Meet our MCA & STCW team

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

Gregor McGowan

MCA Training Manager

Gregor has been involved in the marine sector since working on North Sea Trawlers whilst still at school. From the fishing industry he went on to become a Royal Navy Cadet before working in the Superyacht sector. Gregor has a passion for sailing and has skippered many offshore races around the world including the Sydney to Hobart and Fastnet races. He has successfully completed all of his Officer Of the Watch (OOW) and Master Modules so has an in-depth knowledge of IAMI examinations. Gregor has been teaching Master, OOW and RYA qualifications for many years. He particularly enjoys teaching celestial navigation and meteorology. As an active RYA Yachtmaster Ocean examiner he regularly assists our OOW students who are looking to progress towards their Chief Mate qualification. Gregor represents UKSA’s interests on small subgroup committees at the MCA and helps our students with their NoE applications. As a PYA regional office UKSA can provide you with support as you progress with your maritime career. Gregor is UKSA’s official PYA representative and is your first point of call if you have questions regarding future training.

“I have worked for UKSA for a number of years and I continue to be inspired by its values. I enjoy being part of a small team of dedicated professionals and feel that we are able to offer our candidates a more bespoke training experience than that of our rival colleges.”

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.”

James Potipher

MCA Instructor

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.”

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.”