Core Training for Instructors (CTI)

The training of teachers has been an important feature of the work of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) since its inception in 1923.  The value of such training is recognised throughout the world and the ability of RSCDS teachers to pass on their skills to others is one of the main factors in ensuring the future, not only of the Society, but also of Scottish country dancing itself.

In addition to the Teaching Certificate training courses (Units 1 to 5) the RSCDS currently offers a Basic Teaching Skills course for those who are already leading/teaching, or about to take on a group, but who do not wish to sit the RSCDS teaching examinations. 

This CTI programme responds to an expressed need for training that is more rigorous than Basic Teaching Skills but less demanding than the Teaching Certificate in terms of time and money and does not assess personal footwork. 

Such a programme would meet the needs of individuals who are leading social groups and/or general classes. 



  • Discuss your interest in teaching with an experienced teacher
  • Submit Trainee's application form to the RSCDS Office (you must be a member or join the RSCDS and have attended a Scottish country dance class, preferably for at least three years.)
  • Arrange payment (£40) 
  • Select a Trainer from a list held at the RSCDS Office
  • After receiving confirmation of your Trainer from the RSCDS, discuss your aims and objectives with your Trainer.

Develop with a CTI trainer

  • Familiarise yourself with relevant RSCDS teaching materials
  • Develop your teaching skills with an existing or new group
  • Learn to understand dances and plan classes
  • Receive feedback on classes - using technology if Trainer is remote


  • Agree with Trainer when your aims and objectives have been achieved, within a two-year timespan
  • Receive final feedback from Trainer
  • Trainer submits the Trainer Confirmation Form to RSCDS Office along with the video and lesson plan for the final lesson
  • Trainee receives Statement of Proficiency as an Instructor of Scottish country dancing from the RSCDS 

CTI Syllabus for Trainees

In the CTI syllabus you will find further information on the following areas:

  • Stages in the CTI Training
  • Getting started
  • Core Skills
  • What to expect from the Trainer
  • Completing the Training
  • Further Development


Call for CTI Trainers

In order for the Core Training for Instructors programme to be successful, we require teachers who are willing to train the prospective instructors, and ultimately decide when they can proficiently instruct their class.

Trainers must be class teachers with a full (Part 2) RSCDS Teaching Certificate. Following qualification of Full Certificate, teachers should have 5 years of teaching experience, which should include working with beginners and intermediate dancers.

Further information on how to become a CTI Trainer is included in the Call for Trainers (CTI-1)


No, the course is open to anyone providing they adhere to local legislation with regard to being in sole charge of a class.

a) If a Trainee knows a CTI Trainer, they can approach them and with the Trainer’s agreement,   

     name the Trainer on their application form.

b) If a Trainee does not know any CTI Trainers, RSCDS Office will send them a list on receipt of   

    their application form. The Trainee will then send their 1st and 2nd preference to the Office.  

    Once the Office has agreement from one of the Trainers, that Trainer will contact the Trainee.

    The List of Trainers will give a Trainer’s name, branch, location and if they can deliver the CTI  

    course in a language other than English.

No. Each Trainee’s course is personalised to them and their class.

Trainees will come to the CTI course with varying experiences. Some will already be instructing a class while some will not have taken a class. Their own personal dance backgrounds will vary from only having attended a social class to very advanced technical classes.

The Trainer will decide when a Trainee is proficiently instructing their class. The length of time for a Trainee to reach this point in their training will depend on their starting attributes, as mentioned above and how often they are able to take a class.

It is expected that a Trainee would become proficient within two years. Some may reach proficiency within a term.

A minimum of 5 lessons must be seen by the Trainer either in person or by using technology.

Yes, there is no limit on how many Trainees a Trainer may work with at the same time.

Before accepting a Trainee, a Trainer must consider if they have adequate spare time to give to the training of this new Trainee.

Yes, however it is recommended that only one Trainer works with all the Trainees for that class. Where there is more than one Trainee per class, there must be good communication between the CTI Trainer, the Trainees and the class teacher.

More than one Trainee can allow them to support each other.

The main training should be concentrated on one class. The Trainee’s video submission of a lesson, at the end of their training course, will be from this class. During their training the Trainer should also discuss/advise as appropriate, on any other class that the Trainee is working with especially if the classes are of differing types such as social rather than general.

Firstly, a trainer should discuss their reasoning with the Trainee, and should listen to the points raised by the Trainee as to where they differ. If this does not resolve the problem a CTI Trainer can contact their Course Leader or the Convenor of E&T for advice.

A Trainee can contact the Convenor of E&T for advice.

a) Trainee starts training with Trainer X, then the decision is made for the partnership to discontinue after Y months for whatever reason. The Trainee can transfer to another Trainer and work with them for the remaining months of their two-year period. No further fee would be required.

b) If the Trainee will be prevented from completing their training within the two-year period by unforeseen circumstances, the Trainer should seek advice from the Convenor of E&T as soon as possible during the training. Examples of such circumstances may be illness or a class becoming unavailable.

c) In the unlikely event that after the two years, a Trainer feels that their Trainee is not up to standard but the Trainee insists on undertaking further training, a further fee will be charged and a new Trainer will be allocated. 

d) Only three two-year training periods for the CTI course will be permitted.


A Social Class is a social night out with dancing. Minimal step practice will probably only be with any beginners before the class starts and with formation practice as appropriate.  The evening may include dances that are easy and/or familiar to the group, including those known to the group already, as well as new or more complicated ones as appropriate.  The dances will include jigs, reels, strathspeys, and perhaps other tempos and styles that are familiar to the group.

A General Class is a dancing class with socialising.  Typically, this is a group of mixed level abilities, and the class is expected to include step practice and skill exercises as necessary. General classes will include steps taught/polished, formations/specific bars taken out of a dance and thoroughly taught, building up a dance, and giving instructional points where necessary. 

No. Trainers should discuss with their Trainee different formats for lesson plans. The most suitable for the Trainee should be used. The format of the lesson plan used in the final submission to the Office would be the same as that used during training.

Trainers should discuss with their Trainee what is meant by self-evaluation, reminding them to record when something went well along with areas where they could improve and how to achieve the improvement. These comments should be entered into the lesson plan after each lesson taught either beside the element related to the comment or at the end of the plan.

The self-evaluation would similarly be entered for the final lesson plan.

Yes. A Trainee should always reflect on a lesson. Each lesson will be different. In the early stages of training, it might just be in the form of a discussion with the Trainer and then progress to the Trainee writing the self-evaluation on their lesson plan.

Trainee must be able to walk out steps using the correct wording for the movements and foot positions. They should then dance the step. If the trainee feels that the class would benefit from demonstration of the step by a class member, this is encouraged. The Trainee should approach this class member beforehand rather than just asking them during the class.

During the training period the trainee should be encouraged to include RSCDS published dances in their training. However, it may be appropriate to also include dances from other sources for their particular class.

Dances used during the class for the Trainee’s final video submission at the end of their course MUST only be dances published by RSCDS Headquarters. This does not include RSCDS Branch publications.  Remember this is an RSCDS qualification and as such we should be promoting the RSCDS and their published dances. Guidance on the choice of RSCDS dances appears in Appendix 2 in CTI-10 Syllabus for CTI. ‘

a) Trainees should be encouraged to build up a collection of books. Their Trainer should discuss  

with them which dances are popular in their class. Then they can look at the corresponding RSCDS compilation books to see which books would give the widest coverage of these dances to start their collection of books. The three Graded Books and the 30 Popular Dances books Vol 1 and Vol 2 would give a wide selection of dances.

b) Local dancers may have books they are no longer using. 

c) Copyright permits one copy of published materials to be made for personal use.

d) Trainees should be discouraged from using cribs or diagrams as their only source for instructions.

Yes, permission must be sought from all dancers in the class. Trainee keeps the consent form in order to add names and signatures if additional dancers join the class. The Trainee gives their Trainer sight of the form. The form is destroyed at the end of the training.

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