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These are pages about certificates and examinations.

It can also be used to make comments or raise queries about a BSS Examination your boat has had.

We would also be grateful for any information about incidents of boat fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution, or even just close calls that you or your family may have had.

Pictures, documents and other files can be uploaded if you think it will help explain and illustrate your comments, queries or incident reports.

Are you thinking about becoming an Examiner?

You need:-

  • experience, expertise and knowledge about boat systems; and
  • to be passionate about helping keeping people to stay safe and delivering great customer service.
  • to be methodical, self-disciplined
  • to be fully confident about using computers or tablets as all the administration is online and by email (you will still have to be prepared to give customers printed certificates)
  • to have a business plan.

If this is you - read about it here.

'Buying a boat?'

Are you thinking of buying a boat. If you have never owned a boat before, try this website for 'newbies' www.onthewater.co.uk for people thing about the having fun afloat.

Essential information for potential liveaboards is to be found at www.rboa.org.uk (Residential Boat Owners Association) or check out the association on Facebook. This is important reading before making any life-changing decisions.

BSS Certificates and pre-purchase surveys

A BSS certificate is not a boat survey. Please do not rely on a BSS certificate to support your boat purchase decision. Here's our explanation - BSS examinations: Framework & Limitations

As a potential boat purchaser, if you are told the boat has a current certificate, but no one knows where it is, before money changes hands ask the seller to obtain the BSS certification details (number and dates) from the registering navigation authority (e.g. Broads Authority, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, etc.). See below for copy certificate information.

Copies of Certificates: 

You must be the registered owners/keepers of the boat in question and there can be a fee payable. We will check personal details with the registering navigation authority.

Canal & River Trust customers can obtain BSS details from the Trust's online system here https://licensing.canalrivertrust.org.uk/Account/SignIn?ReturnUrl=%2f

Examiners must still provide certification reports. Boat owners must be given either an electronic copy, or a paper copy or even both as agreed with  boat owner

If your examiner has not provided you with a report, please ask him for a copy.

Certificate details are not available on the BSS website for members of the public. Only navigation authority staff, BSS examiners and the BSS office staff have access to the information. Some navigation authorities are now providing an online information service for their registered boating customers including the Canal & River Trust (see above)

Certificate format: -From April 2013, there was a change in examination documentation issued to boat owners? This page explains the changes. (Certificates issued before 31 March 2013 will continue to support boat registrations until they expire on their fourth anniversary).

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Our contact details

The main address of the BSS is :

Boat Safety Scheme,
First Floor North,
Station House,
500 Elder Gate,
Milton Keynes
MK9 1BB

Tel: 0333 202 1000