What it means to be an RYA affiliate is evolving

RYA affiliates are at the heart of our boating community, offering unparalleled access and opportunity to help share the sport we all love, but now more than ever, we must ensure the safety and welfare of all participants and keep pace with the level of assurance that any governing body must provide. 

With this in mind, our affiliation process is changing. We want to support you in continuing to perform the fantastic work you do, whilst being prepared to act appropriately if things go wrong.  

Recognising no one affiliate is the same, the RYA is here to support you through the changes and here’s everything you need to know.

Prioritising safe places

We want RYA affiliation to mean a level of reassurance for both new and current participants that the club, centre, or organisation they are involved with has processes in place to prioritise their well-being and safety.    

Next steps

The new renewal process will maintain the autonomous relationship that we know you have always valued and will rely on an online self-assessment of your safety and safeguarding measures. 

During the next renewal cycle from April 2024, you will be asked to complete seven questions:

  • Is there a nominated individual(s) responsible for the welfare and well-being of members and participants?
  • Is there an in date Safeguarding Policy and Procedure in place and in use?
  • Do you carry out Criminal Records Disclosure Checks for staff and volunteers in regulated activity?
  • Do you have Safety Management systems in place to coordinate and oversee affiliate delivered activities?
  • Do you have an Equality Policy in place and in use?
  • Do you have a complaint handling process in place?
  • Does your affiliate deliver racing activity?

If yes, are you aware of your anti-doping responsibilities in line with the RYA Sail Clean Strategy?

Rest assured, we’re not expecting all affiliates to be able to answer ‘yes’ in all these areas at the moment. 2024-25 will be a transition year where we’ll support you with advice and resources to help you understand how to be fully ready for the changes.

At the end of the transition year (April 2025), you will again be asked to complete the self-assessment form. By this point, you will need to have completed all the necessary changes. Organisations that do not successfully complete the requirements at this time will be unable to complete the affiliation renewal process. 

Available support

A full range of dedicated resources have been created to support affiliates to reach full compliance by April 2025; these will be available from January 2024.

Further information

Join your nearest RYA Connected event for an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming affiliation changes. The events are being held across the regions for affiliated clubs, Sailability groups and class associations, as well as recognised training centres that are based within clubs.  

Not able to join your local event? Don’t worry, you can still join an RYA Connected event, even if it isn’t being held in your region. 

If you have a question relating to the affiliation process, please visit the RYA Affiliation FAQs.

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