UK Boat Safety Scheme governance changes announced

UK Boat Safety Scheme governance changes announced
UK Boat Safety Scheme governance changes announced

The Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, Broads Authority, and the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities have announced some governance changes to the Boat Safety (BSS) Scheme which will see it become a not-for-profit company. As a company limited by guarantee, Boat Safety Scheme Limited has been incorporated to take on the work of the existing Scheme from 1 April 2024.

The Scheme’s structure remains unchanged, with all income returned into the running costs and continuing the safety improvements brought about by the Scheme since its inception in 1995.

Boating customers of the various navigation and harbour authorities won’t see any change to their existing BSS Certification or boat licence/registration processes because of these changes. The current Boat Safety Standards will continue to apply in the same form – with current BSS Certificates remaining valid until their existing renewal date.

Boat Safety Scheme Limited will also continue to regulate the training and accreditation of independent BSS Examiners in the same way as the current Scheme.

Jon Horsfall, Director of Boat Safety Scheme Limited in welcoming the new arrangements said, “The governance changes will bring greater transparency on decision-making and clarify relationships between the existing stakeholders. We will continue to reference best practice and technology by seeking advice of our existing technical and stakeholder consultative forums. We also like the clarity that a new joint navigation and harbour authority standards setting forum brings. Its role is to decide collectively about implementing any BSS recommendations for making changes to current, or adopting new, safety standards.”

The navigation and harbour authorities are committed to working with Boat Safety Scheme Limited to ensure the highest safety standards for boats on their waters.

Anyone with queries or concerns about these new arrangements can contact the Scheme by email at

Further information including some ‘Questions & Answers’ will be posted on the BSS website.

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