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.
Pilot Progress Pathway
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
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.
Qualifying requirements include the Cross-Country Endorsement, completion of a BI course and a successful post course assessment.
Training is carried out at the pilots club or at a club in the region. The CFI arranges the course.
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.
Assistant instructors teach the gliding syllabus.
Qualifying requirements include the Silver Badge, completion of the Assistant Instructor course and a successful post course assessment.
Courses are facilitated by the BGA through member clubs. The BGA Assistant Instructor course comprises of;
- A weekend teaching and learning seminar
- Club-based preparation as required on an individual basis
- An interim feedback session to make sure the candidate feels prepared to attend the main course
- A 7-day course followed by a final assessment
This 50 second video explains how the course programme works!
You can read the Assistant Instructor course handbook here.Learn more and book an instructor course here!
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
Qualifying requirements include holding a BGA assistant instructor rating and successfully completing a full rating 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.
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
Basic, Assistant and Full Rated Instructor Requirements
The requirements for all BGA instructors are detailed in the BGA publication ‘Instructor requirements’.
This document includes all instructor rating initial issue, revalidation and renewal requirements and guidance. Please note that non-instructor pilot requirements including BGA Introductory Flight Pilot (IFP) requirements are detailed within the BGA publication ‘Gliding Certificate and endorsements’
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.
BGA instructor manual and other important and helpful resources are available here.
Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement
BGA training organisation
BGA Instructor / Examiner Contacts
BGA instructor committee and examiner contacts are on the examiner webpage.