About BGA Instructor and Coach ratings

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.

UK law 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.

Instructor pathway

Click the illustration to enlarge:

Returning to instructing

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.

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.

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 which can be delivered by BI coach or a Flight Instructor Coach.

The Basic Instructor course is detailed here.

Guidance for course coaches and candidates is available 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. Once accepted by the CFI, the new instructor is ready to go!

The BGA Assistant Instructor training programme is 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.

BGA Full Instructor Rating preparation guidance is available here.

Assistant Instructors are encouraged to talk to their CFI about obtaining a Full Instructor Rating. The assessment is carried out by a Regional Examiner, who will be supportive throughout.

Aerobatic Instructor

An Aerobatic Instructor is an experienced instructor who can instruct pilots how to fly aerobatics and assess their suitability to do so.

There is more information here.

Aerobatic Instructor Coach

An Aerobatic Instructor Coach is an experienced aerobatic instructor who can instruct other instructors how to teach aerobatics and assess their suitability to do so.

The requirements are detailed here.

Flight Instructor Coach

A Flight Instructor Coach (FIC) is an experienced instructor who can instruct others how to instruct ahead of putting forward potential new instructors for an assessment by an examiner.

The requirements are detailed here.

Guidance on FIC training and demonstrating the ability to coach is here.

Guidance for FICs delivering BGA Assistant Instructor training is here.

Chief Flying Instructor

Being a CFI is an important and rewarding role that can impact the success of any club. In addition to appropriate gliding experience, personal attributes and the ability to get on with people is important.

Guidance and information for CFIs is available here.

Reporting to the club chair, the CFI role includes responsibility for establishing:

  • standardised instruction
  • effective supervision
  • maintenance of student pilot training records
  • liaison with the Senior Regional Examiner

A BGA CFI Endorsement is a requirement. Details are available here.


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

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, Stu Naylor.

Contacts are available here