MCA Boatmasters Licence
Classic Cruising has formed a partnership with Thames and Orwell Marine Services (www.t-oms.co.uk) to introduce a new training facility based on the Thames to meet the need for preparation for the examination for the Boatmasters licence Tier 1 Level 2. The outline prospectus for this training facility, operating inder the working title of BML Training (Thames) is shown below. The detailed programme which will deliver the MCA published syllabus is under construction and will be published here soon. In the meantime enquiries may be directed as shown below.
Prospectus and Course Syllabi
School Prospectus A
Training Criteria B
Practical Examination C
Oral Examination D
1. The BML Training School (Thames) is a newly established enterprise, based on the sailing Barge ‘The May’, currently berthed on the Thames in St Katharine Dock. It has established in response to the perceived difficulty that individuals and employers have in to identifying suitable training to prepare candidates for the examination for the national generic Boatmaster’s licence.
2. The School is a joint venture, set up by Charles B Telfer CBE of Classic Cruising and Gerald Gadd of Thames and Orwell Marine Services. Charles will be the lead tutor delivering the course content and Gerald, as owner and Master of the sailing barge ‘The May’ will be providing the course venue and tutoring support.
3. All training will be based on the BML syllabus published by the MCA and the programmes will be modular in nature. Those students in employment in the marine industry will be able to record progress through each module in concert with their accumulating experience in the BML Task Record Book.
4. The training method will be a mix of theory and practical activity with the emphasis on demonstration and learning by doing. Paperwork activity will be kept to the minimum; but due regard will be given to the responsibilities of a Master in maintaining ship’s records and documentation and ability in chart work.
5. In addition to the delivery of the formal BML syllabus, and with the agreement of employers, candidates will be ‘ mentored’ whilst at work to ensure that the maximum benefit is drawn from their working experience between tutorial days.
6. Prior to undertaking the BML examination, candidates will be advised and guided on the nature of the examination and will undergo a ‘mock’ test to improve the chances of success.
7. Courses will be flexibly structured to cater for candidates needs
a. For those who need tutoring in the whole syllabus, 20 tutorial days spread over an agreed number of weeks to allow day release arrangements to be made with employers.
b. For those who need only to be prepared in selected areas of the syllabus, a structured programme to meet the need: e.g. for those who need only the chartwork module over 5 tutorial days. Other modules will require an appropriate number of tutorial days.
c. For those who have a completed Task Record book and who need only a coaching session for taking the examination, a module of 5 days immediately prior to the examination.
d. Other requirements will be met following candidate interview and discussion.
8. Individuals and employers who wish to know more about this new enterprise should contact
Charles B Telfer at email@example.com or on tel 07802 354934
Gerald Gadd at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel 07850 590468
BML Tier 1 Level 2
1. The mandatory requirements for the issue of the Boatmaster’s licence and the standards of competence to be achieved are set out in statutory instruments of Parliament. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has laid down the criteria for Boatmaster training and certification in the United Kingdom. The content of this document and its Annexes are in compliance with these criteria as they apply to the BML Tier 1 level 2 which covers the tidal Thames (Category C and D and limited coastal area). The MCA required training time of 180 hours for study of the full syllabus is reflected in the detail of this document.
Health and Safety
2. BML Training School (Thames) will conduct all of its activities and training exercises with due regard to the health and safety of trainees and training staff as well as any other person affected by the School’s activities. This will be achieved by formally documented risk assessment analyses prior to the commencement of training activities and the latter will be conducted in accordance with the resultant method statement. Each training activity will be controlled by a named competent person who is capable of taking action in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
Task Record Book
3. The Task Record Book (MSF 4367 – Rev 03-07. Doc 24/04/2007) is a vital personal document which the candidate must maintain as a record of experience and qualifying service before the examination for the licence can be taken. Similarly, any training courses undertaken prior to the examination must be preceded by sufficient experience to take maximum benefit from the tuition.
Eligibility for the BML Examination
4. The minimum eligibility criteria for the examination for a Tier 1 level 2 BML for waters Category C, D and limited coastal areas are:
a. Completion of all the requirements of the Task Record Book.
b. Completion of all of the qualifying service i.e. 240 days service during a minimum of 24 months.
c. The endorsement for General Passenger Operations requires a further 120 days service which may be accrued within the same 24 month period.
d. The minimum age for the generic BML is 18 yrs. The minimum age for the General Passenger endorsement is 21 yrs.
e. Completion of training in the underpinning knowledge set out in Annexes A and B to this document.
f. Completion of safety courses
1) Personal survival/water safety
2) Fire safety
3) First aid
g. Production of a satisfactory medical report ML5
Eligibility for BML Training
5. Eligibility for training is less rigid than that applicable for the examination. Nevertheless, it is necessary to lay down guidelines to ensure that the candidate can benefit from training and that time, effort and money is not wasted in undertaking premature or unnecessary training. The following give a guide to potential candidates.
a. Those with a complete Task Record Book and with qualifying service can start the full programme shown at Annexes A and B.
b. Those with an incomplete Task Record Book and who have not yet acquired the qualifying service can start the full programme shown at Annexes A and B; but will be required to continue the completion of the Task Record Book and the required service time before taking the examination.
c. Those who have completed all of the training required and have the requisite qualifying service can undertake a mock practical and oral examination prior to the real examination.
d. Attendance on safety courses can take place at any time in the process.
Scheduling and Provision of Training
6. BML Training School (Thames) will seek to reach agreement with employers for practical training to be conducted as described at Annex A on board a company vessel. Each training session will last 2 days for no more than 6 trainees.
7. BML Training (Thames) will provide a training venue in St Katharine Dock on board the sailing barge ‘The May’ for the training described at Annex B. No more than 2 days will be scheduled in the working week.
8. Trainees will be responsible for providing.
a. Task Record Book with entries updated.
b. Chartwork instruments – plotter, divider, notebooks, pencils, erasers.
c. Admiralty chart No SC1607
d. PLA River Byelaws (1978) as amended
9. BML Training School (Thames) will provide all other instruction material.
Meals and Refreshments
10. Not provided: but café and restaurant facilities available within St Katharine Dock.
11. Public car park available adjacent to St Katharine Dock.
12. Public transport by bus and tube to Tower Hill close by.
Course Price Structure
13. Contact us for details of prices for courses
a. BML 10 week Course
b. RYA First Aid Training
c. VHF( DSC) Short Range certificate
d. Personal Survival
e. Fire Safety
14. The intent of the foregoing is to offer a service which will meet the needs of commercial operators on the Thames with regard to improving the availability of qualified Masters. We will be pleased to discuss with employers how we might be able to do that.
BML Training (Thames)
Syllabus and Training Programme
Part 1 Practical Examination
BML Tier 1 Level 2
SYLLABUS - 2 training days
1. Pre sailing checks for
b. Fire fighting equipment
c. Bilge pumps
d. Securing of deck equipment and hatches
e. Steering system
f. Bridge navigation instruments
g. Access to engine rooms and machinery spaces
h. Securing and serviceability of deck machinery including lifting gear
2. Crew safety briefing including PPE, safe working practices and special instructions relating to the vessel and the passage being undertaken.
3. Berthing procedures including stern fetching (to include briefing and control of crew).
4. Mooring procedures including safe handling of ropes on winches, cleats and bollards when under strain
5. Effects of windage, tidal stream and currents on vessel handling
6. Significance of draw off, squat, under keel clearances in shallow water
7. Handling a vessel at close quarters including turning and stopping to hold position in confined area
8. Steering a steady course using sight lines and transits
9. Giving and receiving steering instructions to alter course
10. Holding a steady course by compass
11. Giving and receiving steering instructions by compass reference
12. Steering by engine and rudder positioning in single and twin engine systems
13. Helm and engine controls including helm/rudder/engine indicators and bow thrusters
14. Rope work, access and lifting gear
15. Engine management, machinery, fire fighting systems, bilge/seacocks management
16. Bridge instruments and uses
17. MOB emergency procedure
Training will consist of 2 days practical tuition aboard a vessel > 24m and have single or double screw propulsion. The vessel to be provided under arrangements of the employing company and manned by at least one qualified master provided by the employer. All running costs and insurance costs to be borne by the employer. No more than 6 candidates will undergo tuition at one time. At the conclusion of the training, the candidate may undertake a 1 day mock practical examination prior to the real examination.
Prior to undertaking the training, the candidate is to produce the Task Record Book showing certificated evidence of the criteria required for the BML examination. Where the Task Record book does not show such evidence the training may be undertaken on the understanding that the necessary criteria will be achieved prior to the examination.
BML Training (Thames)
Syllabus and Training Programme
Part 2 Oral Examination
BML Tier 1 Level 2
SYLLABUS 20 Training Days
Module 1 – 5 training days
Generic chartwork and navigation
Tides and currents
Module B – 5 training days
Passage and pilotage planning
Action in emergencies
Locks and bridges
Module C – 5 training days
Publications and legislation
Module D – 5 training days
Safety Management Systems
Ship construction and stability
Vessel handling in extreme weather
Basic engineering and machinery
Health and safety
Pollution prevention and waste management
Modules are sequential and candidates’ knowledge and competency will be tested before proceeding to the following module. Training days will be scheduled to allow for work commitments and will not exceed 2 days per week. Candidates will be required to complete module assignments in their own time between tutorial days and utilising their working time to re-enforce knowledge gained during the course.
At the conclusion of the full 20 day training course, candidates may opt to undergo a mock Part 2 Oral examination prior to taking the real examination. This will require 1 day extra to the course schedule.
Candidates will be free to consult tutors between training days for guidance in applying knowledge at their place of work. This will only be done with the agreement of the employer.
Candidates need to be in possession of the standard MCA Task Record Book and show certificated employer evidence that they are at or working towards the necessary criteria and experience required to undertake the BML examination at the end of the course.