Become a surf instructor

Become a surf instructor

Embark on a fulfilling career as a surf instructor – one of the most rewarding jobs imaginable! Share your passion, skills, and knowledge with others, witnessing the joy of your students as they embrace the world of surfing. Enjoy a uniquely amazing lifestyle and immerse yourself in a culture where you work alongside like-minded and passionate individuals.

This is not just a job; it’s a journey of personal and professional development, allowing you to hone your people, leadership, and coaching skills while earning a living doing what you love.




Embark on the initial stage of your surf coaching career. Master the essential ‘how to coach’ techniques and technical skills, empowering you to confidently conduct beginner surf lessons with safety at the forefront.

Our comprehensive course combines online or workshop-based theoretical learning with hands-on practical training and beachside mentoring. The journey culminates in a thorough assessment, ensuring you attain the necessary skills and knowledge to emerge as a certified surf instructor.

Upon completion, you’ll be equipped to kickstart your coaching journey, imparting your expertise to beginner groups in the welcoming waters of waist depth.

Course Information


The course was launched in Spring 2023, working with Surfing England accredited surf schools and Trainer Assessors (TA’s) around the country to deliver the award and give new surf instructors the best possible start to their surf coaching careers. The following information may evolve slightly as Surfing England continue to develop the course.


You can start the course straight away, but to complete and become certified as a Surfing England Surf Instructor you will need to meet and complete the following:

Demonstrate a minimum level of surfing ability:

  • Able to paddle out and turtle roll
  • Catch green waves, bottom turn and trim left and right

Complete the following:

  • Signed Coaches Code of Conduct (within online learning course)
  • Up to date Beach Lifeguard or Surf Lifesaving award (click for more info on which awards we recognise)

Requirement coming soon for all instructors:

For Disabled Trainees

A trainee surf instructor who is a disabled person and cannot fulfil all the safety / surf lifesaving and demonstration pre-requisite elements can attain this award as ‘Supported Surf Instructor’. They must be able to lead the lesson through verbal instruction. They are then supported by a colleague with a relevant surf lifesaving award and surfing experience; the group ratio changes from e.g. 1:8 to 2:8.

Age limits

  • At 16 become a junior instructor – You can operate supervised by an adult surf instructor
  • At 18 become a surf instructor

Course content, length & assessment

  • Approximately 10 hours of theory to be studied at your own pace – online learning system – with guided gateways and assessment questions.
  • Approximately 20 hours of practical training and mentoring with a Surfing England Trainer Assessor.

Course training delivery options

Online learning modules at your own pace, anywhere, anytime


2 ‘classroom’ days with your selected Trainer Assessor (please enquire with a TA first if wanting to take this option) within their Surfing England surf school setting


approx. 20 hours +/- of trained & mentored practice on the beach plus assessment

Cost £300 GBP

Award Scope

This certification is tailored for novice surf instructors, ensuring a foundational level of competency within the dynamic surf school environment. Focused on delivering safe and effective beginner lessons in waist-depth waters, under controlled conditions for small groups (up to 8 participants), this award sets a standard for secure instruction.

Qualification holders are expected to align with the guidance and safety management systems of accredited surf schools or clubs, incorporating local conditions, site-specific risk assessments, and operational procedures into their practices. For new instructors facing physical limitations due to a disability, the qualification allows them to instruct, provided they collaborate with a fully qualified beach lifeguard or an experienced surf coach possessing a valid surf lifesaving award.

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