4 Business & Operational Environment

Hopefully you have already looked at the required qualifications and experience, and having read the specification, you are certain you have the right attributes, attitudes and aptitudes, but does it make business and financial sense?

This page covers some of the business and financial factors that you have to take into account and should help you work out whether or not to progress with becoming a BSS Examiner.

Your business case

If you are a sole trader or small business manager, the business case for pursuing a place on the BSS Examiner Training Programme is a matter for you to carefully consider and if you don’t have experience in this regard, get advice from business support agencies and communities locally or nationally.

The total price examiner’s charge boat owners for boat examinations is not fixed or controlled by the BSS. Examiners compete with each other in a free market and the price to boaters will vary. Researching the ‘going-rate’ for BSS examinations in your planned operating area with examiners and boatyards will be critical part of your business.

One typical planning exercise would be to consider boats in scope of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations. If you are not Gas Safe registered (LPG & Boats), you may need to plan for a registered technician to also attend and undertake the gas-tightness test in your presence and that may have additional costs. Is your location and potential customer base more, or less likely to include boats in scope of the gas regulations?

You can find out how many examiners operate in the locality by visiting our find-an-examiner web-page.

Before applying to attend the BSS Examiner Training Course you are strongly advised to have prepared a business case that takes account of all direct and indirect costs including those associated with meeting the BSS Examiner Conditions of Registration as well as all costs of annual membership.

Annual costs

If and when a candidate passes the training course assessments, he/she may apply to the BSS Office to register as a BSS Examiner. The latest fixed registration, equipment and documentation costs associated with registering as an examiner are available following this link.

Examiners must maintain at their own expense and at all times, valid Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurances covering their BSS activity. Cover may be arranged independently but the terms and level of cover of any individual policy held by an examiner must not be less than those of the BSS Block Policies operated by three independent brokers – currently a minimum level of £5 million cover for each is required. Details of the BSS Block Policy providers are available from the BSS Office.

Variable costs

These costs are provided as a guide and are not exhaustive. The values below will be subject to changes.

Each time an examiner issues a BSS certification a charge (currently £43 + VAT) is accrued and the certifications issued during the previous month are invoiced at the end of that month.

Examiners are expected to maintain their level of competence throughout their career by attending BSS seminars or training and assessment courses at their own expense or where appropriate, keep their own competence qualifications current. Annual online and/or attended events should be the expectation. All training is provided at a cost neutral basis and recent courses cost £440 (plus VAT) for a mixed online and two-day attended course.

As a guide, the entry Training Programme fees are currently £4994 (Plus VAT)

You must have a respectable financial status

If a course attendee hasn’t already got a customer account with the Canal & River Trust, opening an account will be required as the Trust administers the BSS including handling all of our income and expenditure transactions.

This involves the invoicing of examiners on a monthly credit basis for all BSS certifications they issue. Having a poor credit rating may prevent an account from being set up and that would prevent you becoming an examiner.

You must be insurable

If you know that you will not be insurable this would exclude you from applying to become an examiner because of the need to hold valid Professional Indemnity and Public Liability cover, as mentioned previously.

You must be entitled to work in the UK

We are likely to check your status in this regard.

If you are 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.

1 About The BSS 2 Experience Skills 3 Apptitude Attidues 5 Make An Expression Of Interest