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RYA powerboat courses are primarily for those using small powered craft such as RIBs, dories and sportsboats that don’t generally undertake long or offshore passages.


The types of commercial craft requiring this level of certification are typically: charter fishing boats, small passenger launches, thrill ride operators, harbour patrol launches, construction site safety boats etc.


If you will be using larger boats with accommodation and the capacity to cruise or work further offshore you are likely to need a certificate within the motor cruising programme such as Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore.


There are two types of Advanced certificate:

a) a course completion certificate awarded by a training centre on successful completion of a two-day training course

b) a certificate of competence awarded by the RYA/MCA on successful completion of an exam


If you need a Powerboat Advanced certificate in order to work on board a commercial craft subject to the MCA’s codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed. You can then work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 waters – that is up to 20 miles from a safe haven.

Please note: it is only possible to commercially endorse an RYA/MCA Powerboat Advanced Certificate of Competence (option b above). The only exception to this is if you were awarded a course completion certificate (option a above) prior to 1 January 2005, in which case you may obtain a commercial endorsement without having to pass the exam.

RYA Commercial:

  • 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.

  • The following certificates can receive the standard commercial endorsement:

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

  • RYA Day Skipper (non-tidal) practical course completion
    certificate, only if supported by a Day Skipper shorebased course completion certificate

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.

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