Birmingham & Midland Marine Services operate Gailey Wharf Training Centre, on the scenic Staffs & Worcester Canal and various other open water venues throughout the Midlands and Wales. We are approved training suppliers to the Canal & River Trust and provide a variety of training courses aimed primarily at the commercial sector. Designed for personnel working on or near water, we offer a broad portfolio of specialist inland marine training.

Courses are available from the relevant National Governing Bodies including, but not limited to: (click on each link to find further information on the courses offered):

Training programmes are available for Skippers, Coxswains & Crews via the RYA and MCA schemes with Rescue Boat training specifically designed for the inland, open waters is delivered in accordance with Outreach Rescue guidelines.

Our ‘Occupational Water Safety & Rescue’ courses are delivered via the Outreach Rescue and Royal Life Saving Society DEFRA & CDM Regulations 2015 compliant & HSE endorsed schemes.

‘Water Safety / Rescue Awareness and First Responder programmes are aimed at the construction, civil engineering, rail, utilities, events, maintenance, environmental, emergency services, military, expedition and education sectors, where personnel may be working around ‘open water’ and our inland waterways (or being deployed as ‘safety-cover’), where an element of risk from the water has been flagged up on a risk assessment.

On a Leisure basis we can run any of the above courses given sufficient numbers. This may be either on your own boat or as part of a package including boat hire. We offer a variety of options; from joining you on the first day of your holiday afloat, right up to MCA Boat Master or providing club water safety training at our location or yours (Should suitable facilities be in place).

Birmingham Midland Marine Services are not a residential centre, click here to see details of our accomodation special offer.

Maritime & CoastGuard Agency

BoatMaster Training at Gailey Wharf (1 Day)

For 'Workboat', 'Towing or Pushing' & 'Passenger Operations' (capacity of 12 plus) entitlements,

Prices from £120.00 per module per candidate. Combined in a one-day training course. Discounts available on 4+ candidates booking together with one administrator.

Prices from £175.00 per candidate. Discounts available on group bookings / closed courses.

Outreach Rescue - Where individuals are working in, on, or near water there is a requirement to ensure their safety;

We can provide all levels of safety and awareness training, fully CDM Regulations 2015 / current DEFRA guidelines compliant (Department of Food and Rural Affairs). The guidelines cover safe practices that range from basic safety awareness and life jacket training to swift water rescue and management of Flood Incidents. Full aquatic PPE required. Hire cost per day £15.00.

'Inland Waters Rescue Boat Operator' - 'IWRBO’ taking place at Gailey Wharf, Alrewas and Chillington Hall.

Bridging the gap in the safety / rescue boat levels of qualification for inland, open waters.

The IWRBO course is open water, canal & river based and delivered to the inland marine safety & rescue sectors covering works / emergencies waterside.

Prices from £295.00 per candidate for two days (PBL2 & IWHC/BML holders only), 'closed courses' only - 2 or 3 candidates training booked together.

£345.00 for three days (for holders of PBL2 only) experience dependant, ‘closed courses' only - 2 or 3 candidates training booked together.

Outreach Rescue DEFRA Level 1 (1 day) at Gailey Wharf

This one-day course will cover the syllabus outlined in the National Training Document (Module 1)

We feel that students can only be considered competent in these skills if they have experienced the reality of the situation, they are being trained for so we include in water elements as appropriate.

Prices from £150.00 per candidate.

Outreach Rescue DEFRA Level 2 (2 days)

This two-day course will cover the syllabus outlined in the National Training Document (Module 2)

Students will cover all theoretical aspects with opportunity to practice and develop their skills with practical in water training sessions. Venue locations - Great Haywood, Gailey Wharf and Llangollen.

Prices from £300.00 per candidate.

Royal Yachting Association Training

RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate

Two-days training or a One-day assessment for ‘Experienced Hands'

Birmingham & Midland Marine Services run the RYA’s IWHC course for ‘Leisure’ orientated steerers and crews but our ‘Unique Selling Point’ is that we are the only Canal and River Trust Approved Contractor, Trainer and Assessor running ‘Commercially-Orientated’ RYA IWHC aboard a fully licenced ‘Workboat’.

The commercial variation of the IWHC course has been adapted for boat-based operatives, and taking place on our CRT registered workboat.

Suitable & relevant training.

A licence is a requirement to ‘work’ as a skipper on the inland waterways. The IWHC is recognised as an alternative to an MCA BoatMaster’s Licence on some waterways.

‘Holiday narrowboat’ based training is not really suitable for commercial vessels due to access and egress issues and vessel configuration.

The ‘Commercially Orientated’ training includes the full IWHC syllabus yet is longer in duration by a couple of hours to cover additional practical skills training and instruction.

Additional content includes the use of Aquatic PPE, Rescues from the boat, the bank and a wide range of commercial vessel skills. The more experienced the candidate the more ‘in-depth’ we can look at vessel handling.

Furthermore, the ‘Commercially Orientated’ training retails at the same price as a ‘Leisure-Based’ course.

£225.00 per candidate (one place booked)

£215.00 per candidate (two places booked)

£205.00 per candidate (three places booked)

£575.00 closed course (2 persons/couple training together with no ‘third party’)

Discounts available for ‘Commercial Vessel’ ‘Licenced craft operators’, ‘Business Boating Licence’ Holders; including ‘Roving Traders’, ‘Commercial Boat Operators Association’ and ‘Roving Traders Association’ Members.

Powerboat Handling Level 2

This two-day entry level course provides the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat.

It is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).for taking vessels into European Waters in conjunction with a CEVNI qualification.

The RYA Powerboat Level 2 is also a pre-requisite for the. RYA Safety Boat qualification, the 'Inland Waters Rescue Boat Operator' (IWRBO) course. run by Birmingham & Midland Marine Services and the Specialist ‘Powered Boat for Rescue Response’ DEFRA Module 4) course run via Outreach Rescue.

Focusing on low speed close quarters handling, man overboard recovery, an introduction to driving at planing speed and collision regulations. The course covers both inland and coastal elements, taking place at our second training centre, an 18th Century 'Grecian Temple', adjacent to the 60 acre lake in the grounds (designed by the renowned landscape architect, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown) of a private, country estate; home of the occupying Family for some 900 years.

Assumed knowledge: None. May be preceded by Level 1 Start Powerboating

Minimum duration: 2 days

Minimum age: 12. Candidates under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate (Over 18's only though please!)

Course content: Launching and recovery, boat handling, securing to a buoy, anchoring, leaving and coming alongside, man overboard

Ability after the course: Self-sufficient powerboater in the right conditions, aware of own limitations and those of craft


£235.00 per candidate (one place booked)

£225.00 per candidate (two places booked)

£215.00 per candidate (three places booked)

£595.00 closed course (2 persons/couple training together with no ‘third party’)

Discounts on commercial block bookings available.

RYA First Aid (1 day) at Gailey Wharf

Covering essential elements not found on your 'standard' first aid course; such as the protocol for drowning within CPR, Cold Shock, Secondary drowning, crushing, amputations and use of tourniquets. Boat / watercourse related incidents.

£115.00 per candidate with additional 'Category 'C' Medical Stores element (required for commercial vessel purposes).

Discounts on commercial block bookings available.

RYA International Certificate of Competence (1 day) at Gaily Wharf.

Practical Assessment £150.00 per candidate (Minimum of 2 people per booking). Please note that your RYA IWHC certificate gives you the required paperwork.

Royal Life Saving Society

RLSS Water Safety Awareness and Rescue Training

We offer the Royal Life Saving Society 'National Water Safety Management Programme' which is HSE endorsed, also CDM regulations 2015 and DEFRA compliant.

Course place prices from £185.00 per candidate, number of modules taken dependant.


Additional Modules include (1/2 day per module/session)

Birmingham & Midland Marine Services offer a commercially orientated NWSMP course (CDM Regs 2015 compliant) across either one or two days; the choice of modules dependent. Levels 1, 2 ‘Still Water’, 2 ‘River & 3 ‘In-Water Rescue’, 'Aquatic PPE Users' or 'Flood' awareness module and an 'In-Water Skills' session. Course tailored to your organisational requirements.

Birmingham & Midland Marine Services specialise in providing occupational water safety and rescue training, plus commercial vessel and rescue boat training. Our market is the civil engineering, construction, utilities, rail, environmental, ecological and maintenance sectors rather than the 'leisure' market, although the RLSS NWSMP covers the leisure sector perfectly.

During a 'typical' course, day one is the foundation level 1) 'Water Safety Awareness' (including comprehensive ‘lifejacket-user’ session) followed by a Level 2) 'Still Water' module in the afternoon which includes a very ‘hands-on’ practical 'co-worker rescue' element. ‘Reach-and-Rescue’ telescopic rescue aid & ‘throwbag’ (& cinches) training included on our packages.

For those candidates not attending day two there will be the option of taking an 'In-Water Skills' session; ‘self-rescue’ coaching and basic manoeuvring in the water wearing full aquatic PPE. (available to hire if required)

Day two commences with the Level 2) 'River' module in the morning, initially at the classroom at Gailey Wharf prior to moving to our 'river' location a short drive away at Great Haywood. A lovely café with welfare facilities is our base here and we work beneath the medieval ‘Essex Bridge’, part of the National Trust property at ‘Shugborough Hall’, the former home of Lord Lichfield. Here, ‘Birmingham & Midland Marine Services’ have licence to operate specialist water rescue training courses.

Following our 'bank-walk' (safety brief and site-induction) and conducting a risk assessment exercise, we kit up into full APPE; drysuits, helmets, boots and helmet (available to hire) and undertake a mixture of exercises which will allow the candidate to attain the 'In-Water Skills' module or, for the more adept swimmers, the Level 3) 'In-Water Rescue' module.

Additional content here ‘above & beyond’ the NWSMP is the inclusion of Wading; wedges, line-astern, wading with a casualty; your instructional staff are trained ‘Blue-Light’ water rescue technicians and aim to give our candidates a worthwhile experience in the water.

Day one only: Level 1) & 2) ‘Still Water’ (with optional 'In-Water Skills' – APPE hire available) from £185.00 per candidate.

Day one (as above) & Day two: Level 2) 'River' module & Level 3) 'In Water Rescue' module or, 'In-Water Skills' module (APPE hire available) from £275.00 per candidate.

Bespoke 'closed' courses including 'Flood' and 'Aquatic PPE Users' by appointment with packages specifically designed around your operational roles. Package options include options such as the 'River' module, 'In Water Rescue' module , 'Aquatic PPE user's' module, 'Flood Awareness' module, 'In Water Skills' session.

In water equipment hire - buoyancy aid, boots, drysuit & helmet & Life jacket hire available with top quality kit available by appointment.

Discounts are available if booking in excess of six candidates per course or four or more modules / sessions over two days consecutive training.

Further information at


RLSS UK has developed Water Rescue Equipment Training to provide basic rescue skills to anyone working near water, along with any members of the public that would like to know what to do in an emergency. The training is delivered over two hours and does not include entering the water, you will learn about the hazards and dangers of open water, how to use basic rescue techniques as well as rescue equipment that can be found around waterways across the UK.

This training is for any person who may be looked upon to respond in an emergency who does not have a statutory or duty to respond, such as members of the public, staff at businesses near to water (e.g. bar staff), or emergency service responders who are not tasked with aquatic rescue (e.g. Police).

The syllabus provides an opportunity for learners to gain a basic understanding of the risks involved in rescuing a drowning person, and to build experience and practice in using Public Rescue Equipment (PRE).

For further information, please follow the link:

Prices from £39.95 per candidate, based upon a group of ten training at our location.

Additional RLSS Water Safety training ‘closed-course’ availability: 'weekends and evening only'

Additional IQL / RLSS First Aid ‘closed-course’ availability: 'weekends and evenings only'

Fire Safety (non-MCA) and Health & Safety ‘closed-course’ availability: 'weekends and evening only'