Harbour Master Certificate

Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 16:14

Harbour Master Certificate Programme

Link to application form and joining instructions 


PSS and the UK Harbour Masters Association (UKHMA) have jointly developed – with the approval of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency – an assessment process for a Harbour Master Certificate. The certificate process demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge, understanding and practical experience of the seventeen modules found in the National Occupational Standards for Harbour Masters.

The process was live tested in a full-scale trial during 2013, leading to the issue of the first five Harbour Master Certificates in November 2013.

The Harbour Master Certificate and Assessment Process

The Harbour Master Certificate is a voluntary qualification, open to all current and aspiring Harbour Masters, that demonstrates capability, knowledge and understanding of the National Occupational Standards for Harbour Masters. The Harbour Master Certificate is endorsed by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and is recognised by the Department for Transport.  The Harbour Master Certificate is not STCW-compliant.

In practice, the Harbour Master Certificate assessment process takes place over a prescribed 12-month period during which a candidate is required to identify, gather and present evidence relating to the National Occupational Standards for appraisal by two independent and remote assessors nominated by the Management Group. On successful completion of the assessment process, the candidate is invited to attend a face-to-face assessment meeting conducted by two different assessors and monitored by the MCA.

On successful completion of all assessments, and subject to the approval of the MCA, the candidate will be awarded a Harbour Master Certificate, valid for a period of 5 years.

Revalidation of the HM Certificate can be achieved by the holder submitting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) evidence, to a prescribed level, for the previous five years.


There are 17 Units in the Harbour Master Certificate suite. Each sets out the requirements for the subject and gives examples of evidence of capability. Fourteen units are mandatory and each one should be completed by all candidates. Three units are optional and may be completed at the candidate’s discretion.

Full details of how to submit evidence to the assessors are contained in the course guidance notes which are supplied to successful applicants. Candidates are required to have access to a PC connected to the Internet and a scanner (optional).

Port Training

Port Training was established as part of Maritime Training Limited in 2021 to manage the UKHMA HM Certificate Course to the same exacting standards as previous Training Providers have done over the years.

  • Jonathan Warren and Helen Guest, the team tasked with managing the UKHMA HM Certificate course for Liverpool John Moores University, provided academic and administrative support from 2016 to early 2021. Together they were the face of the University for this programme and, behind the scenes, they were the University as far as our Candidates, the UKHMA and the general public were concerned. When the agreement with LJMU expired after five years, the UKHMA appointed Port Training to continue the management of their course. Port Training continues in the same tradition as the previous providers in managing this course, based on its excellence of administration, sound educational provision enhanced by the application of blended learning techniques.

Queries regarding the Harbour Master Certificate and the application process can be submitted to Port Training Administration.


Please submit to admin@porttraining.co.uk for prevailing fees. 

Application Procedure

Applications will be treated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Link to application form and joining instructions