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BoatSafe training and accreditation

Image of the BoatSafe logo

In Queensland, all candidates for a marine licence, that is a recreational boat licence or personal watercraft licence, must satisfactorily complete either an approved BoatSafe competency-based training and assessment program or recognition of prior learning assessment with an approved BoatSafe training provider employed by a BoatSafe training organisation.

BoatSafe, modelled on national guidelines for the safe operation of recreational boats, is designed to increase the rigour of training and assessment processes improving the safety, awareness, attitudes and competence of all future licence holders.

Find out:

What a recreational boat licence BoatSafe course offers

This course covers theory and practical elements including the following units:

  • preparing a recreational vessel for operation
  • applying international and state regulations relevant to the operation of a recreational vessel
  • assessing weather conditions and forecasts
  • operating mechanical and electrical appliances of a recreational vessel
  • manoeuvring a recreational vessel
  • applying safety management processes on a recreational vessel.

You will be required to complete:

  • online or face to face theory training
  • 50 question multiple choice theory assessment (45mins to complete) 100% pass requirement
  • practical training driving the boat (until you are competent in all tasks)
  • practical assessment – you must successfully complete all tasks to be deemed competent.

Some of the practical activities you will need to be competent in are:

  • man overboard drill
  • safely approach a floating object
  • port and starboard turn on and off the plane
  • figure 8 manoeuvre on and off the plane
  • berthing and unberthing  
  • general navigation and control of the ship
  • operate at 6 knots or less.

What a personal watercraft licence BoatSafe course offers

This course covers theory and practical elements including the following units:

  • equipment and preparing a personal watercraft (PWC) for operation 
  • legislative requirements
  • manoeuvring a personal watercraft.

This course may be completed as a separate course (for existing marine licence holders) or done in conjunction with the recreational boat licence BoatSafe course. 

For a typical PWC course it will include:

  • online or face to face theory training
  • multiple choice theory assessment (45mins to complete) 100% pass mark
  • practical training driving the PWC (until you are competent in all tasks)
  • practical assessment – you must successfully complete all tasks to be deemed competent.

As we do with the boat training, we encourage you to practice riding a PWC with another licenced skipper or with a BoatSafe Trainer – you may not be competent in riding a PWC in just a few hours.

Some of the activities you should practice for both the PWC and Boat are:

  • man overboard drill
  • safely approach a floating object
  • port and starboard turn on and off the plane
  • figure 8 manoeuvre on and off the plane
  • berthing and unberthing  
  • general navigation and control of the ship/PWC
  • operate at 6 knots or less.

BoatSafe course duration

Training and practical assessment for a marine licence is 6 hours minimum. This will vary with your individual experience in operating a boat or being out on the water.

Additional time will be required to undertake and complete the written assessment. Refer to the BoatSafe RMDL Competency Standard and the BoatSafe PWCL Competency Standard.

Additional time will be required if both courses are undertaken at the same time.

Recognition of prior learning

The recognition of prior learning process is an alternative to completing the full BoatSafe course and caters for those who can provide evidence of other relevant qualifications, training or experience in operating a vessel. The BoatSafe training provider will determine if a student’s prior learning qualifies them for assessment either in part or full against the BoatSafe requirements.

If this relates to your situation, contact a BoatSafe training provider for consideration and assessment under the recognition of prior learning process.

All students must as a minimum complete the theory and practical assessment modules of the course to be deemed competent.

Become a BoatSafe training organisation

Before applying make sure you qualify for approval under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016.

How to apply

To apply to become a BoatSafe training organisation you will need to:

Submit your application

By post

Mail your BoatSafe training organisation application, documents and application fee and criminal history check receipts to:

Maritime Safety Queensland
BoatSafe Team
GPO Box 2595
Brisbane  QLD  4001

By email

Submit an electronic copy of your BoatSafe training organisation application, documents and receipt for the criminal history check to boatsafe@msq.qld.gov.au.

BoatSafe training provider nominations (including additions)

The BoatSafe training organisation must nominate 1 or more qualified BoatSafe training providers (F4076) for the department to endorse and provide relevant information about the nominated BoatSafe training provider shown in the BoatSafe Business Rules.

BoatSafe training providers who deliver personal watercraft training and assessment must have a marine licence in addition to their other qualifications and will need to be endorsed by the department for the delivery of this training and assessment.

Each nominated BoatSafe training provider must undergo a criminal history check and suitable person assessment to ensure they are a suitable person to deliver BoatSafe training and assessment.

Training facilities and equipment

An applicant for a BoatSafe training organisation authority must:

  • have access to a commercially certified vessel, appropriate for training for a marine licence. The vessel must be capable of performing all of the operational requirements specified in the BoatSafe RMDL Competency Standard and the BoatSafe PWCL Competency Standard with a minimum of 2 adults on-board
  • provide an area for the BoatSafe training provider to conduct the theory component of BoatSafe training
  • have resource requirements listed in the teaching and learning strategies contained in the BoatSafe Business RulesBoatSafe RMDL Competency Standard and the BoatSafe PWCL Standard.

Alternative training delivery

The department will consider alternative training tools or on-line delivery, for BoatSafe RMDL Competency Standard including the BoatSafe PWCL Competency Standard. Such alternative tools or methods must be approved by the department prior to their use.

For more information refer to the BoatSafe Business Rules.

Cancel your training authority

To cancel your BoatSafe training authority you must provide the following:

  • a signed letter of surrender of authority—including the date of surrender and address of the secure storage place for records of BoatSafe training and assessment
  • all unused BoatSafe Statement of Competency books and evidence of the request to remove all advertising.

You must keep student’s training records for at least 2 years from the date the record was made. The training records must be kept in a safe and secure manner and must be accessible for inspection by the department or be able to be retrieved and presented within 5 working days if requested.

Mail your cancellation documents to:

Maritime Safety Queensland
BoatSafe Team
GPO Box 2595
Brisbane  QLD  4001   

Changes to a BoatSafe training provider

A BoatSafe training organisation must immediately advise the department by email to boatsafe@msq.qld.gov.au if a BoatSafe training provider:

  • ceases to work for the particular BoatSafe training organisation
  • is convicted of an indictable offence
  • has contravened marine safety legislation
  • is incapacitated and otherwise becomes incapable of providing BoatSafe training and assessment.

Fees

Payment of fees can only be made at a Maritime Safety Queensland office and a copy of the receipt must be forwarded with the application/nomination form to the BoatSafe team.

Item  Cost as at 1 July 2020
Application to become a BoatSafe training organisation $549.50
Renewal for BoatSafe training organisation $549.50
Criminal history check $45.70

BoatSafe training provider fees

Payment of a criminal history check fee for each BoatSafe training provider.

BoatSafe audit framework

A BoatSafe authority holder must always comply with the conditions of their authority. Compliance is measured by audits conducted by officers of Maritime Safety Queensland. There are a number of audits that may be conducted throughout the currency of an authority. Refer to the BoatSafe Audit and Compliance Framework for more information.

BoatSafe Information Bulletins

BoatSafe Information Bulletins provide for the BoatSafe team to communicate with  BoatSafe authority holders. This includes the day to day application of the scheme requirements or specific event messages such as COVID-19 that cause for immediate change to the delivery of BoatSafe.

BIBs must be complied with as directed within the BIBs instruction and they do form part of the requirements for the authority holders' conditions of their authority.

  1. BIB-006 COVID-19 Operating conditions: May 2020
  2. BIB-008 Use of Hired or Chartered PWCs 
  3. BIB-009 Transitional Arrangements – BoatSafe Business Rules
  4. BIB-010 Reassessment of Practical Assessment
  5. BIB-011 Engagement of BTPs
  6. BIB-012 Emergency Stop Competency Clarification
  7. BIB-013 Requirements Surrounding Lesson Plans  
  8. BIB-014 PWC with Braking System/Reverse

Contact details

Contact us if you have any questions about getting BoatSafe training organisation accreditation.

Maritime Safety Queensland offices – for locations visit www.msq.qld.gov.au.

Email:  boatsafe@msq.qld.gov.au
 Post: Maritime Safety Queensland
BoatSafe Team
GPO Box 2595
Brisbane  QLD  4001
Last updated
11 November 2020