Governing The BSS

Governance is the means by which Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, Broads Authority and other navigation and harbour authorities maintain a sustainable BSS that is accountable to its stakeholders.

There are changes to the governance of the Boat Safety Scheme being implemented on 1 April 2024, which will see the Scheme become a not-for-profit company.

As a company limited by guarantee, Boat Safety Scheme Limited has been incorporated to take on the work of the existing Scheme.

There is more information on Boat Safety Scheme Limited, on this page [LINK]

Currently up to 31 March 2024, the BSS Management Committee makes the important policy decisions and signs off the  BSS financial accounts and budget and the planned BSS risk management activity for the coming year.

Governance is the system by which the BSS is directed and controlled, focusing particularly on the BSS purpose and setting performance objectives and financial standards within the not-for-profit parameters, making key decisions and overseeing their implementation. It is also the focus for reports on the progress in meeting the performance objectives and associated planned risk-avoidance activities, and for assessing and controlling any business risks.

BSS Management Committee

The BSS Management Committee has the fundamental role on behalf of the Navigation Authorities:

  • to determine and set in place an overall management framework which ensures the quality, cost effectiveness and the long term viability of the Scheme;
  • to control and monitor the BSS and its operation and ensure it operates to time, budget and within agreed policy in support of its purpose and aligned with wider navigation authority interests;
  • to manage the Scheme's resilience and other business risks to the BSS.

All key decisions including those concerning any new BSS requirements, the need for BSS safety awareness initiatives or the cost of certification to boaters, determining complaints about examiner performance are made by the BSS Management Committee.

The BSS Management Committee receives guidance from the two BSS support committees to help them (BSS Advisory Committee and BSS Technical Committee). Financial control of the BSS is delivered by the BSS Management Committee Executive.

For meeting notes and further information about the BSS Management Committee click here.

BSS Advisory Committee

The BSS Advisory Committee is the stakeholder committee that makes recommendations to the BSS Management Committee on matters pertaining to the operation and impact of the BSS. The customer-group interests are evenly represented on the BSS Advisory Committee.

For meeting notes and further information about the BSS Advisory Committee click here.

BSS Technical Committee

The BSS Technical Committee is the stakeholder committee that makes recommendations to the BSS Advisory Committee concerning issues of a technical nature.

The BSS Technical Equivalence Panel is a sub-committee to BSS Technical Committee and offers guidance on the equivalence of systems or components when an appeal is presented by the owner or supplier.

BSS Office

BSS Office staff act in the role of a secretariat to the BSS committees and provide operational, policy and technical reports.