Certificate of Competency

By law, any person working as crew on a commercial vessel in Australia must hold a Certificate of Competency. This ensures that people operating commercial vessels are competent and medically fit for their assigned tasks and areas of operation.

Grades and operational limits

This table provides the operational limits of the various grade of Certificates of Competency. Effective 1 July 2013.

Grade of Certification Operational Limits
Coxswain Grade 2 NC Dual qualification to act as master and/or engineer on a commercial vessel less than 12m in length and with propulsion power less than 100kW inboard and unlimited outboards, operating within sheltered waters, or on a tender/auxiliary vessel within 3 nm of parent vessel within EEZ (200nm), or 5nm from the point of departure of a shore base or aquaculture lease; not carrying passengers.
Coxswain Grade 1 NC Dual qualification to act as master and/or engineer on a commercial vessel less than 12m in length and with propulsion power less than 500kW inboard and unlimited outboards, operating up to 15 nautical miles, or on a tender/auxiliary vessel within 3 nm of parent vessel within EEZ (200nm). Operate on waters designated by a State or Territory authority, in which it permits holders of this certificate to operate, subject to any conditions that it may impose.
Master (Inland Waters) Master of commercial vessels less than 24m in length, operating in Inland Waters. Act in any deck capacity, other than Coxswain, on the vessel.
Master <24m NC Master of commercial vessels less than 24m in length, operating within EEZ (200nm).
Master <35m NC Master of commercial vessels less than 35m in length, operating within EEZ (200nm) or less than 80m operating up to 15 nautical miles from the coast.
Mate <80m NC Second in command of a commercial vessel <80m operating within EEZ (200nm).
Master <80m NC Master of commercial vessels less than 80m in length, operating within EEZ (200nm).
Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 NC (MED 3) Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 500 kW or Second Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 750 kW; operating within EEZ (200nm).
Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 NC (MED 2) Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 750 kW or Second Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 1500 kW; operating within EEZ (200nm).
Engine Driver Grade 1 NC (MED 1) Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 1500 kW or Second Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 3000 kW; operating within EEZ (200nm).
Engineer Class 3 NC (Eng 3) Chief Engineer of vessels with propulsion power less than 3000 kW operating within EEZ (200nm).
General Purpose Hand NC (GPH) Assist the master or engineer under direct supervision, working on deck or engine on a vessel less than 80m and propulsion power less than 3000 kW within EEZ (200 nm).

In this section...

Applying for a Certificate of Competency

Renewing a Certificate of Competency

General Purpose Hands

New Zealand recognition

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