Sea service requirements and calculation

Sea service requirements for the different Certificates of Competency are summarised on this page. Guidelines for calculating sea service are also provided.

Sea service requirements

Grade Total Sea Service
Coxswain Grade 2 NC

seven days on commercial or recreational vessels with a completed approved task book.

OR

60 days on commercial or recreational vessels.

Coxswain Grade 1 NC

30 days on commercial vessels ≥ 5 m with a completed approved task book.

Or

240 days on commercial or recreational vessels ≥ 5 m.

The qualifying sea service stated above must be accrued while working in a deck, or deck and engineering, capacity on board.

Master <24 m NC

120 days on commercial vessels ≥7.5 m, within five years of the application, with a completed approved task book.

OR

600 days on vessels ≥5 m, of which:

  • at least 50% must be accrued on vessels ≥7.5m long; and
  • at least 50% must be accrued on commercial vessels; and.
  • up to 50% may be accrued on recreational vessels ≥5m long.

The qualifying sea service stated above must be accrued while working in a deck, or deck and engineering, capacity on board.

Master (Inland waters)

60 days on commercial vessels ≥7.5 m, with a completed approved task book, working in any deck capacity.

OR

120 days on vessels ≥7.5 m, while working in a deck, or deck and engineering, capacity on board.

Master <35 m NC

While holding a Master <24 m NC (or equivalent);
180 days on commercial vessels ≥12 m with a completed approved task book, of which:

  • 120 days in charge of a navigational watch; and
  • 60 days operating outside daylight hours.

OR

While holding a Master <24 m NC (or equivalent);
360 days on commercial vessels ≥12 m, of which:

  • 240 days in charge of a navigational watch; and

120 days operating outside daylight hours.

Mate <80 m NC

300 days on commercial vessels ≥12 m with a completed approved task book.

OR

600 days on commercial vessels ≥12 m.

Master <80 m NC

While holding a Master <35 m NC (or equivalent);

180 days on commercial vessels ≥24 m with a completed approved task book, including 120 days in charge of a navigational watch; or 

360 days on commercial vessels ≥24 m, including 240 days in charge of a navigational watch.

OR

While holding a Mate <80 m NC (or equivalent);

360 days on commercial vessels ≥24 m as officer of the watch with a completed approved task book, including 60 days operating outside daylight hours; or 

720 days on commercial vessels ≥24 m as officer of the watch, including 120 days operating outside daylight hours.

Marine Engine Driver Grade Three NC (MED 3)

On commercial vessels with inboard diesel engines ≥75 kW, while working as a general purpose hand or an assistant to an engineer or engine driver, and have:

  • 20 days with a completed approved task book; or
  • 60 days.

OR

On commercial vessels while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification, and have:

  • 20 days with a completed approved task book; or
  • 60 days.
Marine Engine Driver Grade Two NC (MED 2)

On commercial vessels with inboard diesel engines ≥150 kW, while working as a general purpose hand or an assistant to an engineer or engine driver, and have:

  • 180 days with a completed approved task book; or
  • 360 days; or
  • 120 days with a completed approved task book, while holding a Coxswain 1, Coxswain 2 endorsed 500kW or MED 3; or
  • 240 days while holding a Coxswain 1, Coxswain 2 endorsed 500kW or MED 3; or
  • 90 days with a completed approved task book and while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification.

OR

180 days on commercial vessels with inboard diesel engines ≥150 kW, while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification.

Marine Engine Driver Grade One NC (MED 1)

On commercial vessels with inboard diesel engines ≥375 kW, while working as an assistant engineer or assistant engine driver, and have:

  • 240 days with a completed approved task book; or
  • 480 days; or
  • 90 days with a completed approved task book and while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification.

OR

On commercial vessels with inboard diesel engines ≥375 kW, while working as chief engineer or second engineer, and have:

  • 180 days with a completed approved task book, while holding a MED 2; or
  • 360 days with a completed approved task book, while holding a MED 3; or
  • 180 days while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification; or
  • 120 days with a completed approved task book, while holding a MED 2; or
  • 240 days while holding a MED 2.
Engineer Class 3 NC

On commercial vessels with propulsion power ≥400 kW, while working as engineer in charge or assisting the engineer, and have:

  • 180 days with a completed approved task book, while holding a MED 1, or
  • 360 days while holding a MED 1, or
  • 120 days with a completed approved task book and while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification, or
  • 240 days while holding a workshop skill equivalent qualification.

OR

180 days engine-room watch keeping while holding an Engineer Watch Keeper certificate under Marine Order 3 (seafarer Certificate) 2004.

Note: An applicant for a certificate of competency mentioned above must be at least 16 years old when the certificate is issued.

If an applicant does not have sufficient sea service operating outside daylight hours (where required), the certificate maybe restricted to daylight hours only.

For Coxswain Grade 1 NC, Master < 24 m NC, Master < 35 m NC, Mate < 80 m NC and Master < 80 m NC certificates, if at least half the qualifying sea service is not seaward of sheltered waters, the certificate maybe restricted to sheltered waters only.

Sea service calculation guidelines

Please see AMSA qualifying sea service guidance notice for more information.

Example of time that may be counted as qualifying sea service

Time when the person is doing any relevant navigational or engineering work and the vessel is carrying out its normal commercial operations, taking passengers, navigating, at anchor during sight-seeing or charter.

Example of time that may not be counted as qualifying sea service

Time when the person is not doing any relevant navigational or engineering work, i.e. when the vessel is at anchor with the person off duty.

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