In 1996, NASBLA was awarded a grant in partnership with the National Safe Boating Council to create national standards for boat operator proficiency. The main goal of that project was to develop a new standard of care for boating which prescribed the requisite type and level of skill and knowledge retention necessary to modify the behavior of the individual boater to a satisfactory and measurable degree. The standards were developed to communicate to boating educators the minimum boating safety information that should be included in a boating safety course. The National Boating Education Standards were finalized and presented to NASBLA at the end of 1998.
Provisions were put in place which allowed the standards to be revised by the NASBLA Education Committee after careful consideration of the revisions being proposed. A risk-based analysis of the standards was conducted in 2008/2009 resulting in additional changes to the Standards. The most recent copy of the NASBLA National Boating Education Standards, as well as information regarding the various amendments that have been made to the Standards since 1998, can be found on the pages listed at the left.
When the Standards were finalized, a review process for boating safety courses was developed. Details about the current review process and copies of the application documents to request review of a boating safety course can be found on the following pages. In addition, a list of the currently-approved boating safety courses being offered throughout the country is available.
In 2010, in its continuing efforts to achieve national agreement and consistency in boating education program content and course delivery for the nation’s boaters, NASBLA established the National Boating Education Standards Panel.