Commercial Endorsements 

What is a commercial endorsement?
Which certificates can be endorsed?
Which certificate do I need?
Applying for a commercial endorsement
STCW 78 endorsement
Revalidating your commercial endorsement

What is a commercial endorsement?

A commercial endorsement is required for work on board British flagged vessels subject to the MCA's codes of practice for small commerical vessels.

A number of additional training courses and medical fitness certificates are required to be eligible for a commercial endorsement.

Which certificates can be commercially endorsed?

The following certificates can receive the standard commercial endorsement:

Course completion certificates: 

  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling Certificate
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate (only if issued before 1 January 2005)         
  • RYA Day Skipper (tidal) practical course completion certificate
  • RYA Day Skipper (non-tidal) practical course completion certificate, (only if supported by a Day Skipper shorebased course completion certificate)

Certificates of competence:

  • RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence
  • RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence
  • RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence  

In addition, the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean Certificates of Competence can receive the STCW endorsement (see below).

Which certificate do I need?

The MCA's codes of practice categorise British flagged commercial yachts according to the type of yacht and the waters in which they operate. It is this categorisation that determines which of the above certificates you will need. See the MCA's table of manning requirements on the right.

The RYA is a certifying authority for the codes of practice and can give advice on the coding and categorisation of commercial yachts. See the 'Requirements for commercial craft' on the right.

How do I apply for a standard commercial endorsement?

Send the following items to RYA Certification, RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Hampshire SO31 4YA:

  • Your original certificate - see list above
  • Your Professional Practices and Responsibilities certificate
  • A commercial endorsement application form - see link on the right
  • Your original ML5 or ENG1 medical fitness certificate - see link on the right Note: We can only accept the latest version of the ML5 form (currently Rev 0412). Skippers working in category 1 or 0 waters will need the ENG1 medical. Contact the MCA for a list of approved doctors.
  • A copy of your RYA Basic Sea Survival certificate or STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  • A copy of your RYA First Aid Certificate or other acceptable first aid certificate (only required if applying for a commercial endorsement to a Day Skipper, Powerboat Level 2 Powerboat Handling or Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate).
  • A copy of your RYA Marine Radio SRC Certificate or other acceptable GMDSS Marine Radio Operator's Certificate.
  • A passport sized photo with your name on the back
  • The application fee

STCW 78 Endorsement

STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) is an international agreement by the maritime nations to mutually accept certain seafaring qualifications.

On British flagged vessels operating in the UK or in many non-UK ports, an RYA Certificate of Competence with a standard commercial endorsement fulfils all legal requirements. However, some marine administrations prefer additional STCW qualifications.

Holders of commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean certificates of competence can obtain an additional endorsement to comply with STCW if they hold the following certificates:

  • STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (half a day)
  • STCW Elementary First Aid (one day)    
  • STCW Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention (two days)
  • STCW Personal Survival Techniques (one day)

The following wording will appear on your certificate:

The certificate holder has completed training under the STCW code A-V1/1 Para 2.1. This certificate is valid for use as Master of yachts of up to 200gt on commercially and privately registered yachts until [date of expiry].

Please note that if you wish to add the STCW 78 endorsement at the point of applying for your commercial endorsement you will not be required to pay an additional fee.  However, should you wish to add the STCW 78 endorsement whilst holding a current commercial endorsement, a fee of £15.00 will be required.

MCA Master of Coded vessels less than 200gt and other higher large yacht MCA qualifications are STCW accredited.

Professional Practices and Responsibilities course

Since April 2012 it has been a requirement for commercial endorsement holders to take the online Professional Practices and Responsibilities course (PPR).

All new applicants for the endorsement must take the course prior to submitting their application.

Existing commercial endorsement holders who gained their endorsement prior to April 2012 will be required to take the course prior to their next revalidation. More details are available through the link on the right.

Revalidating your commercial endorsement

All commercial endorsements must be revalidated every five years by proving at least 150 days of actual sea service on appropriate vessels during the previous five years, and be in possession of a valid medical fitness certificate.

If you are unable to prove the requisite sea service but are able to demonstrate that during at least half of the five year period you have been employed on duties closely associated with the management and operation of one or more of the appropriate types of vessels, you may have your certificate considered for revalidation.

You can download a revalidation form from the link on the right.

Contact Us

Article Published: May 19, 2009 13:33

Article Updated: March 16, 2016 11:20


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