be introduced. In the introductions it shall be made clear which Instructors shall be responsible for which groups/individuals.

At the end of the day all Instructors will ensure that course check lists are completed and are up to date. At KWSC we will not normally complete log books until completion of the course and this shall be the responsibility of the Senior Instructors.

The Senior Instructor(s) shall ensure there is an end of day debrief for attendees and where appropriate all course assessments are completed and returned by attendees.

The Coaches/Senior Instructor(s) shall ensure there is an end of day debrief for all Instructors if possible, although it is recognised that there is not always time for this in the volunteer club environment. This is to ensure, whenever possible,any lessons learned are dealt with, broken equipment is notified and dealt with or notified to the bosun, that all equipment and resources are properly stored, and that the club is left in a tidy state.

To minimise problems with equipment and other resources it is the ethos of the training team, and the responsibility of the Senior Instructors, to instil responsibility for good care of equipment into all course attendees. This shall include the proper storing of boats and equipment to the standards set by the Senior Instructors. This is to encourage attendees (who will be club members) to use the equipment outside of training and put it back in good order and repair so that is is always ready for next use.

Senior Instructors will be responsible for the end of day completion of the boat/equipment use logs, the correct filing of the Daily Activity Logs and RIB check lists and that all Instructors have completed all course tick lists.

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Safety at an RYA Training Centre is paramount, therefore the club and its staff must do all they can to avoid unnecessary risk.

A generic KWSC risk assessment (including training) can be accessed here.

As referenced in these procedures a Daily Activity Log (mini risk assessment) shall be conducted by each Instructor leading a group.

As referenced in these procedures a daily RIB check list shall be completed for each RIB.

The club's Emergency Action Plan can be found here and is posted by the club telephone in the main room by the foyer entrance.

Guidance on RYA maximum ratios shall never be exceeded. In the case of Powerboat courses, to increase safety, no Instructor shall ever work alone. Enough staffing and Powerboats will be made available such that there are at least 2 Instructors present at all times whilst maintaining RYA ratios.

Safety Helmet Policy: A range of helmets are available for training use.

Policy on Mast Head floatation.

A range of Mast Head floats are available for use with club training boats - they are marked as specific to Wayfarer, Topper or Optimist. Mast head floats will be used in the following circumstances:

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Operating Areas

Map showing Sailing Areas

This diagram indicates the standard operating areas to be used on the lake and the no go areas in which any activity is not permitted.

In general most operating areas are within sight of the club house, do not go West of Bull Crag towards Leaplish, and do not go towards the Yacht haven or water ski area to the SW of the club house.

Two exceptions to this description are:

Senior Instructors should always be made aware if any areas are to be used out of sight of the club house.

Other areas may ony be used with the express permission of a Senior Instructor and will be used on rarer occassions - such as Summer Camp.

When other club activities are taking place the training team will liaise with those other activities before defining the operating areas to be used.

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In this section links are provided to pre-course booking information, course information/syllabi and course resources developed by the club.

The following courses are currently offered (clicking on a link will direct you to a page of further information - links to be provided later):

Outside of these formal qualifications the club also offers coaching:

All of these additional sessions will also be run under these operating procedures.

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Boat and Equipment

All boats and equipment will comply with the guidance set out in the RYA Guidance Notes for Training Centres in the UK and with local NWL bylaws.

Senior Instructors are responsible for checks on all boats and equipment being made before a course starts for the day and for dealing with any problems which arise from those inspections which may be conducted by other Instructors.

Senior Instructors are responsible for decisions on the use of helmets or mast floatation in line with the club's policies on these matters.

At the end of each session any damage or problems with boats or equipment shall be reported to the responsible Senior Instructor and if necessary then to the bosun.

Member's own boats may be used on a course with the following provisos:

No member's Powerboats of any kind will be used for courses.

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These procedures are an important part of the setup of the KWSC RTC and must be read and acknowledged by all Instructors of all disciplines. The Principal shall keep records to that effect.