Commercial Endorsements 

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

See below for more information.

Which certificates can be commercially endorsed?

The following certificates can receive the standard commercial endorsement:

I) Course completion certificate: 

  • RYA National Powerboat Certificate - Level 2        
  • RYA National Powerboat Certificate - Advanced (only if issued before January 1, 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.

II) Certificate of competence (exam passed):

  • 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.

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 below.

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 boats link below.

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 Responsibilites certificate - more information
  • A commercial endorsement application form - see link on the right
  • An ML5 or ENG1 medical fitness certificate - download the MCA's ML5 form from the link on the right. We can only accept the latest version of the ML5 form (currently Rev 04/12). 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
  • 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 or Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate).
  • RYA SRC Certificate or other acceptable GMDSS Marine Radio Operator's Certificate.
  • A passport sized photo with your name on the back
  • The fee

*April 2012 onwards applicants for the commercial endorsement also have to complete an online PPR course and assessment, as detailed here.

STCW 78 Endorsement

The STCW 78 endorsement is for holders of the RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore and Yachtmaster™ Ocean Certificates of Competence working under non-UK maritime authorities. It requires you to take four additional courses:

1. Personal Survival Techniques (STCW A-V1/1-1)

2. Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (STCW A-V1/1-4)

3. Elementary First Aid (STCW A-V1/1-3)

4. Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention (STCW A-V1/1-2)

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 endosement whilst holding a current commercial endorsement then a fee of £15.00 will be required.

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.

*April 2012 onwards applicants for the commercial endorsement also have to complete an online PPR course and assessment, as detailed here.

Note: If you are over 65 and subject to more regular medical fitness examinations, you do not need to take the PPR course each time you renew your medical. You will simply need to take it when your commercial endorsement is due for renewal (normally every five years).

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Article Published: May 19, 2009 13:33

Article Updated: November 25, 2015 13:31


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