Boating Quality Accreditation Scheme

Quality Schemes for hire and passenger boat operators

British Marine has teamed up with Visit England (and Scotland and wales) to deliver a range of quality accreditation schemes designed to set a standard which defines good practice for those in the tourism business.

Each scheme acts as a business development tool by providing clear objectives to complete, a method of benchmarking against your competitors and the promotional benefits of an official quality logo

Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme (QAB)

A two tier scheme comprising an assessment of the company and its activities plus an optional assessment of individual boats. 

The Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme is not a star rating scheme, but is an accreditation, that offers reassurances of safe and legal practices together with good customer service.  The assessments are carried out every three years with random inspection during the 3 year cycle. QAB assessments include:

  • Health and safety issues.
  • Legal requirements.
  • The Hire Boat Handover scheme.
  • Assessment of the website and brochure.
  • Arrival and departure procedures.
  • Customer service procedures – onshore and when customers are away from the boatyard.
  • Boatyard facilities; car parking, reception, toilets, etc.

All British Marine members offering hire boats will be accredited under the QAB scheme. 


Boat Grading/star rating

The optional second part of the assessment process will be the assessment of individual boats.  This will be a star rating, one to five.  A boatyard/operator will only be able to have boats star rated if a valid QAB rating is held.  However, a boatyard/operator with a QAB rating may choose not to have boats star rated, or just some of the fleet. Boats will need to be graded annually to remain within the scheme.

The star rating for boats will have minimal criteria requirements and will be based largely on the quality and condition of the individual boat and also the comfort and ease of use for the maximum number of occupants.

British Marine will be operating the QAB and Boat Grading Schemes under licence from VisitEngland. British Marine have recruited a team of industry assessors who have been trained by VisitEngland and British Marine and are now able to offer assessments for both QAB and the Boat Grading schemes.

If you were a part of VisitEngland’s Boat Grading Scheme and previously assessed by Quality in Tourism, at the end of the three year period, you will need to move to this updated scheme and be assessed by British Marine if you wish to advertise your boats as VisitEngland star-rated.

Please contact Liv Whetmore - 01784 223631 / for further information.

A two tier scheme comprising an assessment of the company and its activities plus an optional assessment of individual boats.

How to get involved

Copies of both the Standards documents can be downloaded via the links here; Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme Standard and Boat Grading Scheme Standard

Companies are asked to complete a Boatyard QAB Self Assessment and Assessors Form against the guide prior to an audit taking place.  This is reviewed by British Marine and an audit arranged at a mutually convenient date.  Please see the booking form for further details of the costs.

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