Further Education FAQs

What is a NCFE Qualification?

NCFE originally stood for Northern Council for Further Education, but it dropped the full name in the 1990s. Now known simply as NCFE. It’s the UK’s longest established awarding body, as well as one of the UK’s fastest growing, which means it’s highly respected for its professionalism and quality.

NCFE’s are highly reputable vocational and work-related courses, designed to accommodate the needs of employers for immediate full time employment and allow students to progress to higher education to degree level (through UCAS points).

A NCFE takes a practical approach to learning, without missing any of the important theory on the subject.

What’s the format of the NCFE Level 3 course?

During the 2 year course, you will be covering 60% theory and 40% practical. Your practical qualifications are:

Year 1

  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun
  • RYA Short Range Radio
  • RYA Powerboat level 2
  • Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

Additional qualifications will include in year 2 an opportunity to work towards achieving

  • RYA Dinghy instructor
  • RYA Windsurf instructor

Where is the my course delivered from?

Both courses are delivered at UKSA. However you have the access to all the Isle of Wight college facilities and student services as well as UKSA’s onsite facilities.

Maritime Foundation and it’s qualifications

Successful learners will be fully qualified in :

Year 1 – work towards achieving
  • RYA Dinghy Instructor
  • BC Paddlesport Instructor
  • BC Paddleboard Instructor
  • Introduction into Windsurfing
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA First aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun
  • RYA Marine Short Range Radio certificate
  • BC Foundation Safety and Rescue Training
  • Maritime Sector Overview
  • Vessel Ropework, Anchoring and Mooring Operations
  • Securing a Vessel for Passage
Year 2 – work towards achieving
  • RYA Competent crew
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory and Practical
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • RYA Safety Boat
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • Keelboat Introduction
  • NCFE Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Outdoor Pathway
NCFE Level 3 Modules
  • Exercise, Health and Lifestyle
  • Principles and Practices in outdoor adventure
  • Preparing for a career in sport and physical activity
  • Vessel Construction and Stability
  • Control operation of survival craft and rescue boats


Are the courses funded?

If you are 16-18 the course is funded. If you are 18+, funding may be available on a case by case basis, so speak to the Isle of Wight College Student Services team – see below.

Are the courses funded?

If you are 16-18 the course is funded. If you are 18+, funding may be available on a case by case basis, so speak to the Isle of Wight College Student Services team – see below.

Do I have to go on the water?

The courses encourage and offer opportunities and experiences within the outdoor industry and an interest in sport is essential to help relate theory-based work.

Do I need my own kit to do any of the courses?

UKSA has all the kit to do the course to keep you safe and warm outside, including wetsuits, buoyancy aids, spray tops and helmet. All you need to bring is some dinghy boots or old shoes to go in the water.

Where is the watersports training part of the course done?

The watersports activities are done in the River Medina at UKSA but also out in the Solent. When training out in the Solent you will be able to gain knowledge and experience of the tidal range, wind direction and how to control your vessel in any type of condition. You will have the opportunity to go on river trips in kayaks and canoes plus try stand up paddle boarding at UKSA. All windsurf training is taught at Thorness Bay, 4 miles down the road.

What equipment does UKSA have?

  • 4 Jeanneau 490 yachts
  • 2 x 65ft Farrs
  • 3 x Colgate 26ft Keelboats
  • 3 x J80 Keelboats
  • Dinghies, Kayaks, Windsurf boards and stand up paddleboard
  • 20 x RIBs and Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski)
  • Variety of watersports kit and equipment