Sixth Form Course NCFE L2/L3 Diploma Sport Outdoors

Watersports Instructor Training Returns to Cornwall

We’ve formed an exciting new partnership which will enable professional watersports instructor training to continue in Cornwall from September 2020.

South West Lakes is offering a Certificate Level 2 and Diploma Level 3 courses, combined with practical training, for young people to become watersports instructors. The course will be based at Stithians Lake which has fantastic on and off water facilities as well as a proven track record for developing new instructors.

Watch our video here.

Why Study NCFE L2 Sport (Outdoors) – Watersports Instructor Training?

Ages 16+

Cornwall is a hub for outdoor activities, with some of the UKS’s best locations for watersports right on our doorstep. There are also plenty on opportunities to get involved with other outdoors activities such as climbing, walking and the ever-growing mountain bike scene in Cornwall. This is a mere snapshot of the opportunities available to students locally, so with an industry experiencing such growth bot in the UK and abroad, now is the time to equip students with the skills and knowledge which they need to succeed in the field.

Stithians Lake Activity Centre near Redruth in Cornwall

Stithians is a picturesque lake set in West Cornwall.  Its location makes it perfect for watersports due to the low surrounding grounds and clean winds that make it renowned within the sailing and windsurfing community.

The activity centre is open all year round; it is busiest from Easter to the end of October but has a steady flow of watersports enthusiasts all year round. It is a Royal Yachting Association recognised sailing, powerboat and windsurfing centre with AALA accreditation. The centre also offer kayak and stand up paddleboard tuition.

Transport will be available from a central transport hub to Stithians Lake. Please contact us for more details.

About the Course

This pathway is designed to provide students with the skills and abilities that they need to work in the exciting world of watersports and the wider outdoor industry. This course is perfect for anyone that has an interest in sports, especially the outdoors.  If you are passionate about outdoor adventure and love being outside this course can help you turn your passion into your career. The course is very practical and allows you to develop personal skills in a variety of activities whilst also learning about what makes the outdoor industry tick. This course offers you the opportunity to develop for a year and then progress on to the Level 3.


What Will I Study?

This course has real focus on practical participation and leading outdoor activities

The course will follow the NCFE Pathway 2: Outdoors

There are three mandatory units

  • Participating in sport (6 credits)
  • Outdoor and adventurous activities (6 credits)
  • Leading an outdoor activity session (6 credits)

Four additional units for the list below

  • Physical fitness and injuries in sport (6 credits)
  • Psychology for sports performance (6 credits)
  • Expedition experience (6 credits)
  • Promote outdoor activities (6 credits)
  • Planning and running a sports event (6 credits)
  • Understanding business in sport (6 credits)
  • Sports volunteering (6 credits)
  • Work experience in the sports industry (6 credits)
  • Anatomy and physiology for exercise (6 credits)
  • Introduction to healthy exercise and nutrition (6 credits)
  • Development of personal fitness through training (6 credits)
  • Introduction to sports massage (6 credits)
  • Factors affecting participation in sport and physical activity (6 credits)
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate an activity session (6 cred

During the course you will

  • Develop personal skills in a variety of activities
  • Demonstrate techniques and skills in the activities
  • Plan and lead sessions
  • Organise, participate and review different activities
  • Plan and run an event
  • Undertake work experience in the industry
  • Work within a team

Teaching and Learning

The course combines both practical sessions and classroom based sessions. Each week will comprise of two days outside on the water and one day working in the classroom learning about the various different elements of the course.

During your classroom-based day, you will learn through lectures, discussions, workshops and practical learning. The lecture room is fully equipped with various recourse, from laptops and projectors to whiteboards and worksheets to help achieve the most from these sessions.

The other two days of the course are practical session. These days will focus on a variety of watersports and some land based activities. You will take part in sailing, windsurfing kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and power boat driving. On land, you will learn about team building activities, bad weather games and other useful tools to equip you for your future role as an instructor.

You will also have the opportunity to have a go at other activities such as climbing, surfing, high ropes, mountain biking and coasteering. It great fun to try different activities, go to differ locations and meet new people.

Qualifications and Assessments

During the NCFE Diploma element of the course, students are continually assessed through course work. You be required to complete an assignment for each unit of study. Your tutor will make sure you have all the information and support you need and there are even different way to produce your work from written to videos.

The practical elements of the course for personal skills are assessed against the relevant National governing Bodies syllabus for that activity these include the Royal yachting association, British Canoeing, Association of Surfing Instructors. The majority of these NGB’s have logbooks to record progress and completion certificates when different levels of competence are reached.

Furthermore, for those that are interested, there will be the opportunity to complete the short course in leadership through ASDAN and well as the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Instructor Qualifications generally involve completing an instructor course, which can be anything from one day to 5 days with either ongoing or final assessment. Below is some of the globally recognised pre requisite and instructor qualifications that maybe achieved over two years (L2 and L3 Course)

  • First Aid
  • RYA Powerboat L2
  • RYA Safety Boat Driver
  • RYA Sailing Instructor
  • RYA Windsurfing Instructor
  • British Canoeing Paddle sport Instructor
  • ASI SUP Instructor

Entry Criteria

Four GCSEs at grade 3 and above with an interest and/or experience of watersports and outdoor adventure. You will need to be 16 years of age by 31st August and ready to start in September. If you have not achieved a grade 4 in English or Maths, you will be required to resit these exams alongside the course. Additional lessons will be provided on a separate day so you do not miss any of the course.

If you are unsure if you meet the entry criteria please contact us to discuss what options may be available as there may be some flexibility.  

What Can I Do Next?


Open Days

During our open days you can

  • Listen to our course presentation
  • Meet the team and past students
  • Have a guided tour around the activity centre and lecture rooms
  • Find out about the different activities and associated equipment
  • Find out about special deals on kit, additional activities, short courses , student bursary scheme and transport
  • Experience some of the activities on the water with our experienced staff (You just need to bring old trainer, swimming costume and a towel, all other kit provided)
  • Complete your application and interview on the day

Due to the current situation we have postponed our open days but if you are interested in the course we can arrange for you to speak directly with one of the course tutors either on the phone or online. Please send us an email to  

How to apply and further information

To download an application form click here.

Contact Stithians Lake on 01209 860301 or email

If you would like to speak to one of our course tutors please send us an email with your phone number and we will arrange for a tutor to call you.  

If you would like to just apply please download an application form and return it to  

Why Stithians Lake?

You will be immersed centre life and be part of the team from day one. Being based at an operational centre means that you will learn about real life scenarios, health and safety, working with all ages of people, equipment maintenance and many other things that just are not possible in a regular classroom. You will be able to practice your teaching skills with real groups whilst having the security of the centre team to help and guide you.

The fully equipped lecture rooms are literally just a stone’s throw away from the water, which make it a perfect training location and gives a high degree of flexibility to balance practical and classroom session.

Progression – When you have completed the course, you can either go onto higher education and university or start your career as a watersports instructor. We have direct links to employment both the UK and abroad with our industry links. We can help you prepare a fantastic CV and prepare for interviews.

Work experience. All students complete work experience placements, which we help you, organise either with South West Lakes of one the other local centres.