How to become a member

In order to become a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), exams in 7 shipping subjects have to be passed. There are four obligatory subjects, the rest may be chosen from the remaining catalogue of exam options. The preparation for the exams offers an excellent opportunity to extend or deepen your shipping knowledge, depending on which branch you work in or what kind of experience you have gained so far. The preparation courses/exams are also designed for people who have not undergone classic shipping training. The preparation courses as well as the exams are held in English.

There are various options for preparing for the exams:

Preparation course offered by the Hamburg School of Shipping and Transportation

  • aimed at applicants/students living or working in or near Hamburg who have completed the German apprenticeship as a “Schifffahrtskaufmann/-frau” (Chartered Ship Broker)

Facts on the course package:

  • Preparation for five subjects
  • Is offered yearly
  • Starts in September, preparing for first exams in November
  • Lessons once a week, usually on Saturdays

This course package is mainly aimed at applicants qualified as outlined above. However, you can attend the course even if you are not a qualified Schifffahrtskaufmann, but you would additionally have to prepare for and sit two further exams. Students who can provide an IHK certificate on their completed apprenticeship as Schifffahrtskaufmann/-frau can apply for two exemptions (for subjects Introduction to Shipping and Marine Insurance) with the ICS.
More information on this course is available on the school’s website. (Please see our link section.)

Correspondence course (tutorship programme) offered by the ICS London

  • aimed at applicants/students who have difficulties attending courses regularly, or who live and work far away from the Hamburg examination centre

Facts on the tutorship programme:

  • Includes a course book and a workbook exclusively available to tutorship students
  • Includes exam entry fee for the chosen subject
  • Experienced tutors look after the students, who learn at home and send their coursework to the tutors for judgement/comments.
  • A relatively new and additional feature of the Tutorship programme, offered for the first time in the academic year 2017/18, is a series of 11 online tutorials on fundamental shipping topics, only available to Tutorship students

To find out more about the tutorship programme, please visit the ICS website =>

Studying on your own

A third study option is to simply order the ICS course books from the London Head Office.

If we have raised your interest in a possible membership or the educational opportunities that the ICS offers, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.