The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme


The Workboat Association is recognised as an issuing authority by the MCA for the issuance of Voluntary Towage Endorsements (VTE) based upon specifications outlined in MGN 468.  The purpose of this endorsement is to confirm the seafarer’s specific knowledge, understanding and proficiency needed to safely operate in this area of the maritime industry. The VTE will assist employers and port & harbour authorities conducting risk assessments of towage operations and developing safe systems of work as required by the Port Marine Safety Code.

The VTE scheme was introduced in 2013 (alongside MGN 468). MGN 468 outlines the qualifying conditions required for a seafarer to obtain a VTE and the required competence standard for the various VTEs. The MGN also outlines in section 5 the oversight requirements of a VTE issuing body.

Access to information

Free public access to VTE related information including; MGN 468, VTE TRB, VTE application form, VTE pricing list and the VTE procedure are available on the Workboat Association website


The Candidate is to obtain a VTE Training Record Book (TRB) via download from the Workboat Association website

Once the relevant sections of the TRB have been successfully completed, it is to be countersigned by a witnessing Master or Marine Superintendent.  The Candidate or their Employer is to obtain and complete a VTE application form from the Workboat Association website

The completed application form shall be sent to Upon receipt of an application form the Workboat Association will arrange with the Candidate and their Employer for a suitable Assessor and Assessment date, and raise an invoice for the assessment.

After the Assessment has been completed and the funds have been paid, the Workboat Association will either award a Voluntary Towing Endorsement Certificate or arrange for a re-assessment depending on the assessments result.


Prior to the examination taking place the nominated Assessor will review the Candidates TRB to ensure that they hold the relevant experience and knowledge to sit the exam. If the TRB has not been completed fully, the examination will not be permitted to proceed.

The Candidate is required to provide photo ID to the Assessor prior to the examination commencing, the ID will be witnessed and noted for its validity though no copy of the ID or details besides the type of document supplied shall be recorded.

Award of the Voluntary Towing Endorsement

Once the examination has been completed the finalised assessment report is forwarded by the Assessor for attention of the CEO (In soft copy direct to, in hard copy via the Association administration address) to be officially confirmed. Any received completed assessment reports will be recorded for later reference should there be a dispute or other such event.

The VTE Certificate is issued by the Association once the seafarer has completed the relevant Training Record Book (Inspected and confirmed by the Assessor), successfully completed the relevant onboard oral/practical assessment, the funds for both the application and assessment have been received and any Assessor travel expenses have been settled directly by the candidate with the Assessor.

The certificates will be created and distributed on behalf of the Chief Executive via the Association Administration.

For more information, contact the Workboat Association here

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme