Small Vessel Engineer Certification

As most interested parties have already realised, the structure of training and certification for UK yacht engineers is now in transition to the new Small Vessel system. Adoption of the new system is expected to bring some very welcome improvements to the process, and hopefully the outcomes, of training and certification.

By Jason Cook • 14 September 2017
© Jason Cook
This matters to me because it's my job to deliver the training.

The old process detailed in MGN156(M) was really only ever a mutant hybrid solution, patched together from the vital organs of seemingly relevant, existing Merchant Navy courses to meet the needs of STCW95. It limped along for nearly two decades doing an important job but like the Frankenstein's monster that it was, doing it badly.

I know this because I've been trying to kick it to life continuously since 2001.

The new SV system is custom made, from scratch, to meet the needs of engineers in the industry, whilst broadening the range of vessels to which the CoC applies to include other vessels with similar machinery. Both the content of the courses and the service requirements have been improved and updated. It's gonna be much better. I am genuinely enthusiastic about this new system and the improvements it will bring.

Provision is made for any current yacht CoC holder to convert into the new SV certification structure at any level. The requirements for conversion are detailed in MIN524(M+F) along with all the other details of the new SV system. CoC holders would be very wise to study this document and to plot their next step carefully. I expect that conversions will be the main source of new certificate holders until the first pure SV candidates have progressed through the system. Below is a diagram of the SV Engineering Route or select the link at the end of this article for a downloadable version.

Some general advice for engineers

For existing CoC holders (Y4 to Y1) :    Read MIN524 -  Find your ideal conversion to SV.

For uncertified but experienced seafarers :    Read MIN524 - Register on an SV programme with a training provider as soon as you are eligible (24 months + courses).

For new entrants :    Do Basic Safety training, ENG1 medical, AEC 1 and get yourself to sea, you need service to progress further.