All vessels featured in this website are operated by members of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO). Members are not-for-profit organisations based in the UK with the primary aim of youth development and/or working with adults with special needs. To become a member, organisations need to prove that they comply with the criteria, and will be inspected by ASTO. Amongst the criteria for membership are:
- All vessels are operated under the appropriate regulations laid down by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport. These regulations detail manning, material state of the vessel and equipment and specific operational requirements.
- ASTO members are encouraged to implement a voluntary Safety Management System that exceeds the current legal requirements for operating a small commercial vessel.
Member organisations will have appropriate policies that include:
- the safe recruitment of staff and/or volunteers, including Criminal Record Bureau checks
- good practice guidelines to ensure the safety and welfare of trainees at all times, on and off the water; and
- the appropriate handling of concern, reports or allegations concerning trainees.
Within the administration of voyages, the following exist:
- the issuing of clear joining and leaving instructions; and
- form CG 66 Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme held with the Coastguard for each vessel
- crew details, including next of kin, held ashore and a procedure to ensure these details are accurate before the vessel sails.
To find an ASTO member, either check the Members Map, find a member by the vessel they operate, or download a summary of the services members provide (Members' Directory).