BSAC’s Diver Coxswain Assessment recognises a high level of seamanship knowledge and boat-handling ability, including working with divers in the water.

It is satisfying to know that you have made the grade. Success is a pre-requisite to becoming a Boat Handing Instructor and is one of the requirements for First Class Diver training.

I can now be confident in my all-round dive boat handling abilities and play a key role in the running and management of club trips. I’m also really enjoying developing other club members’ boat handling skills and knowledge. 

- Tom Downer, Chester SAC

The Diver Coxswain Assessment is open to anyone aged over 16 who has completed a BSAC Boat Handling course and has since logged a minimum of five hours boat-handling, or can demonstrate 20 hours or more of previous boat-handling experience. Boat Handling is a great way to get non-divers involved in the club, especially if they have family members that dive. No diving qualification is necessary to take part.

In the five-hour Diver Coxswain assessment you will be orally tested on your theory knowledge of boat safety equipment, what to do in an emergency, knots and rules of the road.

You will be practically assessed on your skills covering:

  • Voyage planning
  • Boat preparation and safety
  • Boat handling and manoeuvres
  • Anchoring
  • Dropping and recovering a shot line
  • Coming alongside
  • Approaching a shelving shore
  • Safe drop off and recovery of divers
  • Emergency actions including man overboard
  • Recovery onto a trailer

A Diver Coxswain is someone who is competent in:

  • Owner/driver responsibilities, boat preparation
  • Voyage planning including weather, tides and local knowledge
  • Launching and recovering a small boat
  • Handling a boat safely while conducting diving operations
  • Dropping and recovering divers safely at a dive site
  • Play an important role in dive planning and management within their club

You will be eligible to apply for the International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC), it is available only to British citizens and bona fide British Residents over the age of 16 years.

  • Evidence of this age requirement may be in the form of a photocopy of a passport, birth certificate or BSAC membership number.
  • Evidence of residency for non-citizens will be required in the form of a photocopy of either a driving licence, a utility bill, a Council Tax bill or bank statement. (Further authenticated evidence of residency for non-citizens may be required.)
  • Evidence of competence: By producing a photocopy of a Diver Coxswain Award presented by any diving association which is a member of the Combined Diving Associations (CDA).
  • Categories: BSAC ICC is issued for Power vessels not exceeding 10 metres in length and for Coastal waters ONLY.  It is not issued for sailing vessels, which include power up to 10 metres nor is it issued for power vessels operating on inland waterways.
  • The certificate issued by the BSAC is valid for a period of five years

You could do this course at a regional event or local club. Not all clubs run Diver Coxswain Assessment courses, so please check if you are interested.

Alternatively, book your place on a scheduled Diver Coxswain Assessment course online now.

Not a BSAC member? You can do this course by joining BSAC directly or joining via a local club. Find a club.

Students will be given a pack of supporting learning materials. For the practical sessions you will need protective clothing suitable for local conditions on a small boat and a life vest or other suitable buoyancy aid.

After successfully completing the Diver Coxswain Assessment, if you are an instructor you can assist on a Boat Handling course to become a Boat Handling Instructor.

You could further your seamanship training by doing other Skill Development Courses (SDCs), including Chartwork and Position Fixing and Outboard Engine and Boat Maintenance.

Or you could develop specific skills to expand your interests further, whether you are a diving member or non-diving member. Imagine being qualified in diver first aid or becoming a compressor operator or mixed gas blender. Check out the SDCs you can get involved in.

If you are not already a diver, how about learning to dive on an Ocean Diver course. If you are already a diver you could progress your diver grade training.


Not yet a BSAC member?

You can do this course by joining BSAC directly or joining your local club.

If you need a hand send your postcode to and we'll help you find the right scuba club for you. Or if you fancy a chat call us 0151 350 6201 (Mon - Fri, 9 - 5:30).

As a BSAC Diver Coxswain you are entitled to one of these cards!

All Diver Coxswains can get international recognition with an ICC card

BSAC is an 'issuing authority' for International Certificates for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICCs) on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Apply now

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