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Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS), Associate Member, and Apprentice Member Programs in Marine Surveying in U.S. and Worldwide

nams global

Established in 1962 and based in Houston TX, the National Association of Marine Surveyors Inc. (NAMS) has served the marine survey profession by providing the maritime industry with recognition for qualified marine surveyors in Hull and Machinery, Yachts and Small Craft, and Cargo.

NAMS aims to advance the marine surveying profession by certifying anyone with 5 years surveying experience and by providing them opportunities to enhance knowledge through ongoing professional education.

Hull and Machinery surveyors deal with the condition, value, construction, and damage of commercial vessels, barges, propulsion machinery, cranes, and etcetera. Yacht and Small Craft surveyors deal with the condition, value, construction, and damage of yachts and various other vessels up to approximately 300 feet in length. Cargo surveyors deal with the stowage, transportation, and damage to all manner of cargo on vessels, rail, road, and air transportation modes.

Today, NAMSGlobal is active in 11 regions (in 32 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) in United States, two regions in Canada (British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec), and one region in Europe (Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom). The balance of the international membership resides in Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

nams marine survey

Certification & Training Programs



Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS) Program

  • Education / Qualification: 5 years experience in an appropriate area of the marine industry or appropriate university degree or appropriate merchant marine license or professional or chartered engineer.
  • Work Experience: 5 years minimum in marine surveying or 3+ years with a recognized marine survey company or relevant industry/armed forces experience.
  • Language & Technical Skills: Good communication skills including basic english written and oral abilities, all appropriate certification to work in field, and technical report writing (submit 5 reports).
  • NAMS CMS Technical Examination (see below): Each NAMS-CMS candidate will be tested in their selected discipline - Testing must be completed within ninety (90) days of notification of successful screening. Failure to sit for the NAMS-CMS examination within this time frame may be grounds for terminating the applicant’s status.

CMS Specialization Examinations

  • NAMS CMS Yacht and SmallCraft Examination: The examination is designed to allow the Candidate the opportunity to demonstrate the broad based knowledge that is necessary of the Yacht and Small Craft surveyor.
  • NAMS CMS Hull & Machinery Examination: The examination to specialize as Hull & Machinery surveyor.
  • NAMS CMS Cargo Surveyors Examination: The examination to specialize as Cargo Surveyor.

Associate Member Program

  • Education / Qualification: 3 years experience in an appropriate area of the marine industry or appropriate university degree or appropriate merchant marine license.
  • Work Experience: 3 years minimum Marine Surveying Experience or 1+ year as a NAMS apprentice or relevant industry/armed forces experience.
  • Language & Technical Skills: Good communication skills including basic English written and oral abilities, All appropriate certification to work in field, and Technical Report Writing (submit 5 reports).

Apprentice Member Program

  • Education / Qualification: Some experience in an appropriate area of the marine industry or appropriate university degree or appropriate merchant marine license.
  • Work Experience: Does not yet meet qualification for associate.
  • Language & Technical Skills: Good communication skills including basic English written and oral abilities, and all appropriate certification to work in field

Continuing Education Requirements