Command Diploma Scheme

Have you just taken command – or are about to? If so, the Institute’s flagship distance-learning programme, the Command Diploma Scheme, provides you with the perfect next-step in your professional development.

(Please note you must be a Chief Officer or Captain to enrol on this scheme.)

Designed to help you prepare for the responsibilities and realities of command at sea, the Scheme comprises a well thought-out programme of self-directed learning, with practical assignments plus a final essay and interview. At its core are the subjects that existing and aspiring Masters have identified as areas of concern – onboard leadership and management, navigation and shiphandling, ship’s commercial business and coping with emergencies.

What you will learn

The Command Diploma Scheme is divided into five modules, each aimed at a specific operation/task. 

The modules are:

  • Module 01: Understanding the role of an effective Master
  • Module 02: Leadership and Management 
  • Module 03: Ship Handling 
  • Module 04: Ships Commercial Business
  • Module 05: Emergencies and Drills

The Nautical Institute Academy are pleased to offer The Command Diploma Scheme materials free of charge. Please click here to view/download your copy of the scheme booklet.  


Each unit requires submission of completed assignments. Assessors will review your submissions and make a decision about whether there is evidence to show that unit learning outcome has been met or exceeded.
Uploading of your folio of evidence is the final part of the process after study and investigation. It is important that you are happy with your work before uploading and that you have completed the necessary research and investigation. The assessors will not be unreasonable when assessing your work but will be looking for evidence that the learning outcomes have been met.

It is important for you to understand that it is not the standard of written English that is being assessed. All that is required is for you to demonstrate, through what you have written, an understanding of what is required from each assignment from the viewpoint of an effective master and that what you have written can be clearly understood.

When the assessors are considering uploaded work, they will be mindful that, in some cases, the quality of uploaded work may exceed that expected and be worthy of publication. In this case the candidate, and if appropriate, their company, will be notified. 

Before the award of The Nautical Institute Command Diploma, your final project will be assessed and discussed in depth. You will be required to demonstrate significant depth of understanding of an important issue related to your role as master that you are able to present and discuss with authority. 

On completion of the on-line interview, the assessor will the make a final determination on your suitability for the award of the Diploma. 


Candidates applying to joing the scheme must hold a minimum of an STCW A-II/2 certificate of competency is needed from a flag Administration recognised by IMO as being in full compliance with the STCW Convention, i.e., on the ‘White List”.

Candidates with particular experience who wish to start the scheme with different qualifications should contact The Nautical Institute to discuss this.