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Skipper licensing 

The RYA does not believe that compulsory skipper licensing will of itself enhance safety.

The RYA considers that knowledge, skills and experience rather than regulation are the foundations upon which personal safety and responsibility are built.  The RYA supports a continued ethos of self-reliance and responsibility for one's own safety afloat amongst the recreational boating community.

Recreational boating in the UK has consistently demonstrated a stronger safety record than in many countries in which the skippers of small privately-operated recreational craft are compelled to hold a licence.  Consequently, the RYA believes that the introduction of a system of compulsory testing and/or licensing for the skippers of small privately-operated recreational craft, instead of the current voluntary approach, would not of itself enhance recreational boating safety and may even serve to reduce it.

The RYA wants to achieve

  • Continued ethos of self-reliance and responsibility for own safety on board within the recreational boating community.

RYA has successfully

  • Resisted previous attempts to introduce ill-conceived compulsory skipper licensing schemes that would contribute nothing to recreational boating safety.

RYA position

The RYA strongly encourages recreational boaters to develop and broaden their knowledge and skills through voluntary recreational boat training.

The RYA opposes the introduction of compulsory testing and/or licensing for the skippers of privately-operated recreational craft of <24m load-line length or <80GT.

Currently

A significant part of the work done by the RYA is aimed at ensuring boaters - through training courses and awareness initiatives - are well equipped in terms of knowledge and experience for the boating activity they are participating in.

The UK has a strong learning culture in recreational boating. The RYA believes that knowledge, skills and experience are the foundations on which personal safety and responsibility are built.

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