Instructors are a very important part of any gliding club. Instructing is highly rewarding and great fun. At the same time, it’s a way of putting something back into gliding whilst flying.

The UK currently exempts gliding from Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (SFCL) requirements. BGA clubs are continuing to train pilots under BGA requirements, whilst supporting those who choose to convert their BGA qualifications to an SFCL licence. Regardless of any SFCL qualifications held, all instructors at BGA clubs are required to hold a valid BGA instructor rating.

BGA Instructor Ratings – Basic, Assistant and Full

All instructors operate under the oversight of their club CFI (who is appointed by the club chairman). There are three BGA instructor ratings.

Instructor Pathway – a guide

This illustrative guide shows how to become an instructor.

Instructor Pathway Guidance


Basic Instructor

Why become a BI? Most pilots become a BI to help their clubs, to expand their flying experience, and in many cases as a stepping stone towards becoming an Assistant Instructor after a year or two. But its not a mandatory step – you don’t need to be a BI to attend an assistant instructor course.

BI’s teach upper air exercises only.

Basic instructor requirements

Qualifying requirements are detailed here.

Basic instructor course

Training is carried out at the pilots club or at a club in the region. The CFI arranges the course.

The Basic Instructor course is detailed here.

Assistant Instructor

Why become an Assistant Rated Instructor? Instructing can be highly rewarding, great fun, and at the same time is a very productive way of putting something back into the gliding club. Training to become an instructor definitely improves flying skills and knowledge.

BGA Assistant Rated instructors teach the BGA gliding syllabus.

Assistant instructor requirements

The BGA Assistant Rated instructor qualifying requirements are detailed here.

Assistant instructor course

The BGA Assistant Instructor course programme can be delivered flexibly and comprises of:

  1. A Teaching and Learning online BGA seminar, and
  2. Instructor Course Part 1 and
  3. Instructor Course Part 2

The Assistant Instructor Rating is issued following an assessment of competence with a Regional Examiner and application to the BGA.

The BGA Assistant Instructor course (all parts) is detailed here.

Notes for FICs delivering BGA Assistant Instructor Courses are available here.

Example options for completing the instructor course Part 1 and Part 2

Complete a BGA facilitated online teaching and learning seminar, and then either:

Example 1 – complete an instructor course Part 1 and an instructor course Part 2 on BGA organised courses, or

Example 2 – complete an instructor course Part 1 and an instructor course Part 2 arranged locally at the club, or

Example 3 – complete an instructor course Part 1 arranged locally at the club and complete an instructor course Part 2 on a BGA organised course, or

Example 4 – complete an instructor course Part 1 on a BGA organised course and complete a BGA instructor course Part 2 arranged locally at the club.

Book BGA instructor training courses here


Full Instructor

Why become a Full Rated instructor? Achieving full rated status demonstrates that an instructor is on top of their game and has proven that they now have the experience and skill to assess and qualify new pilots.

Full rated instructors teach the gliding syllabus, and, importantly, can assess pilots for the Bronze and Cross country endorsements. The Full Rating is also a gateway for instructors to;

  • Teach field landing techniques and gliding Navigation in a motor-glider
  • Test Field landing and Navigation in a Motor-Glider
  • Coach new instructors
  • Become a club CFI
  • Regional examining and BI / IFP coaching role

Full instructor requirements

Qualifying requirement are detailed here.

Full instructor assessment

Training is optional but preparation is strongly recommended. An Assistant Instructor can be put forward by their CFI for Full Rating assessment carried out by a Regional Examiner.

The Full Rating Assessment is detailed here.

Instructing is open to all pilots!

Instructors with a variety of disabilities are already inspiring trainee glider pilots at clubs around the UK. If you have a disability, you should not be dissuaded from applying to your CFI to become an instructor. In the past, we have modified training in a host of ways to accommodate trainee instructors with many disabilities. From the gliders you fly to the written work you carry out, how you communicate in the air and the exams you will take – we have, and will continue to modify training to achieve the same levels of safety while taking your disability into account. Try us – you might be surprised!

Questions and queries

If you have any questions, once you’ve exhausted searching the website, please start by asking your CFI. If he or she doesn’t know the answer, please try the Senior Regional Examiner (SRE). If there’s still doubt, please contact the BGA Training Standards Manager, Mike Fox.

SRE and other examiner contacts are available here


Used to hold a BGA instructor rating and thinking about getting involved again?

An Assistant or Full Instructor rating may be renewed by application to the BGA following an appropriate level of refresher training and

  • a minimum of 10 hours or 50 launches pilot in command in the previous 12 months
  • an assessment by a BGA RE
  • recommendation by the CFI

The CFI or another very experienced full rated instructor can carry out the refresher training with authority of the senior regional examiner.

Booking an Assistant Instructor Course

To check available course dates and to book, please refer to the Courses and Seminars webpage.


Some clubs subsidise the training of their instructors. It’s worth asking! There are a number of generous funding opportunities.

Instructor Resources

BGA instructor manual and other important and helpful resources are available here.

Instructor Forms

Instructor forms are available here.

Instructor Publications

Instructor publications are available here.

Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement

Bronze and Cross Country Endorsements guidance is available here.

Field Landing

Field landing guidance is available here.

BGA Instructor / Examiner Contacts

BGA instructor committee and examiner contacts are on the examiner webpage.