Here are the answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently however, if you can't find what you are looking for, please call us on +44 (0) 1983 294088 or drop us an email and we'll be happy to help!
Q) What time do courses start and finish?
Booking a Course
Q) How can I book a place on a Red Ensign course?
A) All courses can be booked with a simple telephone call to the office. You will be asked to pay a deposit of £200 (or the full course price if it's less than this) to secure your place. You can check out our cancellation policies here. Joining instructions and information will be sent to you by email.
General course information
A) All courses start at 08.45 so that you can makeyourself familiar with the classroom, make a cup of tea and settle in before tuition begins at 9am. There is always a morning coffee break for 15 minutes and a lunch break of around an hour, in the afternoon there’s a further break of 15 minutes.
Q) Do you provide food on the course?
A) No, but the town is only a few minutes away with supermarkets and take-away outlets or we are happy for you to bring a packed lunch and make use of the galley facilities, where we also have an unlimited supply of beverages and biscuits.
Q) What sort of course information is provided?
A) On all courses we provide leaflets, maritime notices, or a specific publication (for first aid, power boat and radio courses).
Q) Is there anywhere I can access additional information when I am on-site?
A) We have a ‘crew room’ with internet access plus secure wi-fi access if you have your own laptop or phone. There is also a large collection of magazines, books, videos, CDs & DVD available for anyone to use on site to help with further study.
Q) Will I be tested on the courses?
A) At the end of most courses there is a learning assessment.
Q) Do you run RYA Courses?
A) Yes we do, look on the leisure section of our web site for the list of courses.
About our Instructors
Q) Who instructs courses?
A) We have a variety of highly skilled instructors and we can also call in specialists for some courses eg. Advanced Fire Fighting
Q) Can you help me with accommodation?
A) We can provide a list of local accommodation to suit all budgets from budget conscious ‘crew houses’ to full service hotels.
Q) Why I have been asked for my National Insurance number?
A) In order to help reduce incidents of certificate forgery we use your national insurance number (or a similar number if you are an overseas resident) as well as your name on your certificates. We require a number which is personal to you and never changes (unlike other numbers like your passport number which will change each time you renew), this helps to support the validity of the certificate.
Overseas visitors can supply a medical card number or social security card number.
Q) How long do the STCW certificates last?
A) From 1st January 2017, under the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code, seafarers will be required to provide evidence of having refreshed their training in certain STCW courses within the previous 5 years. The ruling applies to
Q) What happens if I lose my certificates?
Personal Survival Techniques
Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats
Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats
Advanced Fire Fighting
A) They can be replaced however there is an administration fee for this of £15.00 per certificate. We advise that you always sign your certificates immediately and take copies - if you lose them please let us know straight away.
Q) Are the STCW certificates recognised only in UK or worldwide?
A) This is the recognised, mandatory maritime safety qualification for all British flagged vessels and STCW qualifications are also recognised by most national maritime authorities around the world.
Q) How long does the STCW Basic Safety Training Week last?
A) 5 days.
Q) Is it one certificate?
A) No, it’s four certificates – one for each course.
Sea survival courses
Q) What do I need to bring to the sea survival course?
A) We ask you to bring along swimwear along with a T shirt and trousers to wear on top of this, we will prvide a thermal undersuit, a dry suit and shoes for the exercise. We have hot showers at the centre so you should bring your toiletries, towel and plastic bag for wet clothes after the session.
Q) What happens during the 'in the water session'?
A) We use a liferaft inflated by a gas canister, we then use the inflated liferaft to do the practical exercises including righting an upturned raft and casualty lifting. The sea survival pool session can be physically demanding and so we do ask you to disclose any physical difficulties they might have, especially with regard to back, neck, knee or shoulder problems. Similarly we would like to know if anyone suffers from conditions such as claustrophobia, asthma or diabetes so that our instructors are aware of any potential difficulties you might have.
Q) What should I do, if anything, to prepare for this course?
A) We always suggest some pre-course study of the phonetic alphabet, working channels and procedural words.
Q) What do I need to bring to this course?
A) Please bring a recent passport sized photo which is needed for your application form for the Radio Licence.
Q) Do I need to licence the VHF set as well as having a personal licence?
A) You need to have both a personal licence as well as a licence for your radio set.
Q) I already hold a VHF licence but I need to update with DSC
A) The DSC update course is a half day course to ensure you are familiar with the new DSC working of the radio. You will need to bring your VHF licence with you so that the number can be crossed referenced with the RYA to issue the new licence, you will also need to supply a new photo.
Fire fighting courses
Q) Is real fire or fire simulation used?
A) During the practical exercises we use real fire and smoke both in and around the purpose built fire containers.
Q) What about protective clothing?
A) All protective clothing, helmets and boots will be provided by Red Ensign
Q) Medical conditions?
A) As with the practical elements of any course you will be required to complete a medical form to highlight any potential problems.
Q) What do I need to bring with me to the Fire Fighting Courses?
A) Bring a T shirt and lightweight trousers or shorts to wear under the fire uniform and we have hot showers at the centre so do bring your toiletries and a towel.