If you are looking to work commercial on board a power vessel up to 24m up to 20nm from a Safe haven in Cat 2-6 waters then you will need to pass the RYA/MCA Advanced Exam to get your Advanced Certificate of Competence before you can apply for your commercial endorsement. This blog answers some of the FAQs that we get asked and shows you which courses you may need to take depending on your experience level and knowledge.
Q: I have an RYA Level 2 certificate but haven’t had chance to practice my skills and am a bit rusty – do you run refresher courses?
A: If you haven’t had chance to use your L2 skills and are a bit rusty we offer a 3 hour session every month with one of our expert instructors to brush up on your slow speed handling in the marina. The sessions do not follow a specific syllabus and cover whatever slow speed skills you need to practice. We provide life-jackets so you just need to bring yourself, your Powerboat Level 2 certificate and logbook. Sessions cost £60 and to book click this link. If you are looking to purchase more than one session see our prepaid package deals where you can buy 2 and get one free just click here, sign up and browse our packages.
Q: Do I HAVE to have a Licence to operate a VHF Radio?
A: It is a legal requirement to hold the correct licence and the OfCom Enforcement Team can issue and on-the spot fine of up to £5000 or enforce a six month prison sentence. You can see more FAQs on the OfCom website click here. Our one-day VHF-SRC Radio course or our Interactive on-line course is suitable for anyone who will be operating a marine vhf radio whether you will be afloat in a canoe, kayak, clinker, speedboat, yacht or motor cruiser. You can see more information on our courses and all of the radio requirements on our featured courses page.
We offer 2 ways for students to study for their VHF-SRC Radio licences either through our one day classroom based course or using the RYA Interactive Online course. Click here for full details on how to book and to view our interactive course video. Some of our students like to work through the interactive site in their own time but many prefer the classroom based training so that they can maximize the time spent practicing all of their routine, urgency and distress calls using real life training radios. So what does the course entail and how scary is it to use the radios??? Read on for our FAQs covering Licence requirements, previous knowledge, course duration, VHF-SRC Exams, Course content and practical training.
Q: How do I get an ICC and do I need one in the UK?
A: The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is documentary assurance from one government to another that the holder meets the levels of competence laid down in something called Resolution 40 (a UN resolution affecting some European waters). It is not a qualification, but is accepted in lieu of a qualification in some countries which require boat users to be qualified. The type of ICC needed depends on the type of boat you plan to use abroad. To use a power driven vessel up to 10 metres you can use a powerboat Level 2 certificate to apply to the RYA for an ICC. For larger motor boats the minimum is a Day Skipper power certificate. Alternatively you can take an ICC test for either discipline – call or email us for more details. You don’t need an ICC for UK waters as the UK is unusual in that we don’t require leisure users to have any formal training, instead encouraging owners and users to seek their own training; accordingly the UK has some of the best marine leisure training available in the world, and also one of the best safety records.
Q: What is the minimum age for the RYA Powerboat Courses?
A: The minimum age for the RYA Powerboat Level 1 course is 8 years old, and for RYA Powerboat Level 2 it is 12. The RYA Powerboat Intermediate course lower age limit is 16, and it is 17 for the RYA Advanced Powerboat course.
Q: I am thinking of becoming an RYA Instructor – Do I need to hold First Aid Certificate to attend an Instructor Course?
A: All RYA Instructional Qualifications require you to hold an acceptable First Aid certificate prior to attending your Instructor Course. The most commonly accepted is the RYA First Aid at Sea Course but other certificates are also valid. You can see the current list of acceptable certificates here. You can find out more about our 1 Day First Aid at Sea Course here or if you have already decided to attend you can book yourself onto our next available course click here.
Q: Do I need to bring my own waterproofs, lifejackets etc for practical courses?
A: We have a large range of waterproof clothing in various sizes that we supply, free of charge, to our students. We offer spray suits for warmer weather, flotation suits for cooler weather and dry suits for those conducting night exercises. Our lifejackets are a minimum of 150N and are all serviced regularly. Of course if you have your own equipment and it is good working order we are happy for you to wear it.
Q: Where are your practical and theory courses run from?
A: The majority of our courses are run from our Regional Training Centre here in Portishead (see sidebar for more details). We have a large free car park, student coffee area (free tea and coffee throughout your course), 2 classrooms full of training aids and a large garage to house our sea survival equipment and Diesel Engine Trainer.
Q: Do I need to have completed an RYA Intermediate Course before I attend an RYA Advanced Powerboat Course?
A: Whist it isn’t a pre-requisite to hold an RYA Intermediate certificate you are required to be competent to the standard of the Intermediate Powerboat Certificate with a thorough knowledge of navigation and chart work to the level of the Day Skipper Shore based certificate. If you are unsure whether you meet this criteria you can check your Powerboat Logbook for the Intermediate syllabus or you can call us to discuss further before you book on 07788 185382.