Conflicts of Interest

Examiners must be seen to be impartial and conflicts of interest avoided, this part of your Condition of Registration.

A conflict of interests is where an examiner has a competing personal interest that has, or may be seen to have, the potential to influence and undermine the impartial judgement of the Examiner. As such alerts examiners must stay alert and be cautious concerning this matter because of the importance of the perception of others in this respect.

Whether a conflict exists or potentially exists largely depends upon the perceptions of those parties who may have a direct interest, for example the boat owner, navigation authorities or competing examiners, boatyards etc.

A conflict of interest will be presumed to exist where any circumstance arises which may impinge, or might reasonably be seen to impinge, on an Examiner's judgement. An Examiner must not carry out a BSS Examination where such circumstances exist.

These circumstances include, but are not limited to, any vessel in which the Examiner:

  • owns, owns in part; or

  • is contracted to sell; or

  • has any management or control over the vessel ('Management control' means circumstances in which the examiner has the power to decide whether or not the boat is sold or perhaps let out for hire.)

So where there is any potential for someone to percieve that a conflict exists, examiners must seek the guidance of the BSS Manager who will advise the Examiner on the appropriate course of action which must be followed.

It is important to take these steps in advance, because where a conflict of interest is proven retrospectively to have existed at the time of examination, the result will be nullified by the BSS Manager, depending upon circumstances, including the length of time since the examination was carried out.

By following this Guidance it will help protect you from allegations of a conflict of interest and allows you to be seen as impartial in application of the Scheme's requirements and that too protects the public and the reputation of the Scheme and Navigation Authorities.

Undertaking work to bring a vessel to BSS compliance and/or offering advice on non-BSS matters

For the same reasons above, where an Examiner carries out works to bring a vessel to BSS compliance, or offers advice on non-BSS matters, care must be exercised.

Such works must be the subject of a separate contract to the arrangements under which the examiner conducts any BSS Examination of the vessel.

Clarity is your best protection, as separate contracts will help your decisions to be seen as impartial. The contract can be verbal or written, however written terms are clearly a superior form of protection.