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Sailing Instructor Clinics

Instructor Qualification Clinic Schedule | Prerequisites | Registration | Clinic FAQ's

A very special group of sailors feels the need to share their knowledge and love of sailing
with others through sailing instruction. In the past, a good sailor became a sailing instructor
simply by beginning to teach and declaring himself or herself an instructor.

The American Sailing Association was organized to establish national standards for sailing
instructor certification in the United States. We take experienced instructors and expert
sailors and give them the tools they need to become certified instructors.

ASA Sailing Instructor clinics test existing skills and knowledge while teaching a structured
curriculum and proven presentation techniques. ASA certified instructors have proven
they measure up to a national standard which is used by more than 90% of the commercial
sailing schools in the country. Take the challenge and attend an ASA Instructor Certification
Clinic. To renew your ASA Instructor's membership, please go to the Instructor's Only Content.

Sailing Instructor Certification Program

Certified ASA Sailing Instructors have demonstrated that they have excellent sailing skills and possess the ability to teach others.  If you have the experience, now you can have the credentials you deserve.

By qualifying to the ASA Instructor Standards you obtain internationally recognized credentials. These credentials document your experience and level of proficiency- from Basic Keelboat Sailing to Offshore Passage making- and assist you in commanding the respect you have earned.


  • Enhancing your career development potential as a professional.
  • Qualified to teach and certify students to uniform national Standards which are
    internationally recognized.
  • Playing an important role in improving the quality and extent of educational opportunities for
    the recreational sailor.
  • A member of a professional organization which provides you with teaching materials and
    services, a centralized national certification authority, continuing education programs for
    ASA Instructors, member discounts on useful products and services, and a wide variety of
    other benefits.
  • Recognized internationally as a leader in sail education.

    ASA Instructor Certification Standards parallel those required for students, but at a much higher level with emphasis on teaching. They are: Basic Keelboat Sailing, Basic Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering, Coastal Navigation, Advanced Coastal Cruising, Celestial Navigation, Offshore Passage making, Trailerable Multihull, Cruising Catamaran and Small Boats and Boards.  A sailing instructor follows this sequence of Certification, each level expands his or her skills, experience and  professional standing. While you may choose to stop at any level of Certification, there are no short cuts as every ASA Instructor undergoes the same process of evaluation.

    The American Sailing Association conducts Sailing Instructor Qualification Clinics (known as IQC's) throughout the United States. If you are currently teaching sailing, or wish to teach sailing, consider becoming an ASA Instructor. If you feel your experience and sailing proficiency are presently at  Certification level, we invite you to apply to an IQC near you. If you are successful, you will be awarded the American Sailing Associations Sailing Instructor Certification Seal and a Sailing Instructor's Certificate for the highest Level achieved.

    You may enroll in an IQC if you have the ambition to be a true sailing professional and:  
        √   Are an ASA member in good standing
        √   Are 18 years of age or older
        √   Possess at least 3 years of sailing experience
        √   Have teaching experience or can demonstrate an aptitude for clearly communicating
              sailing to the novice and advanced sailor
        √   Are capable of performing to the Standards as stated in the ASA International Sailing Log
Steps to Becoming an ASA Certified Sailing Instructor
  1. Review the ASA Standards of Certification to better understand the requirements for both students and Instructors. If you feel you are fully prepared to undertake an evaluation of your competency based on these Standards, then complete the Instructor Qualification Clinic Application. Indicate your interest in attending the Basic Keelboat Sailing Clinic. If you feel you are qualified, you may also indicate your interest in attending advanced instructor upgrade clinic(s) through Bareboat Chartering Instructor that are offered at your chosen location during the same scheduled period.
  2. To enroll in one of the ASA Instructor Clinics, please go to the registration link at the top of this page. You will receive notification of your acceptance. If you are not accepted, your fee(s) will be refunded, less a $10 processing fee. If you are admitted to the IQC, you will receive a Study Package that contains reference materials to help you prepare for your clinic. Candidates need to enroll in their intended clinic no later than fourteen days prior to the opening date of the clinic.
  3. Attend the Basic Keelboat Sailing Clinic. This two and one half day clinic is designed to verify your qualifications as an ASA Basic Keelboat Sailing Instructor. The format includes a review of sailing theory, boat handling abilities, and communication skills all leading to formal  evaluation of your skill in these areas. Your competency will be compared with the ASA's internationally recognized Standards. This is not a course of instruction as such. While you will gain valuable knowledge from your experience in the Clinic your competence as a sailor and as a teacher are presumed. You are attending for the purpose of becoming Certified. Following successful completion of your IQC, the ASA will send you your Instructor credentials and graduation letter.
  4. Progress to the next level(s) of Certification after having completed your Basic Keelboat Sailing Clinic. If you do wish to continue through the higher levels, you must have applied for and paid the required Attendance Fees in advance of continuing your Certification process at the same Clinic  location. These higher levels are usually offered in the one or two days immediately following the Basic Keelboat Sailing Clinic. Check the current schedule of IQCS  for details.
  5. Teach on an active basis using your knowledge and newly confirmed certified status. You are required to teach at an ASA Certified Training Facility and your credentials will serve you well in any educational undertaking you may choose. However, only those ASA Instructors who are affiliated with an ASA school may certify students to the appropriate ASA Standards. ASA is a resource for instructors and schools and can assist with providing information about available educational and employment opportunities. If you would like information about having your business become an ASA Certified Sail Training Facility, please contact the ASA for an information package.


Credentials prove your commitment. Join the thousands of professional sailing instructors and educators who have proven they measure up to the standards used by the American commercial sailing industry. You may enroll in an IQC if you have the ambition to become classified as a professional sailing instructor, and you:

ASA Small Boat (210) Instructor

  • Are an ASA member in good standing
  • Are 18 years of age or older
  • Possess at least 3 years sailing experience
  • Have teaching experience or can demonstrate an aptitude for clearly communicating sailing concepts to the novice sailor
  • Current CPR/First Aid Certification
  • Are capable of performing the standards described in the ASA International Log Book
ASA Small Boat (209) Assistant Instructor
  • Are an ASA member in good standing
  • Are 14 years of age or older
  • Possess sailing experience
  • Have current CPR/First Aid Certification
  • No teaching experience required
ASA Keelboat (201) Instructor
  • Are an ASA member in good standing
  • Are 18 years of age or older
  • Possess at least 3 years sailing experience
  • Have teaching experience or can demonstrate an aptitude for clearly communicating sailing concepts to the novice sailor
  • Are capable of performing the standards described in the ASA International Log Book

Registration Information

Registering for an ASA instructor clinic is a three-step process:

    1.   Clinic Scheduling.

    2.   Clinic Fee Payment.

    3.   Application submission with sailing experience for review by ASA.

To apply for an ASA Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) on-line, perform the following:

    1.  Complete the on-line application. Check the acceptance agreement statement box, then click the submit button. If the billing address for your credit card is different from the shipping address for your materials, be sure to check the appropriate box.

    2.   Enter all requested information, remembering that ASA instructor membership is required to become an ASA instructor. 

    3.   Complete the application detailing sailing experience and previous certifications.

    4.   When you have successfully completed the fee payment process, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

Your application will be reviewed and, if you are accepted into the clinic at any level (based on your qualifications), you will receive via mail a confirmation letter, a pre-clinic instructor packet and study materials, including contact information for that clinic's Instructor Evaluator and hosting Affiliate School.

If you are not accepted for any or all levels, you will be contacted by ASA with an explanation, options for a full refund, and suggestions for qualifying in the future.

ASA Instructors go to the Instructor's Only Content to register.

Clinic Information and Pricing - click here

Instructor Clinic Schedule - click here

Download Application - click here and fax or email application to

Radar - Radar Instructor Qualification Application

Weather - Weather Endorsement Instructor Qualification Application

Fax your IQC Application to Attn: Clinic Coordinator at (310) 822-4741.

All clinic registrations must be filed with ASA headquarters. Jump to the ASA Contact Page for more information.

Payment in full is necessary to process the on-line application.

Instructor comments after completing an ASA instructor clinic

"Very demanding but fair and a great experience."
 --John Charles, B.C. Canada

 "I approached this class with a complacent, smug attitude, but when finished I was genuinely proud to have passed and have the certifications."
 --Larry Hansz, Traverse City, MI

 "As an experienced sailor - both cruising and racing, I found the ASA Instructor Training Program a rewarding mechanism by which I could assess my skills, challenge certain internationally recognized standards, and hone the myriad of teaching techniques available toward becoming an excellent instructor."

 "I gained much insight about a career as a professional sailing instructor."
 --Deb Rigas, navigator ANTERA 95 Trans-Pac entrant.

Miscellaneous quotes about ASA Sailing Instructor evaluators

"...the Instructor Evaluator of my IQC was and is one of the most professional and personable instructors I have had the good fortune to meet."
 --J. A. Chaney

 "...(Instructor Evaluator) handled one setback after the other professionally. He is an excellent and dedicated instructor..."
 --G. C. Daley

 "... a super facilitator, keeping things light, on purpose and keeping everyone motivated when we started to slack..."
 --Peter Hunt



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