Apply for GMDSS STCW endorsement: merchant navy radio operators
How to apply for an endorsement or revalidation of a GMDSS certificate if you are a master, deck officer or shipboard personnel performing radio communication duties on UK vessels.
As radio personnel serving on UK registered vessels you must apply to the MCA to get your original global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) certificate endorsed so it meets the standards for training, certification and watch keeping (STCW) requirements. This applies to general operators certificates (GOC) and restricted operators certificates (ROC).
You must revalidate your STCW endorsement every 5 years.
How to apply
Complete the application form MSF 4354 below.
- MSF 4354 Application for initial STCW endorsement and subsequent revalidation to GMDSS certificate of competence
Refer to marine guidance note MGN 214 (M) below for further information.
- MGN 214 (M) part 4 marine guidance note: certificates of competency – radio personnel
Read the guidance notes in your application form to check you are submitting the documents correctly.
If you are applying for your first STCW endorsement you must include:
- original UK GMDSS GOC or ROC
- valid medical fitness certificate, ENG1 or accepted equivalent further information can be found in MSN 1815 (M).
- 4 elements of STCW basic training certificates or a UK CoC.
The basic training certificates are:
- 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/1-3)
- personal safety and social responsibilities (STCW Code A-VI/1-4)
To revalidate an STCW endorsement you must include:
- original UK GMDSS GOC or ROC
- discharge book or sea service testimonials
- valid medical fitness certificate, ENG1 or accepted equivalent, further information can be found in MSN 1815 (M)
Your discharge book or sea service testimonials must show at least 12 months seagoing service within the last 5 years. Alternatively you can supply evidence of working in an acceptable occupation for 2 and half years in the last 5 years. Acceptable occupations include:
- VTS operator
- marine pilot
- marine superintendent
- marine surveyor
- AMERC radio surveyor
Post your application, supporting documents and courier fee to the MCA:
Deck and GMDSS Section
Seafarer Training and Certification Branch
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
105 Commercial Road
MCA does not accept email or fax applications
The MCA aims to process your application within 15 days of receipt. You’ll receive an email:
- when your application has been received
- if any further information/evidence is needed
- when your certificate(s) and documents are being couriered back to you
Contact the Seafarer Training and Certification Branch at the MCA if you’ve got any queries about your application:
Tel +44 (0) 23 8032 9231
MCA does not offer a counter service.
Accepted non-UK GMDSS
The MCA will accept some non-UK GMDSS towards the application of a UK CoC.
- Find information about countries that have GMDSS certificates which are acceptable equivalents.
GMDSS that is accepted will be marked “yes”.
Radio operators working on offshore oil and gas installations or fishing vessels don’t need GMDSS endorsement. If you do request an endorsement you’ll need to comply with MCA application requirements and provide STCW basic training certificates.
Contact the Association of Marine Electronic and Radio Colleges if you’ve lost your original GOC or ROCcertificate and need a replacement.