Central certification - make registering a priority


Rachel Andrews, RYA Chief Instructor of the Powerboat, Personal Watercraft and Inland Waterways schemes explains why registering certificates is so important and shares some tips to ensure the process runs smoothly at your RTC...

Central certificate registration started in April 2010 and was developed as a way of keeping a record of all certificate holders and to tighten up on security - with the added bonus of being able to verify lost certificates. Currently, all Powerboat Level 2, Powerboat Advanced, Personal Watercraft Proficiency, Inland Waterways Helmsman and Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper practical certificates are required to be registered.

The system has evolved over the years, making it quicker and easier for RYA recognised training centres (RTCs) to complete the online process. And today, registering an individual certificate should take less than 5 minutes, provided you have all the information to hand.

Registering certificates is essential for us to maintain the integrity of the RYA schemes. Only registered certificates are valid, and by default, any certificate that is unregistered is potentially fraudulent and cannot be honoured for any purpose (i.e. for issue of commercial endorsement, ICC, instructor qualifications etc.). 

The system benefits everyone, but all too often, the RYA’s Certification and Training departments and RTCs end up tangled in a time-consuming web of emails, phone calls and letters when a certificate is presented which has not been registered. So, how can you make sure the process runs smoothly at your centre?


Tips for making the process more joined up

  • Check that booking forms/online booking process collects all of the required fields for certificate registration, e.g. date of birth and correct address.
  • Add an ‘office use only’ section, in which you note the number of the certificate issued
  • Devise a system for following up when a candidate has not presented with a photo
  • Use a tracking system for certificate inventory which identifies new certificates received, whether they are in stock/have been issued/have been spoiled (see example below)

Date Ordered

Certificate No.

In Stock?

Registered To

Date Registered





Rachel Andrews















 Example of tracking system for certificates

Only present a certificate to a successful candidate with a photo in place, all required fields completed and the sealing film stuck in place. In situations where a student has not provided a photograph, the certificate should be registered online but kept at the training centre until a suitable photo is provided.

Over 90 days since the course? These must still be registered, use the normal certificate registration hub and follow the on-screen instructions

Help with certificate registration

We want centres to be able to register certificates easily, so there are a number of ways to get help with this:

  • For technical help, such as change of login details or error codes during the certificate registration process, email training.support@rya.org.uk
  • Watch the certificate registration tutorial – a short video showing the process of adding a student and registering their certificate is available on the Certificate Registration Hub.

As we move towards the 10th anniversary of online registration, let’s work together to make prompt registration a priority.

Wavelength November 2019