Instructor Certification Program Overview

Great reasons to become an ISPA Certified Instructor

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1. Make money teaching

As a certified ISPA Instructor you will be able to make money teaching virtually anywhere around the world. 

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2. Improve your skills

One of the best ways to improve your boating skills is to become an instructor and spend more time on the water.

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3. Become a part of our community

Our global and growing community of boaters is creating opportunity for like minded people to communicate and explore new opportunities.

Becoming an ISPA Instructor is achievable

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While circumstances may vary, the following are the minimum requirements to qualify to become a certified ISPA Instructor:

1. ISPA Coastal Skipper

2. VHF Operator Certificate

3. Vaild First Aid Certificate, including CPR


Becoming an ISPA Instructor requires the following:

1. Study (online or in-class):

    • Methods of Instruction (MOI) Course
    • ICR Exam

2. On the water:

    • Skills Verification
    • Practical Session

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Converting from other boat training organizations

If you have been working as an instructor for other organizations, you can shorten the above process to obtain instructor certification.  Please email our certification committee at

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Level of instruction up to IE

After obtaining your basic ISPA Instructor Certification, you will be able to teach ISPA Competent Crew and ISPA Day Skipper as a minimum. Teaching higher course levels will be determined by an Instructor Evaluator based on skills, knowledge and experience.  

There is also a certification process to qualify you to teach Coastal Navigator only. Please email us for the process.

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Instructor Registration

All ISPA Instructors are required to register with ISPA annually to maintain their certified status and to ensure the quality of all ISPA Instructors. 

If you are already a certified ISPA Instructor, you can register here.

The ISPA Instructor Certification Program consists of two components as follows:

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1. Study Component

US$50, Online

The study component can be taken online via the ISPA website (or in-person with an Instructor Evaluator).  The study component has two elements as follows:

A) Methods of Instruction Course: you will learn ISPA’s training philosophy and standards through a short course and knowledge check.

B) ICR Exam: You will confirm your knowledge of the International Convention for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea through an exam.

2. Practical On-The-Water Component

Fees vary depending on the location and school

The Practical On-the-Water Component will be held by an Instructor Evaluator. The Practical Component typically requires 3-4 days and consists of two parts as follows:

A) Practical Sailing Skill check: The Instructor Evaluator will verify the candidates a) knowledge of ISPA techniques, and b) single-handed sailing and boat handling skills.

This verification can be conducted in several ways including through on-the-water exercises, candidate prepared videos, and or the IE’s prior knowledge and experience with the candidate.

B) Practical Clinic: The Instructor Evaluator will review the ISPA training system and practice simulated instruction.

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