BSS Examiners play a key role in helping create a safer environment that attracts people to the inland waterways. An examiner operates independently, offering boat owners a service to check whether a boat meets the BSS requirements.
Examiners are not employed by the navigation authorities or the BSS, their independence is an important aspect. Many examiners are self-employed, others for example, work in marine-based companies offering BSS examinations as part of a range of services to customers.
Examiners must be registered and agree to abide by the BSS Examiner Conditions of Registration and be dedicated to apply the BSS requirements in a consistent way, including using a checklist to ensure all of the relevant BSS checks are applied.
You can learn a lot more about the BSS Examination Checking Procedures online here.
Examining can be a solitary working environment and some examiners choose to become a member of an examiner body to share experiences and information. The BSS Office provides a dedicated website to support examiners in their role and offers technical support by email or over the phone.
What is the BSS?
The BSS is a public safety measure owned by Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency and introduced by the inland waterway navigation authorities to address the risks introduced by boats that have been inadequately constructed or maintained.
The primary concern is to prevent fire, explosion and other hazards that could endanger any people or property close to the boat in question e.g. other boaters, people on the towpath and the waterways workforce.
Firstly, the BSS provides the navigation authorities with a verification service whereby BSS Examiners examine vessels and issue BSS certifications when boats comply with prescribed BSS technical requirements. This website has much more about the BSS (purple ‘About Us’ section) and BSS requirements (red ‘Boat Examination’ section).
However, the BSS is much more than a verification service. The Scheme also helps to address the general risks of fire, explosion, carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and pollution through education and awareness. The direct relationship with boat owners means examiners can play a key role in raising the safety self-awareness of their customers – see the blue ‘Stay Safe’ section
What is the role of the BSS Office in regard to examiners and examinations?
The role of the BSS Office is to administer the Scheme and the BSS Examiners. The BSS Office authorises examiners to examine vessels and issue BSS certifications. We also administer the annual BSS examiner registration process, arrange any necessary seminars and training courses and provide examiners with all of the BSS examination documentation and any necessary technical support they need.
If you are still keen to become an examiner then please read all the information available to understand the considerable demands and responsibilities that come with the role before completing the online expression of interest form.