When you take your lessons with a school that is IKO certified, they will teach you to the requirements of the International Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO).
Level 1 and 2 are usually reached during your second or third lesson (depending on the duration of your lesson, previous watersports experience and fitness level).
Level 1 and 2 will include all the skills you need to acquire before you attempting your first water starts. Level 2 I is the water start itself and once you get quite consistent with that you are going to reach the IKO level 3 in no time.
The IKO level 3 is split into sections from J – N. The first step is to control your riding speed by edging which is shortly going to progress into changing directions without stopping and being able to consistently ride in all directions and between other riders.
Riding between other riders also requires you to know about the right of way rules and respect these rules.
From here it can be quite a stretch to reach the IKO level 3 L1 and N2 but you could be surprised how much of a learning curve it actually is.
To become a fully independent IKO level 3 rider you also need to know how to do a complete risk assessment, self-launch your kite and know the theory and safety rules for jumps before attempting those.
What do you need the IKO levels for?
If you are taking lessons with a school that teaches to the IKO standards, it is not problem to take lessons with another school that teaches to these standards as the new Instructor can pick up your lessons from where you left it of the time before.
If you are looking to rent gear, most schools require you to have the IKO level 3 independent rider.