Applying for a Certificate of Competency

To work as a crew member on a commercial vessel you must have a Certificate of Competency.

How to apply

In order to apply for a Certificate of Competency, you need to:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Meet the medical and eyesight standards
  • Meet the minimum sea service requirements and complete the Application for Qualifying Sea Service Assessment form
  • Complete the relevant training course with a Registered Training Organisation
  • Provide a current approved first aid certificate, of at least 'Apply first aid' (HLTFA311A) or 'Provide first aid' (HLTAID003) standard (not required for Coxswain Grade 2 unless passengers are carried)
  • Provide a completed National Regulator approved task book (if applicable)
  • Provide proof of your identity
  • Provide two colour passport-acceptable photos, with your name written on the back. If you're posting your application, the photos must be certified
  • Provide payment for the applicable fee.
  • Complete an Application for a Certificate of Competency form

Lodging your application

Note: Fee must be paid before the application can be processed - view the schedule of fees.

You'll then need to lodge your application:

Fees can be paid by:

  • Credit card over the phone on (02) 9563 8400 during business hours (8.30am to 4.30pm)
  • Submitting a credit card authority form
  • Submitting a cheque or money order made to Roads and Maritime Services; or
  • Paying at your nearest Service NSW centre

Medical and eyesight standards

Applicants for a Certificate of Competency must demonstrate that they meet the national medical and eyesight standards. There are different forms depending on the type of certificate you're applying for, as shown in this table.

Certificate type Form required
General Purpose Hand NC
Coxswain Grade 2 NC
Coxswain Grade 1 NC
Master <24m NC
Master (Inland Waters)
Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 NC
Marine Engine Drive Grade 2 NC
Eyesight Test Certificate
Self Declaration of Medical Fitness
Master <35m NC
Mate <80m NC
Master <80m NC
Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 NC
Engineer Class 3 NC
Eyesight Test Certificate
Certificate of Medical Fitness for a Marine Qualification

Evidence of sea service

You must provide evidence of sea service accrual.

You may provide evidence by providing:

  • A declaration, in a form acceptable to the National Regulator
  • An approved sea service log book or task book
  • A letter from the operator, owner, master or chief engineer of a vessel detailing the sea service you have accrued.

Qualifying sea service is measured in days spent performing the tasks appropriate to the class of certificate to which it applies.

See sea service requirements for more information.

Final assessment

The final stage in applying for a Certificate of Competency is an assessment by the regulatory authority. This assessment is only conducted when all other requirements have been met. It is an interview style assessment of your skills and knowledge.

The assessment may involve the use of a simulator or may be conducted on board a vessel and include a practical boat driving test for coxswains and masters certificates. You may also be required to provide a written response to questions as part of the assessment process.

Assessments are conducted mainly at Rozelle and occasionally at various other regional centres when there are sufficient candidates to be assessed.

You will be advised in writing if you are eligible for a final assessment and you must then book an appointment. The assessment may take two to three hours.

You may be assessed on any of the competencies listed in the national standards and the training package including competencies for certificates of a lower grade.

Skills and knowledge required for the final assessment are available from AMSA. Refer to Skills and Knowledge Required for NSCV Certificates of Competency - Part D Crew Competencies for further information.

More information

For further information please contact the Roads and Maritime Information Line on 13 12 36, or email You can also visit your local Service NSW centre.

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