Information on Commercial Endorsements

What is a commercial endorsement?

A commercial endorsement is required for work on board British flagged vessels subject to the MCA's codes of practice for small commercial vessels.

A number of additional training courses and medical fitness certificates are required to be eligible for a commercial endorsement.

See below for more information.

Which certificates can be commercially endorsed?

The following certificates can receive the standard commercial endorsement:

I) Course completion certificate: 

II) Certificate of competence (exam passed):

Which certificate do I need?

The MCA's codes of practice categorise British flagged commercial yachts according to the type of yacht and the waters in which they operate. It is this categorisation that determines which of the above certificates you will need. See the MCA's table of manning requirements below.

The RYA is a certifying authority for the codes of practice and can give advice on the coding and categorisation of commercial yachts. See the requirements for commercial boats link below.

How do I apply for a standard commercial endorsement?

Send the following items to the RYA head office

RYA Certification, RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Hampshire SO31 4YA:

  • Your original certificate - see list above
  • Your Professional Practices and Responsibilities certificate - more information
  • A commercial endorsement application form - see link bellow
  • An ML5 or ENG1 medical fitness certificate - download the MCA's ML5 form from the link bellow. We can only accept the latest version of the ML5 form (currently Rev 04/12). Skippers working in category 1 or 0 waters will need the ENG1 medical. Contact the MCA for a list of approved doctors.
  • A copy of your RYA Basic Sea Survival certificate or STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  • RYA First Aid Certificate or other acceptable first aid certificate (only required if applying for a commercial endorsement to a Day Skipper, Powerboat Level 2 or Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate).
  • RYA SRC Certificate or other acceptable marine radio operator's certificate (only required if applying for a commercial endorsement to a Day Skipper, Powerboat Level 2 or Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate).
  • A passport sized photo with your name on the back
  • The fee of £30
  • your PPR Certificate 

Revalidating your commercial endorsement

All commercial endorsements must be revalidated every five years by proving at least 150 days of actual sea service on appropriate vessels during the previous five years, and be in possession of a valid medical fitness certificate.

If you are unable to prove the requisite sea service but are able to demonstrate that during at least half of the five year period you have been employed on duties closely associated with the management and operation of one or more of the appropriate types of vessels, you may have your certificate considered for revalidation.

*All applicants for the commercial endorsement also have to complete an online PPR course and assessment, as detailed here.

Once you have taken your first PPR course, at subsequent renewals of your commercial endorsement you will need to take a reduced version of the course and a short test to make sure you are still up to speed with the subject.