Small Vessel Marine Engine Operator Licence (MEOL(SV))

This qualification will allow you to serve as Marine Engine Operator on Small Vessels with a propulsion power of between 200kW and 750kW, where STCW requirements do not apply.

In order to gain an MEOL(SV), you will need to do some classroom training, some onboard and sea service, and finally an oral exam.

The service requirements for MEOL(SV) are the same as the initial entry requirements for the SV EOOW CoC (there are written modules, a Training Record Book and more service required in order to complete the SV EOOW). The MEOL is therefore accepted as evidence of meeting the requirements to register for the Experienced Seafarer route for the SV EOOW CoC.

The courses you must undertake for MEOL(SV) are:

STCW Basic Safety Week (PST or RYA Basic Sea Survival/PSSR/Elementary First Aid/Basic Fire Fighting)

CPSC&RB/Advanced Sea Survival certificate

Advanced Fire Fighting

Proficiency in Medical First Aid Aboard Ship

Approved Engine Course I & II (AEC I & II)

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)

Updating Training for CoC applications– anyone serving on board ship, who holds any of the following certificates must, as of 1st January 2017, have documentary evidence of either completing the training course or updating training within the last 5 years:

  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats (CPSC & RB)
  • Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats (PFRB)
  • Basic Fire Fighting
  • Advanced Fire Fighting

Required Service:

You need to have 36 months onboard service as a dual purpose deckhand/engineer, responsible for the maintenance and servicing of a vessel of 200kW or more in propulsion power, of which at least 6 months must be actual sea service in the engineering department;


24 months onboard service as a Small Vessel engineer responsible for system maintenance on vessels of 200kW or more in propulsion power, of which at least 6 months must be actual sea service.

Information about Service:

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.

Onboard service is counted as the time spent on the vessel and excludes leave and other non-working time. You are able to claim 3 months of the required sea service for service in shipyards, repair berth, anchorage and at lay-up. Any yard service needs to be detailed in a report verified by the Master/Chief Engineer/Company.

A minimum of 4 hours of working duty in 24 hours would count as 1 full day of actual 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.

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

Applying for an NoE:

To do the final oral exam for MEOL (SV), 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!

You will need to download the 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 MEOL(SV) oral exam. Click here for details.