Meet our MCA & STCW team

Our instructors and course advisors have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience.

James Potipher

MCA & Superyacht Cadetship Manager

James started working in the industry as a Watersports Instructor, teaching people to become instructors themselves. After six years he joined the yachting industry. His qualifications are Master 200 and Advanced Powerboat Instructor. James continually works to gain higher qualifications; ultimately he aims to get his Master 3000 ticket. He teaches PSCRB and the STCW course for new superyacht crew.

“I want to share my knowledge and experience of the maritime industry with the new generation of superyacht crew.”


Lauren Saltonstall

MCA, IAMI & Cadetship Coordinator

Lauren has over 5 years shoreside maritime experience, helping students progress and complete NoE applications with excellent feedback. Lauren runs the IAMI YDES examinations at UKSA and also has her ISO 9001 Internal Auditor Training certificate, and is completing a Recruitment Consultancy Diploma. With her knowledge in recruitment, Lauren is available to support both Cadets and MCA students with accessing opportunities in the Superyacht industry and has a wide understanding of Yacht Deck progression routes.

“I love working at UKSA and finding out when students have passed their exams and are ready to get their CoC – seeing their ambition, drive and hard work payoff is always inspiring!”

Bill Tate

MCA Liaison Manager

Bill is a Master Mariner with over 30 years of sea-going experience and 20 years of teaching MCA yacht modules. He is an IAMI Director and Chair of the IAMI Restricted CoC sub-group, working with MCA on the Yacht Officer training programme and the Maritime Skills Alliance. He teaches all Officer of the Watch (OOW) courses, Master courses and the ECDIS, EDH and Simulator modules.

“UKSA is an inspiring place to work. I am personally passionate about ensuring the superyacht sector receives good quality and appropriate training to make life at sea safer”

Ross Kennedy

MCA Senior Instructor

Ross has been working at UKSA for several years now. Unlike the majority of our staff, Ross came to us from a commercial background where he rose to the rank of Chief Officer. He completed his cadetship on an assortment of vessels which saw him gain a wide-reaching knowledge of the shipping industry whilst completing the myriad of courses required for that rank. Ross teaches our Masters and Officers from the moment they undertake their first course right up to the day they sit their oral exam. Ross has a strong interest in Navigation and relishes teaching the next generation.

“I know what it feels like to be treated as just another student when being trained by a large organisation. I really like the family-style feeling at UKSA, I enjoy being able to make my teaching specific to each course. The MCA team at UKSA are very supportive of each other and bring a vast amount of different experience to the table. I feel that my students are my best teachers and that the quality of my coaching has steadily improved throughout my time at UKSA.”

Rob Burton

MCA Instructor

Rob began his career as a Dinghy Instructor, which led on to his gaining the Oceanmaster and Oceanmaster Instructor qualifications. He then worked on superyachts for eight years, cruising the Med, Caribbean, US, Red Sea, UK, Baltic and Norway. He holds the Chief Mate <3000gt and Master <200gt CoC. Rob currently teach the OOW modules of Nav & Radar, GSK and ECDIS.

“I have always enjoyed teaching/instruction so this was a great way for me to come land based whilst staying in the industry.”

Lee Tobin

MCA Masters Lecturer

Lee served as a deck officer in the Merchant Navy for over 20 years working for companies including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Northern Marine Management, Stolt Offshore and Wightlink. He spent most of his career at sea as a Senior Dynamic Positioning Officer on dive support, construction and pipe laying vessels.

Lee’s teaching career started with Kongsberg Maritime in 2009 and since then he has worked for various teaching establishments including HMS Collingwood and Warsash Maritime School where he was employed as a Bridge Simulation Lecturer and Lead Lecturer for ECDIS.

He also spent two years working for Wartsila Voyage Solutions as their Navigation Operations Training Expert, Wartsila happen to be the company that manufactures the bridge ship simulators used at UKSA!

I’m excited to be working for UKSA as an MCA Masters Lecturer and looking forward to being a member of such a great team.