RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency Course

Personal Water Crafts (PWC’s) can either be single-seater machines or they can take two or three people. They are fast and exciting but need to be handled with care.

Personal Water Crafts (PWC’s) can either be single-seater machines or they can take two or three people. They are fast and exciting but need to be handled with care. The RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course will teach you how to get the best from your time on the water. With the qualification you can buy your own PWC and also hire one while you are on holiday.

The course is for first-time and experienced riders alike. This certification has become increasingly important for launching in UK harbours and slipways.

To use your PWC abroad you now require the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). You can obtain the ICC once you successfully complete this course.

All new PWCs are sold with a voucher towards the cost of this course. Therefore, once you pass, you will receive a certificate of proficiency.

The one-day course and assessment follows the official RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course training syllabus. Riding a PWC safely means much more than being able to ride it in the direction you want to go. This training covers many areas so you will be competent in control of the craft.

To give you a taster the syllabus commences with:

Section 1. Introduction

Knowledge of:

  • Various types of PWC


  • The Layout of a PW; controls, propulsion and steering system, fuel and oil, and also stowage compartments
  • Personal equipment; wet/dry suit, personal buoyancy, foot and eye protection
  • Essential PW gear – uses as well as stowage
  • Pre-departure checks
  • Pre-launch checks
    Essential safety information; kill cord, safe speed, and local hazards

Section 2. Weather, Safety & Courtesy to Others

Knowledge of:

  • Sources and significance of weather forecasts
  • Avoiding pollution as well as disturbance and damage to wildlife and wildlife habitats


  • Interpreting a relevant forecast
  • Courtesy to other water users
  • Lee and weather shores

3. Launching & Familiarisation

Knowledge of:

  • Balance and trim


  • Launching from a trailer
  • Anchoring
  • Storing and securing a trailer


  • Always demonstrate the correct use of a kill cord
  • Board a PW in shallow water and also start the engine
  • Control a PW at slow speed, using all available gears and controls

A basic understanding of tides, craft maintenance, navigation, buoys and ‘rules of the road’ are just some of the areas covered on the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course syllabus.

An increasing number of authorities are insisting on production of this certificate as proof of competence prior to allowing the launch of a PWC. By completing the course you will not only become a safer rider, but you will also ensure your right to launch your craft nationally.

If you do not own a PWC/Jet Ski you can hire one from us (normally shared with 1 other). For further information on the venue as well as the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course, complete the quick enquiry form below.

Course Details

Duration 1 Day
Cost See our Bookings page for costs and availability or reach out for ad hoc dates.
Minimum Age Certificates for children aged between 12 and 16 will be endorsed to show that they must use PWs only under the supervision of a responsible adult
Pre-requisites None
Course content Launching, handling and recovery skills, passage planning and decision making, high and low speed riding skills, essential safety information, collision avoidance and orientation at sea
Total number of places on Course 6
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