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Learn from the best in online sailing instruction! Get started learning for free!*

ISPA’s online courses are part of a proven and proprietary training system that teaches from novice to expert. Our online courses are the first part of a two-component system where students first learn theoretical knowledge and then later (in the second component) take on the water training at the ISPA certified school of their choice.

An exciting world of adventure awaits!

The Online Learning Process

1. Learn

1. Learn

Select an online course and study at your own pace using any device format including mobile phone, tablet or desktop. You may stop and start your studying as well as switch between devices as needed.
2. Exam

2. Exam

Once you have completed all the modules and course content, take the corresponding online exam. If your course access was free the Exam access will require payment.
3. Certify

3. Certify

After passing the online exam, you will receive your online theory certificate. And, if you have not already been issued an ISPA logbook, we will send you one. Your ISPA practical (on-the-water) course instructor will check your logbook when you take the practical course.

Learn Online

The online courses allow you to learn at your own pace anywhere in the world and will teach you the essential knowledge (traditionally taught through workbooks) in an easy-to-understand manner using narrated text, images and videos. ISPA’s online visual training breaks down the on-the-water maneuvers and processes. This is one of the most unique features of the ISPA online courses.

The online courses are made up of modules of varying lengths which you can progress through at your own pace. Most of our online courses have approximately 20 to 30 modules each of which will typically take 10 to 30 minutes to complete. Therefore to complete a course you should anticipate investing 16 to 32 hours depending on your pace. At the end of most modules is a Knowledge Check which you must complete to progress. There is no minimum time required to complete the modules or the entire course however you must progress through all the content and complete all the Knowledge Checks to complete the course.

ISPA offers some of its online courses free of charge; however, if you are interested in obtaining a certificate of competency, you must complete the paid online exam.

Online Certification

When you purchase the online exam you will also receive:

  1. 1-year free online access to the corresponding ISPA workbook in a digital flipbook format
  2. 1-year free online access to the library of corresponding training videos
  3. Online Theory Certificate

Online theory exams can be purchased in advance giving you access to the online resources while taking the course.

Your exam purchase also includes the following prepaid services upon successful completion of the practical (on-the-water) training:

  1. Certificate of Competency registration
  2. Certificate of Competency wallet card mailed to you
  3. ISPA Logbook (if you have not already been issued an ISPA logbook)

Our Learning System

Each ISPA Certificate of Competency course is based on a corresponding workbook and is comprised of two parts:

  1. Theory (online), and
  2. Practical training with an ISPA certified instructor.

ISPA workbooks are comprehensive books that should be used while completing each ISPA program. Digital flipbook versions of the workbooks are available to paid online course participants. Printed workbooks are also available for purchase at www.ispa.com. The workbooks are not required to complete the courses. If you have enrolled in a course for free you can gain access to the corresponding workbook by purchasing the final exam.

Each ISPA online course is designed to better prepare you for the practical course by teaching you the essential boating terminologies and concepts for that level. ISPA courses are mobile-friendly, so you can conveniently learn at your own pace. The online courses are presented in a flexible, modular course format that emphasizes a hands-on approach and encourages learning at your own pace. Many of the modules in this course include instructional videos intended to supplement the other materials in the module.

There is no minimum time required to complete the modules or the entire course. And, you can revisit the course modules after you have completed them. However, to complete the course you must view every slide and complete the knowledge check at the end of each module. Please be aware, it is possible to complete the knowledge check questions without viewing all slides and you will not have completed the module.

After completing all modules you will take a final exam. Upon successful completion, you will receive an ISPA Theory Certificate and, in the case of Competent Crew, your ISPA logbook.

Your next step is to take a practical course with one of our ISPA Certified Instructors around the world. ISPA Instructors are highly trained professionals who are passionate about boating and teaching. They will coach you to transform your newly acquired boating knowledge into solid boating skills.

Upon successful practical (on-the-water) course completion, your competency will be certified by your instructor in your Logbook. You must then register your achievement with ISPA at www.ispa.com to ensure that your certification is registered and that you will receive your ISPA Certification Card. The ISPA Certification Card is proof of competency and is recognized to fulfill the requirement of many boat rental and bareboat charter companies.

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.

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 certification@ispa.com.

Your Adventure Starts Today

Get access to our online courses today!