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Frequently asked questions

How long are my certificates valid for?
When do my medical certificates run out?
How do I revalidate an MCA Certificate of Competency (CoC)?
How do I revalidate my GMDSS after 5 years?
How do I revalidate the commercial endorsement on my RYA certificate?
How do I download MCA application forms?
How long is my Notice of Eligibility (NOE) valid for?
Can I work on British Flag vessels with a CoC issued by another country?
How do I apply for a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC)?
How can I contact the MCA?
Who can issue me a ENG1 medical certificate?
How do I apply for a British seaman's discharge book?
How long before I can do a resit after a "fail" result?
How do I fill in my Training Record Book?
How do I verify my sea time?
Am I exempt from the yacht skills test?
Do I need STCW basic safety training to get a job?
I have an IYT Master of Yachts 200gt - can I do the RYA Ocean Theory course?
How long are my certificates valid for?
As of 1st January 2017, if your STCW basic safety training certificate is 5 years old or over, you must update your training for your certificate to remain valid. Specifically, this applies to the Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting and Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques modules of your STCW basic safety training. This directive doesn’t apply to the other modules. You can update your training by completing the full STCW basic safety training course again, or by completing a refresher course. The refresher courses are called ‘Updated Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting and Personal Survival Techniques’ and we offer them at all our training centres. <br><br> This directive also applies if you hold Proficiency in Advanced Fire Fighting and/or Proficiency in Advanced Sea Survival (OR Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (Other than Fast Rescue Boats)). We run refresher courses for both of these (note: we run the refresher for the Advanced Sea Survival, now known as the Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (Other than Fast Rescue Boats) RESTRICTED. <br><br> For medical certificate validity, see the next question. <br><br> All IAMI (deck) exam pass certificates last for 3 years from the date the examination took place. You must have applied for your CoC before they expire. If you fail to apply for the CoC before your exam pass certificates expire, you would need to obtain a new exam pass certificate by resitting the exam only. If, however you fail the exam, you would be required to complete the full course again for another opportunity to take the exam. <br><br> SQA (engineering) course completion certificates last for 3 years, and you can retake the exam as many times as necessary to obtain an exam pass. After 3 years, you would be required to take the full course again. On successful pass of an SQA exam, the exam pass certificate is valid for 3 years from the date the examination took place, during which you would need to apply for the appropriate CoC.
When do my medical certificates run out?
The Medical Care at Sea certificate is valid for 5 years, after which you would need to update your medical training. This can be done with a Medical Care at Sea course or a Medical Refresher course. As Captain, or the designated medical person in charge, your medical certificates should always be in date. However, you do not need to send this certificate when you revalidate your MCA CoC. <br><br> The RYA requires a certificate of updated medical training within the last 5 years to revalidate a commercial endorsement. Please refer to the question ‘How do I revalidate the commercial endorsement on my RYA certificate?’ to find out how to revalidate a commercial endorsement.
How do I revalidate an MCA Certificate of Competency (CoC)?
Send the following to:<br> MCA (Seafarer Training & Certification), Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG, U.K. <br><br> • application form MSF 4201 (to download the form, refer to the question ‘How do I download MCA application forms?’)<br> • original certificate of competency<br> • 2 x passport photos (One certified, the other with your name and date of birth)<br> • sea service testimonials and discharge book, or PYA/Nautilus Service Record book (indicating 12 months’ sea service in the last 5 years or 3 months’ sea service in the last 6 months)<br> • Masters: must provide a company letter verifying at least 12 months’ of your sea service<br> • courier fee of £56.00 (EU) or £66.00 (Rest of the World)<br> • Evidence of having completed the basic (and advanced if applicable) updated proficiency safety courses in the last 5 years<br> • valid ENG1 medical certificate (or accepted equivalent)<br> • deck officers only: GMDSS GOC/ROC (as applicable)<br> • deck officers only: ECDIS certificate (if not supplied, you will receive a negative endorsement)<br> • engineer officers only: High voltage course completion certificate (if not supplied you will receive a negative endorsement) <br><br> Additional information can be found in MSN 1861(M)
How do I revalidate my GMDSS after 5 years?
Send the following to: <br> MCA (Seafarer Training & Certification), Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG, U.K. Tel: +44 2380 329 231<br> <br> • application form MSF 4353 (to download the form, refer to question 'How to download MCA forms')<br> • original GMDSS licence<br> • proof of 12 months’ sea service (testimonials/log book) within the last 5 years<br> • courier fee of £20.00 (EU) or £30.00 (Rest of the World)<br> • valid ENG1 medical certificate (or accepted equivalent)<br>
How do I revalidate the commercial endorsement on my RYA certificate?
Send the following to:<br> Royal Yachting Association, RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Southampton, SO31 4YA, U.K. Tel: +44 2380 604 100 <br><br> • commercial endorsement revalidation form (can be obtained from the <a href="https://www.rya.org.uk/">RYA website</a>)<br> • original RYA certificate (Yachtmaster Offshore/Ocean, Powerboat Level 2, etc.)<br> • 1 passport photo<br> • valid ENG1 medical certificate (or accepted equivalent)<br> • proof of sea-time (at least 150 days of actual sea service during the last 5 years)<br> • Professional Practice and Responsibilities (PPR) online test or MCA issued deck CoC<br> • fee of £34.00 (plus £25.00 for fast track service)<br> • Elementary First Aid certificate from the last 5 years (or accepted medical equivalent)
How do I download MCA application forms?
On the UK government services website: <a href="http://www.gov.uk/">www.gov.uk</a>, use the large search box to find the relevant application code.
How long is my Notice of Eligibility (NOE) valid for?
It is valid for 5 years or 3 years following successful completion of an oral exam. The examination pass certificates must be less than 3 years old for issue of the CoC.
Can I work on British Flag vessels with a CoC issued by another country?
Yes, the MCA recognises STCW endorsed certificates from other countries, provided that they have inspected and approved the training system in that country. <br><br> You should check the MCA website for an updated list of countries currently recognised: <a href=" www.gov.uk/government/publications/cec-accepted-countries">Click Here</a>. If your country is recognised, you can apply for a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC). The MCA should issue a CEC with the same limitations as the original certificate.
How do I apply for a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC)?
Send the following to:<br> MCA (Seafarer Training & Certification), Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton SO15 1EG, U.K. <br><br> • application form MSF 4203 (to download the form, refer to the question ‘How do I download MCA application forms?’)<br> • non-UK Certificate of Competency<br> • deck officers only: GMDSS certificate<br> • passport or discharge book<br> • evidence of competency in English language (see the guidance notes in the application form for details on this)<br> • 2 x passport photos (One certified, the other with your name and date of birth)<br> • fee of £76.00 (EU/Worldwide)<br>
How can I contact the MCA?
Helpline: +44 2380 329 231. You don’t need to wait for the operator to ask you questions, you can just select 1 for Deck/GMDSS, select 2 for Engineering or Safe Manning, or select 3 for Certificates of Equivalent Competency. Alternatively, you can email them on deck@mcga.gov.uk, engineering@mcga.gov.uk, or cec@mcga.gov.uk.
Who can issue me a ENG1 medical certificate?
There are 4 doctors in France who can issue ENG1 certificate (or a MCA accepted ML5 medical certificate); <br><br> Dr Patrick Ireland & Dr Christopher Besse<br> Le Forum, 1913 Route de Cannes, Valbonne, 06560, Tel: +33 493 12 95 66 <br><br> Michel Lauzel - The English Osteopath<br> 4 Rue Vauban, 06600 Antibes, Tel: +33 493 34 67 17 I <a href="https://www.englishosteopath.com/">www.englishosteopath.com</a> (please book online) <br><br> Dr C Trim-Cauchois<br> Yacht Club de Monaco, Espace Calypso (Belle Classe Academy), Quai Louis II, 98000 Monte-Carlo, Tel: +33 643 91 75 79, Email: drcauchois@gmail.com <br><br> Dr Bruno Lavagne<br> “Le Vendome” C, 4 Chemin du Tanit, Juan Les Pins, 06160, Tel: +33 493 67 03 07 <br><br> In Spain you can go to; <br><br> Dr Amit Bajpai<br> British Medical Centre, Calle ses Planas, 7 Bajo, 07181 Palmanova, Calvia Mallorca, Tel: +34 971 683 511 I clinic@britishmedicalcentre.com <br><br> Dr Johanna Clark<br> Club de Mar Medical, Gabriel Roca 44/Calle Ses Rafaletes, 1A, Building Torremar/Edif B, Planta PR, Locat 2 IZQ, 07015, Palma de Mallorca, Tel: +34 619 982 142 I info@clubdemarmedical.com <br><br> In Fort Lauderdale you can go to: <br><br> Dr E Grenet<br> Health Medical Centers, 1489 SE 17 Suite 2, 2nd Floor Southport Shopping Centre, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316 Tel: +1 954 525 7595 I <a href="https://www.healthmedcenter.net/">www.healthmedcenter.net</a> <br><br> For a full list of doctors worldwide see <a href="https://www.gov.uk">www.gov.uk</a> and search 'MCA approved doctors'.
How do I apply for a British seaman's discharge book?
Visit <a href="https://www.gov.uk/">www.gov.uk</a> and search for ‘MSF 4509’, to download the application form. The cost to apply is £40.00.
How long before I can do a resit after a "fail" result?
For externally moderated OOW 3000gt and Master courses, you may resit the failed exam as soon as you can organise a date with your training provider. You must resit any failed exam within 12 months of sitting the original. If you fail a second time, you must retake the whole course before re-attempting the exam. For externally moderated Engineering courses, you are able to resit the exam as many times as necessary without having to retake the course, up to 3 years following the date of the course completion certificate.
How do I fill in my Training Record Book?
Carefully! All tasks are to be completed and signed off by your Captain. None of the tasks should be signed off at the same time. If you are the Captain, you can sign the tasks off yourself, but the MCA will require, with your application for OOW 3000gt, a letter from someone higher up than yourself, i.e. owner, management company or PYA, explaining why you have self-assessed. TRBs should be filled in over a one to three year period. Dates must correspond to time on vessels, with corresponding testimonials. Don't sign off tasks all on the same date. See page 89 of the <a href="https://www.bluewateryachting.com/_downloads/website/crew_training_manual.pdf">Crew Training Manual</a> for further details.
How do I verify my sea time?
The PYA is authorised by the MCA, through the PYA ISO quality management standards, to verify sea service using the PYA Service Record Book (SRB). Your certificates and sea time (both present and retrospective experience) will be carefully checked and approved before being stamped into the SRB by the PYA.
Am I exempt from the yacht skills test?
This depends on whether you are qualified in a mechanical trade (diesel mechanic, fitter, etc.). If you trained outside the UK you will need a letter from the marine administration of the country where you did the trade saying that they would recognise your trade as relevant for the issue of STCW Engineering certificates. You will still need to contact the MCA for a Letter of Initial Assessment, outlining your qualifications and sea time/yacht time.
Do I need STCW basic safety training to get a job?
Yes! You will not get a job on a charter yacht without a STCW basic safety training, and it is required by the vast majority of private yachts. Any MCA coded yacht over 500gt will require all crew to hold a STCW basic safety training certificate.
I have an IYT Master of Yachts 200gt - can I do the RYA Ocean Theory course?
Unfortunately, no, even though the MCA recognises both RYA and IYT qualifications, the RYA will not accept the IYT Yachtmaster Offshore as a pre-requisite for obtaining the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course. You would have to complete the IYT equivalent.

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