Deck Oral Prep Courses for Yacht & Workboat MCA Oral Exams

Welcome to JPMA’s renowned Oral Preparation for Deck MCA Oral Exams. Our meticulously crafted courses and pre-course prep packs, originally established by the late Captain John Percival in the 1990s, have guided thousands of candidates to success.

Despite John’s passing in 2014, our dedicated instructors have seamlessly continued his legacy, consistently achieving high pass rates on the first attempt.


As the home of the original oral preparation course, we offer MCA oral prep courses for many UK Deck CoCs:

OOW (Yachts) <3000gt,

Master (Code Vessels) <200gt,

Master (Workboats) <500gt,

Master (Near Coastal) <500gt,

Master (Yachts) <500gt,

Master (Yachts) <3000gt



JPMA’s MCA Deck oral exam preparation comes in several formats, with flexible online options and our unparalleled, classroom based, oral prep courses:

We offer hourly online revision sessions in the months/weeks leading up to your oral prep course, for those students who prefer a more guided study style, prior to arriving for the oral prep course. These can also be done in the classroom, immediately prior to your course. Find out more here.

The ‘John Percival Oral Prep (Deck) Bundle’ is a unique package combining the advantages of our online flexible study sessions with the focused intensity of our acclaimed 5-day oral prep course, allowing candidates to check in with experienced JPMA instructors during preparatory studies. Find out more here

Classic Oral Prep Courses – at JPMA, we pride ourselves on being the premier, and original, destination for Deck crew seeking a top-notch, timetabled, oral prep course. Our courses are expertly designed to provide a structured and immersive learning experience, instilling a deep understanding of maritime principles and practices.

Our instructors bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the classroom, offering valuable insights and real-world expertise. With a commitment to excellence, our oral prep courses provide a focused and organised approach, allowing you to navigate through the exam syllabus with confidence.

Our commitment goes beyond merely preparing you to pass your oral exam – we aim to shape our students into stronger, more knowledgeable seafarers. While achieving a successful exam result is important, our primary goal is to cultivate a more educated and skilled individual. We believe that a well-rounded seafarer not only excels in exams, but also contributes meaningfully to the maritime industry. Our courses are crafted to empower you with comprehensive knowledge, ensuring you sit down for the exam not just as a test-taker, but as a more proficient and informed maritime professional.

Trust JPMA to guide you towards success, where our unparalleled courses set the standard for oral exam preparation in the industry.

Course Details:

Both of our famous oral prep courses for OOW (Yachts) <3000gt and Master (Yachts) <500gt & <3000gt run over 6 days (5 days of prep and 1 day of self-study), usually Monday to Saturday, with Thursday taken as a ‘self study’ day to digest the first 3 days of the course, and prepare for the final 2 days.

Our oral prep courses for Master (Code Vessels) <200gt and Master (Workboat) <500gt run over 8 days, usually Monday to Thursday followed by Saturday to Tuesday. The middle Friday is taken as a ‘self study’ day to digest the first 4 days of the course, and prepare for the final 4 days.


– Each day is fully timetabled from 0900 – 1700. (Merchant CoC candidates are given an extra day of prep, dedicated to cargo work and other elements that are not covered in the Yacht syllabus).

– We can arrange your oral prep course to match as closely to your oral exam date as possible, depending on instructor availability. Once you have your NoE, and know your availability, we can let you know if we have any courses already running or if we need to set new dates for you.

Course dates are regularly updated here

– The courses usually take place in the classroom, at our training centre in Hoylake, but online prep courses can be offered to those unable to travel to the UK.

– We take a maximum of 4 students per course. (In extreme circumstances we will place a fifth student onto a course, due to lack of MCA oral exam availability).

– The course is designed to finish as close to your exam date as possible. Depending on the length of time between the last day of your course and the date your exam is booked, we can offer ‘Booster’ oral prep days. These are optional, and not included in the standard oral prep course fee, but we strongly recommend that you maintain your level of knowledge and ability with these bonus days, in the lead up to your exam date.

With an impressive 84% pass rate across all of our Deck oral exams in 2023, our success at JPMA speaks volumes. Our dedicated instructors not only focus on exam success but also strive to mould better seafarers. While passing the exam is the primary goal, our courses ensure students are well-prepared and equipped for excellence in their maritime careers.

Oral preparation for MCA oral exams is not mandatory, and therefore oral preparation courses do not need MCA approval or accreditation. This means that there are no guidelines or set standards that must be met by training providers offering oral prep courses. As we are accredited by the MCA to run many Yacht and Small Vessel courses, you can be sure that our oral preparation courses are designed to meet the same exacting MCA standards. Our instructors hold mandatory MCA Train the Trainer certification, in order to teach other MCA courses.

Choose JPMA for unparalleled success and expertise in both exam preparation and professional development.

We strongly recommend that you do not arrange any extra, external, prep during your prep course. Our course is fully timetabled to cover what you need – the homework you will be given each evening is essential and you are encouraged to work with the other students on your course in your free time. Over recent months we have found students who choose to do extra external prep have struggled to keep up – this is because the external sources do not necessarily complement our course package and can lead to confusion due to doing things in the wrong order.

Course Fees:

if there are 2 or more students on the course:

Deck 5 days £1,475.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments;

Deck 8 days £2,360.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments;

if no-one else books on the dates and you are the only student on the course:

Deck 5 days £1,975.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments;

Deck 8 days £2,860.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments;

Pre-Course Revision Days & Post-Course ‘Booster’ Days £335.00 per day – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments.

Online revision sessions – £50.00 per hour

MCA oral prep course fees are inclusive of everything:

– Lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments are provided;

– We will email our famous prep pack and pre-course reading for you to work on before the course (pre-course study is essential – see above for details of our online hourly study support sessions);

– We have a full range of equipment available for all students to use during the courses – smartie boards, sextants, charts, publications, model buoys etc.

– Our instructors also run mock oral exams to prepare you for the nature of the final oral exam.

Concierge Service:

We recognise that making a journey to us from overseas can be stressful, so we have always done our best to lighten the load. As a complimentary part of your booking process, we offer a concierge service, helping with travel arrangements, taxi bookings and accommodation (off-site).


NOTE: the oral exam is designed to show the MCA that you have the knowledge contained within the written modules, and the practical experience from your sea service, resulting in them finding you competent to hold a UK Certificate of Competence.

We strongly recommend that all of the written modules are completed prior to attempting the oral exam. An NoE pass is valid for 3 years, so if you sit but do not pass a written exam, you can re-sit it after the oral exam.

Candidates for Master (Yachts) <3000gt who do not hold a Master (Yachts) <500gt CoC MUST have completed and passed all of the modules etc before attending the oral examination, otherwise they will receive an automatic fail.

For information on how to apply for an NoE, and the MCA’s online exam booking process, see our main Oral Prep Course page.

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