The Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) is Canada's organization for controlling the water. CYA is a "Member National Authority" of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Organization of sailing in Canada is divided into four groups, Yacht Clubs, Provincial Sailing Associations, Class Associations, and the CYA itself. Yachting and Sailing clubs might provide their members with moorage for their boats, boat launch facilities, organize regattas, put on social functions, and/or provide training to children and/or adults. There are ten Provincial Sailing Associations (PSA) that are responsible for organizing instructor courses, registering keelboats and providing PHRF rating certificates and sail numbers, and training provincial team athletes. Class associations (such as the laser (dinghy) class) are responsible for measuring and registering one-design boats, and organizing regional, national, and international regattas. The CYA is responsible for coaching national team athletes, including Olympic sailors, designing sailing and power boating courses, and registering and insuring instructors.
Up until recently, there were 7 sailing levels. White Sail I,II,III teach sailing basics, including points of sail, how to capsize, and sail trim. Bronze IV and V teach more advanced sailing skills, including spinnaker, and trapeze (sailing). Silver VI teaches basic racing. Gold VII teaches advanced racing. The levels must be taken in order, so to advance to silver VI, a sailor must first successfully complete Bronze V. These courses were evaluated as pass or fail, and official CYA certificates are awarded to those who pass levels.
A new system of levels which is currently being implemented by CYA, and largely being led by the BC Sailing Association, is the CBET (Competency Based Education Training) Program and a newly designed LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) plan, which includes new levels. The new levels bring a greater focus to the skills of racing in the lower levels, and operate on the premise of a number of fixed "sailing skills" and various levels at which they may be demonstrated. It is now possible to demonstrate different levels of competency for different skills. A "learn to race" level has been added, which has no prerequisite, allowing sailors to learn racing rules and techniques without having to first pass Bronze V. A "Wet Feet" Program is being designed and tested in British Columbia, which is a level for 5–7 year-olds.
Under the old system, there were 5 instructor levels. Green Instructors (newly renamed level 1) can certify White Sail I, II, III. Once a green instructor has taught for one year, they can take Blue (level 2). Blue Instructors can certify Bronze Sail IV and V. After level 2, instructors can choose whether to take red or orange. Red (head instructor) instructors can certify Silver VI, and manage a sailing program. Orange (race coach) Instructors certify Gold VII, and can coach at major events, such as Canada Summer Games. Once an instructor has either red or orange, they can take Black (Instructor Evaluator, or IE). Black instructors can certify any level that they themselves have, if they teach an official course set up by a Provincial Sailing Association. For example, an instructor that has Green, Blue, Red and Black, cannot teach an Orange course. With the new CBET program, there is a fundamental theory course, and then instructors take modules. Level 1, and Race Coach, are examples or modules. The newest module is Learn to Race instructor, allowing that instructor to teach the Learn to Race course. More modules will be added in the near future.
Note: High Performance Racing Coaches NCCP Levels 4/5 have been added to evaluate racers who have achieved an international standard of success.