Small Vessel EOOW <3000gt/<9000kW CoC

There are 3 routes into the non-limited SV EOOW <3000GT & <9000kW CoC, and one route into the SV EOOW (Limited to Yachts):

  • A) The ‘Standard Route‘ detailed in MSN 1904, section 4.3. This is similar to a cadetship, and is designed for Engineers with little experience. We do not offer the Diploma in Maritime Studies included in this route.
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  • B) The ‘Experienced Seafarer Route’ detailed in MSN 1904, in section 4.4. This is based on you already having some Engineering seatime under your belt, with no previous qualifications. This is also the route to the ‘Limited to Yachts’ version of the EOOW CoC.
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  • C) The ‘Alternative Route’ detailed in MSN 1904, in section 4.7. This is based on you having relevant previous qualifications that may exempt you from undertaking certain courses or reduce your service requirements (this is similar to the Letter of Initial Assessment that was available to Engineers entering the Yacht CoC route)


Service Requirements for Routes B & C:


B) Service Requirements for the Experienced Seafarer Route:

Before you can book onto any of the SV EOOW written modules, you must first contact an MCA-approved training provider to purchase a Training Record Book (this is described in MSN 1904 as ‘registering on a study programme’ and you can undertake your training at any accredited training provider once you have the TRB).

JPMA can issue your Training Record Book, and you must submit proof of meeting the following requirements for us to do this:

(i) For ALL Engineers on ALL types of vessel – proof of 24 months onboard service on vessels of at least 200 kW, which must include a minimum of 6 months actual sea service. This service must have been verified by Nautilus/PYA (see below for more info about calculating service and acceptable yard time);

(ii) Hold an Approved Engine Course I & II (AEC I & II);

(iii) Hold basic STCW safety training certificates (less than 5 years old, or updated);

  1. Personal Survival Techniques (STCW Code A-VI/1-1);
  2. Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW Code A-VI/1-2);
  3. Elementary First Aid (STCW Code A-VI/1-2);
  4. Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (STCW Code A-VI/1-4).

Once you have obtained a Training Record Book you may undertake the SV EOOW written modules, and complete further onboard & sea service to be issued with a Notice of Eligibility (NOE) to sit an MCA Oral examination:

(iv) Further service (at this point, Yacht Engineers can choose to apply for either the full SV EOOW CoC or SV EOOW ‘Limited to Yachts’, as the service requirements differ here):

For Non-Yacht Engineers – a further 11 months of actual sea service on vessels of 350kw, including at least 6 months sea service engaged in watchkeeping or UMS (Unmanned Machinery Spaces) duties.

For Yacht Engineers wishing to apply for the full SV EOOW – a further 12 months yacht service on vessels of at least 350 kW, including a minimum of 7 months actual sea service while on watch.

For Yacht Engineers wishing to apply for the SV EOOW (Limited to Yachts) – a further 12 months yacht service on vessels of at least 350 kW, including a minimum of 4 months actual sea service while on watch. You must show a total of 6 months of watchkeeping service – 2 months of this may be completed while at anchor or made fast to the shore, as long as the yacht is using its own power, and other related auxiliary machinery is running;

(v) Completion of the Small Vessel Training Record Book during this sea service;

(vi) 2 Weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training followed by; 2 weeks actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.



C) Service Requirements for the Alternative Route:

You will be eligible for this route if you have completed a suitable engineering qualification and/or work based apprenticeship. This will include:

  1. Graduates or Higher National Diploma (HND)/Higher National Certificate (HNC) holders in mechanical/aeronautical/marine/electromechanical or an engineering programme that comprises of at least four of the following six modules: applied mechanics, applied heat, mathematics, engineering drawing , naval architecture and ship construction and electro-technology;
  2. Suitable engineering apprenticeship (NVQ level 2 or above) holders. Examples could include, but not limited to Mechanical, Marine Engineering and Diesel Fitter. Relevant apprenticeships must have been completed in an EU state, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa

The following training and seagoing service will also be assessed for eligibility onto the Alternative Route:

  1. Royal Navy engineering: service, training and qualifications;
  2. Naval engineering: service training and qualifications from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

You must apply to an MCA-approved training provider for an Action Plan (currently the only training provider offering this service is Warsash, but you can do your subsequent courses with any training provider).

The Action Plan will draw on the MCA requirements below:

All applicants must complete a minimum of 6 months’ actual sea service engaged in watchkeeping duties or UMS duties. Sea service must be completed on vessels of at least 350 kW and you must document your onboard training during this period in an approved Small Vessel Training Record Book (TRB) plus, in addition to the requirements detailed below, one of the following:

  1. An additional 2 weeks actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW or
  2. 2 weeks of further MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training


In addition to this, you must complete one of the following, which will be highlighted in the Action Plan, and must be gained AFTER the Action Plan is issued:

(i) A Graduate (Degree), a holder of an MCA-approved HND in Marine Engineering Qualification or an engineering apprenticeship (NVQ level 3 or above), must complete a further 5 months’ of actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW. Those working on Yachts must complete a total of 12 months Yacht service and 8 months actual sea service.

(ii) An HND holder must complete a further 8 months’ of actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW. Those working on Yachts must complete a total of 14 months Yacht service and 9-15 months actual sea service.

(iii) An HNC holder must complete a further 11 months’ of actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW. Those working on Yachts must complete a total of 17 months Yacht service and 11-15 months actual sea service.


The courses that you must undertake for routes B & C towards this CoC are:


You must also have a valid ENG1 Medical certificate.

If you are yet to receive any of these certificates, you can still apply for the NoE, but you will need to submit the certificates to the MCA after you have undertaken your oral exam

¹ NOTE: if you submit an Advanced Sea Survival/Restricted PSC&RB certificate, your CoC will be endorsed as follows: “not for use on ships equipped with davit launched lifeboats”


Course Exemptions:

Note that your ‘Alternative Route’ Action Plan may exempt you from AEC I & II and Workshop Skills Training.

If you are doing the ‘Experienced Seafarer Route’ you may apply to IAMI for exemptions from AEC I & II and Workshop Skills Training, if you have relevant training and experience that qualify you for an exemption. Email IAMI on to access their exemption service.




Calculating Sea & Watchkeeping Service

Onboard/Yacht service is counted as the time spent on the vessel and excludes leave and other non-working time.

Sea service means proceeding to sea, beyond the categorised waters around the UK coast, or beyond harbour limits for non-UK waters. Sea service cannot include any yard time if gained on Yachts.

Watchkeeping – For SV EOOW, a minimum of 6 months of your seagoing service must be spent performing engine room watchkeeping duties or UMS duties. This duty can be performed in a subsidiary capacity. A minimum of 4 hours of engine room watch in 24 hours would count as 1 full day of watchkeeping service.

At least 6 months of the qualifying sea service must have been performed within the 5 years immediately preceding the date your application is received by the MCA.

The qualifying service must be performed in the Engineering department. In the case of a dual role Engine⁄Deck candidate, half of the service is counted.

A month is defined as a calendar month or 30 days if made up of periods less than 1 month.

Sea service may be performed on vessels of any flag.


Yard/Dry Dock Time:


Experienced Seafarer Route: You can use up to 6 months yard/dry dock time towards the EOOW CoC:

The first 3 months can be included before or after you obtain your TRB, towards the total service requirement for the SV EOOW CoC. (Yacht Engineers may only use yard/dry dock time towards yacht service, not sea service). All yard service needs to be detailed in a report verified by the Master/Chief Engineer/Company.

An additional 3 months of yard/dry dock time can be used to count towards the full service requirements leading up to application for a TRB, to enable you to begin completing your TRB as soon as possible. This may only be used towards onboard/yacht service, not sea service. This service must be documented in the form of a company letter/proposal and be emailed to the MCA for approval, before using it to apply for a TRB.


Alternative Route: If you require actual sea service of at least 14 months, you may count 25% or 3 months (whichever is the least) of the required qualifying service for a TRB at lay-up, maintenance berth, extended anchorage or in yard/dry dock. This service must be documented in the form of a company letter from the owner or operator, detailing your roles and responsibilities during this time period.


Refer to MSN 1904, section 5.5 for full details of Yard/Dry Dock time.


Yacht Sea Service Verification Process – please click here to read about regulations for service gained on Yachts.

Applying for an NoE

To do the final oral exam, you will need a Notice of Eligibility. This document is issued once the MCA have assessed your eligibility, and an oral exam cannot be booked until the NoE is issued.

Your service needs to be proved with 2 forms of evidence for each vessel on which you are claiming service time. Usually a Testimonial and a Certificate of Discharge. If you have a discharge book or PYA SRB, this can be used with a testimonial for each vessel.

This is all laid out in MSN 1904 & MIN 642 (there are different types of Engineer testimonial, depending on what type of vessel you are on. The Yacht testimonial can be found as an annex of MIN 642. The Certificate of Discharge and other types of Testimonial can be found as an annex of MSN 1904)

Update to Electronic NoE application process & online oral exams – the MCA have updated the application process to allow for applications to be made online using the submission of electronic documents. If this is your first UK/MCA qualification, you will still need to post your application.

You must send a form of ID with your application. You can send a copy of your passport, signed by your Captain and with their CoC number noted, but you can also send any form of National ID – birth certificate or Discharge Book are usually easier to cope without!

It should be noted that written exam pass certificates have a validity of only three years. If your module pass certificates are more than 3 years old when you apply for an NoE you will have to submit new pass certificates to the MCA before they will issue a CoC.

You will need to download the NoE application form. You must complete the form and send all of your original certificates and testimonials to the MCA.
The NoE will be processed in about 28 days. Once the NoE is issued you are deemed eligible to take the oral exam.

If you are a Yacht Engineer applying for the ‘Limited to Yachts’ version of the CoC, your oral examination will be for ‘Engineer Officer of the Watch on Small Vessels less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, III/2’, but your certificate will carry the following limitation: “Less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, Unlimited Area, limited to Yachts”.


Removing the ‘Yacht Only’ restriction and Progression

Once you hold an SV EOOW ‘Limited to Yachts’ CoC, your subsequent SV Chief Engineer CoCs will also be ‘Limited to Yachts’.

You may apply for an upgrade to an unrestricted SV CoC at any time, when you have met the extra sea time requirements that you did not submit when appyling for SV EOOW, as listed in MSN 1904.  




JPMA offers oral preparation courses for the Small Vessel Engineer oral exams. Click here for details.