MCA Accredited

Professional Training for Professional Skippers

Syllabus for Small Passenger Vessel Course

National Community Boats Association
Profiles of standard courses
Certificate in community boat management

Management of NCBA courses

The NCBA suite of courses is managed by accredited training centres which are monitored and supported to maintain the standards set in the NCBA regulations. Courses are moderated by visits from a senior trainer to establish that content and teaching standards are met.

The CCBM is the last in a set of three courses leading to competence as a captain of a community canal boat. The courses link, one to the next, as shown in the diagram below.

The course qualifies you, under MCA regulations, to captain a community boat carrying no more than twelve passengers on the majority of inland waterways. You learn, too, what to find out and do before captaining in an unfamiliar situation.

CCBM requirements

The course is for people of 17 and over. You need to have reached the standard set in the boat handling course before you come. You also need to know something about handling groups.

The course takes place on a boat meeting NCBA standards for training over at least two full days of continuous training and assessment. It is tutored by an NCBA trainer.

There are seven units, each containing a number of tasks. The units are:

  1. Taking over any boat
  2. Health, safety and environmental management
  3. Group arrangements
  4. Practical boat handling 1
  5. Boat handling: theory
  6. Practical boat handling 2
  7. Discussion and appraisal

On successful completion of all the units an NCBA certificate is issued. CCBM certificates are valid for five years after which they need revalidation.

If you want to do the course

  • Approach an NCBA approved training centre. You can find these listed, with the courses they offer on the website The centre arranges dates with you and on what boat the course will be run. You also agree costs. There is a standard fee for registration and certificate issue. Beyond that, boat hire, catering, administrative and trainer’s costs are for you to agree with the centre
  • See that you are ready for the course and assessment. Most centres and trainers can provide guidance and pre-course training if you need it.
  • To take the course, you need a registration form from the centre running it. Please fill it in and return it so the centre can give you a place and arrange contact with your trainer

On the course,

  • You do some classroom and a good deal of practical work. All of this is assessed to see that you can deal with the situations that may arise when you are a captain.
  • At the start, you are given notes and a record sheet. As you complete each task you initial and date the record.
  • When the trainer has seen you do each task successfully he or she signs and dates the record for that unit.
  • The trainer assesses how you get on and when all units are complete, arranges for you to receive a certificate.

As you do the course you’ll have comments to make and ideas to improve things. Please discuss these and let the trainer in charge know about them. That way we can all do better.