Boat Operator Certification

Background and Overview

With the Boat Operator’s Certification Program, USPS will certify USPS members at various levels of recreational boating proficiency. We expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has asked congress to authorize the Transportation Secretary to establish requirements for standards of proficiency for recreational boaters. We intend to have USPS certification accepted as the above proof and be accepted as the national certificate for the USA.

Regarding international recognition, we plan to have USPS certifications meet the requirements of UN Resolution 40, International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft with the additional knowledge and testing of the CEVNI (European code for inland waterways) navigation rules.

USPS currently plans four levels of Boat Operator Certification:

  • Inland Navigator
  • Coastal Navigator
  • Advanced Coastal Navigator
  • Offshore Navigator

Details of each of these Certifications can be found on the individual pages.

General BOC Requirements

Certification at any level requires successful completion of all prescribed elements including:

  • USPS courses – completions are tracked at USPS Headquarters
  • USPS and/or non-USPS seminars – signed off by instructor and tracked at Headquarters
  • Skill demonstrations on the water or, in some cases, ashore – signed-off by trained certifier and tracked at headquarters (some may be US Sailing programs)

To be certified, a member must be at least 16 years of age, be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat, and have sufficient visual and auditory sensory ability to do so. Holding a driver’s license will suffice to certify meeting these requirements.