British Marine has teamed up with Visit England to deliver a range of quality accreditation schemes that set standards defining good practice for those in the tourism business.

Gaining accreditation through the QAB Scheme indicates that hire boat operators are committed to quality, providing recognition for their operations, and giving potential customers a label they can trust.  The scheme provides clear expectations to customers when they are booking their hire boat experience. The clear criteria operators are assessed against provides a method of benchmarking, and can assist operators develop their businesses.

The Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme is not a star rating scheme, but is an accreditation.  

The QAB assessments are carried out every three years with random inspection during the 3 year cycle. 

QAB assessment criteria includes:

  • Health and safety.
  • Legal requirements.
  • The Hire Boat Handover scheme.
  • Assessment of an operator’s 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 are required to be accredited under the QAB scheme. 

Boat Grading/Star Rating

The Boat Grading Scheme, is optional, and involves assessment of individual boats against defined criteria with star ratings of 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 have minimal criteria requirements and are 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.

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