Small Vessel 2nd Engineer (Unlimited) CoC

If you do not currently hold a CoC, and feel that you would rather work towards the unlimited SV Second Engineer <3000GT & <9000kW CoC instead of a Y4 or SV 2nd Engineer limited to Yachts, there are 2 routes available to you:

  • A) The ‘Experienced Seafarer Route’ detailed in MIN 524, in section 3.4. This is based on you already having some seatime under your belt, with no previous qualifications.
  • B) The ‘Alternative Route’ detailed in MIN 524, in section 3.5. 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 is available to Engineers entering the Yacht CoC route)

A) Service Requirements for the Experienced Seafarer Route: you must first contact an MCA-approved training provider to purchase a Training Record Book (this is described in MIN 524 as ‘registering on a study programme’ and you can undertake your training at any accredited training provider once you have the TRB).

To obtain a Training Record Book you must meet the following requirements:

  1. 24 months actual sea service on vessels of at least 200kw (see exemption note below if you are a Yacht Engineer)
  2. Hold an Approved Engine Course I & II (AEC I & II);
  3. Hold basic STCW safety training certificates (less than 5 years old, or updated);
    • Personal Survival Techniques (STCW Code A-VI/1-1);
    • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW Code A-VI/1-2);
    • Elementary First Aid (STCW Code A-VI/1-2);
    • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (STCW Code A-VI/1-4).

Once you have obtained a Training Record Book, in addition to meeting the above requirements you must complete the following requirements to be issued with a Notice of Eligibility (NOE) to sit an MCA Oral examination:

  1. A further 11 months of actual sea service on vessels of 350kw, including at least 6 months engaged in watchkeeping or UMS (Unmanned Machinery Spaces) duties (see exemption note below if you are a Yacht Engineer)
  2. Completion of SV Training Record Book during this sea service;
  3. 2 Weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training followed by; 2 weeks actual sea service on yachts of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.

NOTE: Sea Service Allowance/Exemption for Yacht Engineers Undertaking Experienced Seafarer Route:

The MCA understand that seafarers serving on Yachts would face difficulties in completing the amount of sea service required for the full SV 2nd Engineer CoC, and have made provision for this, stating that for the SV (Unlimited) CoCs, sea service performed on Yachts will be counted as 1.5 times the number of days actually spent underway.

Therefore a Yacht engineer applying under the Experienced Seafarer route would need to provide 24 months yacht service and 16 months actual sea service to obtain the TRB, and a further 11 months yacht service and 7.5 months actual sea service whilst holding the TRB.

This rule cannot be used for calculating yacht service towards a ‘Yacht only’ restricted SV Second Engineer CoC or the Yacht Conversion Routes in Annex A of MIN 524.

You are able to claim 3 months or 25% (whichever is least) of the required sea service for your service in shipyards, repair berth, anchorage and at lay-up.

B) 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 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 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.

(ii) An HND holder must complete a further 8 months’ of actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW.

(iii) An HNC holder must complete a further 11 months’ of actual sea service on vessels of at least 350 kW.

The courses that you must undertake for both routes towards this CoC are:

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 aecworkshop@iami.org.uk to access their exemption service.

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”

Calculating Sea Service

Actual sea service is defined as time spent on board a ship, relevant to the issue of the certificate or other qualification being applied for. Sea service must be in the engineering department reckoned from the date of engagement to the date of discharge. 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.

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.

Sea service must be performed on vessels proceeding to sea. Proceeding to sea means, beyond the categorised waters around the coast of the United Kingdom or beyond the harbour limits for waters outside the United Kingdom.

At least 75% of the required sea service must be performed while the vessel is underway on sea passage. Sea service (steaming time) will be calculated from the sea service testimonials. You are able to claim 3 months or 25% (whichever is least) of the required sea service for your service in shipyards, repair berth, anchorage and at lay-up

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

Sea Service Verification Process for Yacht Engineers – please click here to read about new regulations.

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, this can be used with a testimonial for each vessel, or if you are a member of the PYA they will attest your PYA logbook.

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 an NoE.

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.

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