COVID-19 – Updates

Due to the current outbreak of Coronavirus, and English Government guidelines, our building is running at a reduced capacity.

We continue to offer Deck & Engineering Oral prep online. We are currently running HELM, Yacht & SV Engineering courses in our classrooms in Hoylake. (These courses may be moved online if English guidelines change due to another spike in virus numbers. You can read more about our risk assessment and measures we have taken to make our building Covid safe, at the bottom of this page.)

Some of our courses are cancelled until further notice. We will be re-assessing on a regular basis. See our course dates page for schedules, and the individual course pages for prices.

Important change in Coronavirus measures within the UK:

Seafarers, Masters and Ships Surveyors need to be aware of the specific travel exemptions which are specific to each profession.

If you are travelling into England from a country that is not on the Government Red List, and you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine, but you must take a lateral flow test on day 2.

If you are travelling into England from a country that is not on the Government Red List, and you are NOT fully vaccinated, you are required to take a lateral flow test on days 2, 5 and 8. If you live in the UK you do not need to quarantine. If you live overseas you must quarantine in the place you are staying for 10 days while in England, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

(‘Fully vaccinated’ means you must have had a final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England. The day you have your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.)

If you are travelling into England from a Red list country you must quarantine in your accommodation for 10 days. You must also take a Lateral Flow test on days 2, 5 and 8 after entering the UK. This is in addition to the PCR test that you must take before travelling to the UK. If you live in the UK you do not need to quarantine.

Details of quarantine exemptions and Lateral Flow/PCR test requirements can be found on the UK Government’s website.

We have ordered a number of Lateral Flow tests, and will make these tests available to you, free of charge, if required. 

See below for details of JPMA’s Covid testing requirements, prior to attending a course in the building.

Please note that the travel information on our website applies only to England, as regulations are different in the 4 countries of the UK, and we are based in England. If you are arriving in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please ensure you’re familiar with their guidance before travelling.

Online Oral Preparation Courses & 1-2-1 Tuition

We are currently offering Deck & Engineering oral prep and some 1-2-1 tutoring online.

For seafarers who are in the middle of their studies, and don’t know when their oral exam will be, or for seafarers who are planning to do their modules when lockdown is over, but struggling with a certain subject – we can help!

Our instructors are available to offer hourly, half or full day 1-2-1 sessions.

MCA Oral exams are currently taking place online. Candidates holding NOEs should book an oral exam though the centralised system by emailing:

The MCA are issuing NOEs in receipt date order, i.e. ‘first come first served’.

The MCA state that they are committed to supporting the Yachting industry, and ask that candidates wait patiently while they deal with those at the front of the queue.

A full rundown of how to apply for an electronic NoE, applying for an oral exam, and what to do with your paperwork after the oral exam is available in MIN 620 – Amendment 1


We now have a YouTube channel where we are posting snippets of our oral prep courses, to keep you ticking over during lockdown – click here to see our channel.

MCA Policies

The MCA has put in place contingency plans to mitigate disruption to essential delivered services during the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic, which will impact the delivery of services leading to UK Certificates of Competency (CoC).

MIN 611 and MIN 612 detail the actions that the MCA are taking for all seafaferes and vessels, alongside other documents on the website, but this is a short list of what they are doing regarding CoCs, correct at 15/04/2020 (see above for oral exam update 19/04/2020):

  • – issuing temporary CoCs for those needing to revalidate, or if a seafarer has completed all requirements to be issued with a new CoC, which will be valid for 6 months;
  • – providing exemptions for those officers who are on board a vessel and their safety training has expired. This will be based on a self declaration (as per the STCW 2010 Manilla amendments requirements);
  • – Oral Exam pass validity periods will be extended by a further 6 months;
  • – extending the validity date of an MCA Written Examination pass by up to 6 months;
  • – extending the expiry date of 2-year ENG1 Medical certificates, if you are unable to obtain a replacement;
  • – delaying the phase-out of the Yacht Engineer route, to 1st January 2022.

Risk Assessment for Re-Opening of JPMA/HSS Premises – Info for Students:

Due to the current UK Government guidance regarding social distancing and Covid-19, we have undertaken a risk assessment, prior to reopening our building to students.

There are several new measures that we have had to put in place, to keep you and our employees safe.

– Please note, we currently require, from ALL students, proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to their course start date. Entry into the building will not be permitted without evidence of a negative test result.
We will accept PCR tests which have been carried out for international travel within within 5 days of the course start date. Those students already in the UK (and those who have undertaken their required quarantine period after arriving in the UK) are required to provide proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test taken within 2 days of the course start date.

If students need access to a PCR test in order to leave the UK after their course, a ‘Fit to Fly’ test can be ordered from, to be self-administered during the course. This can be ordered in advance, using our address for delivery.
They offer a 24 or 48 hour turnaround, but recommend the 24 hour service if your destination country has a 72 hour test window.
This means no lost time or extra travel to a testing clinic during your course (our nearest private test centre is 30 minutes away by train).

– On each morning of the course, please assess your own health and do not come in if you feel unwell or are exhibiting any Covid symptoms. If you have been in contact, in the last 10 days, with someone who has had a positive Covid test, please do not travel. Current UK Government guidance states ‘if you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital’.

– To allow you, your classmates and our staff to arrive on the premises safely each morning, we have to stagger the arrival time of each course,. The arrival time you have been allocated must be adhered to for the entire course  – you will be given this 1 week prior to your course start date.

– When arriving at the building on your first morning, you will need to be signed onto your course by our Reception team – please wait outside the building and you will be called into Reception to check in. You will see a sign telling you where to wait, whilst observing the 2 metre rule.

– A large hand sanitiser has been placed on the Reception desk for you to use on entering the building. There are sanitisers in each classroom, and there are also handwashing facilities available in all bathrooms.

– A one way system is in operation throughout the building – this will be explained to you on arrival, but signs and floor stickers have been put in place to ensure everyone keeps to the system.

– The building is cleaned every morning Monday-Friday, but extra measures have been put in place by our contracted cleaning company, as per Government guidance, to include touch points and high use areas. At lunchtimes, a member of Admin staff will clean banisters and door handles.

– We will be running a reduced number of courses in our largest classrooms. All oral prep courses will remain online until the MCA return to conducting their exams in the Marine Offices.

– Classrooms have been cleared of all non-essential items. Chairs have been removed from the classrooms, leaving only 1 chair at each desk, allowing students to sit 2 metres apart.

– The instructor desk in each classroom is now positioned so that the instructor is 2 metres away from students sitting on the front row.

– There is hand sanitiser & a box of tissues in each classroom.

– There is also a detergent spray & roll of blue paper in each classroom, so that students can clean their desk at each smoko and lunch break.

– Air purifiers have been installed in classrooms and offices to ensure good ventilation throughout the building.

– Each classroom has been allocated its own bathroom to use, to ensure class ‘bubbles’ are kept together.

– You must stay in your class bubble for the duration of the course, meaning that you do not mix with students from other courses.

– Your course fee includes lunch and refreshments. We have arranged a ‘meal deal’ with our usual supplier, Fahys Bakery, as we cannot offer a food service at this time. You will be able to collect food from Fahys during the day (you will have an allocation of a certain number of hot/cold drinks/sandwiches etc per day). You will need to wear a face covering when entering shops and food outlets. A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

– To reduce waste, each student will be given a JPMA travel mug for your hot drinks to be refilled by Fahys.

– Students must eat their lunch in their classroom or in our back garden.

– You will need to bring your own water bottle each day, as our water fountain has been removed.

And finally – please remember that others may have different feelings about the current situation than you – they may be nervous, or they may be very confident. Please bear in mind that everyone has been affected by this in different ways, and be kind to each other, and yourself. We are all operating in new ways, and there is pressure on us to get this right from the outset. Not everything will run smoothly at first, but we will make changes if we feel that particular measures are not working.

We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and well in this unusual time.