Engineering Oral Prep Courses for Small Vessel & Yacht MCA Oral Exams

Welcome to JPMA’s renowned Engineering Oral Preparation for Small Vessel & Yacht 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.

We offer MCA oral prep courses for the following UK Engineering CoCs:

MEOL (Y), Y4, Y3, Y2 & Y1


SV EOOW <3000gt/<9000kW (previously SV 2nd Engineer),

SV Chief Engineer <500gt/<3000kW

SV Chief Engineer <3000gt/<9000kW.

We also deliver oral prep courses to Merchant/Commercial Engineers.

At JPMA, we pride ourselves on being the premier, and original, destination for Engineers 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 Engineers. 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.

Our Engineering oral prep courses run over 6 days (5 days of prep and 1 day of self-study), usually Thursday to Tuesday, with Sunday taken as a day to digest the first 3 days of the course, and prepare for the final 2 days.

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

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 those 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.

Course Fees:

if there are 2 or more students on the course:

Engineering 5 days £1,475.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments.

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

Engineering 5 days £1,975.00 – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments.

Post-prep Booster Days £335.00 per day – includes lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments.

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);

We have a full range of Deck and Engineering equipment available for all students to use during the courses – smartie boards, sextants, charts, publications, model buoys and an assortment of engine parts 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.

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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