Guidance

How to become a MCA approved doctor

Find out about MCA's recruitment process for approved doctors (ADs).

Overview

This guidance for doctors takes you through:

  • MCA’s general criteria for ADs
  • types of AD
  • how to apply for appointment as an AD

MCA’s recruitment system has been established in agreement with maritime employers and seafarer’s trade union organisations.

It aims to serve the seafarers working on UK vessels, and holding UK Certificates of Competency (CoCs).

MCA is recruiting for ADs in

  • Leeds area - closing date 12th of February 2020
  • Orkney area – ongoing

Criteria for appointment as an AD

The appointment of Approved Doctors to carry out ENG1 seafarer medical examinations is restricted to areas where a demand for at least 50 examinations in a year has been demonstrated.

The most suitable candidate is appointed based on qualifications, experience and location.

The full recruitment procedure is detailed in ‘chapter 2 - the role of an approved doctor’, in MCA’s approved doctor’s manual.

The categories of ADs

General list doctors are:

  • available to all seafarers
  • spread over a wide geographical network
  • mainly appointed on a replacement basis

Vacancies are advertised locally using the local CCG; MCA keeps a file on those who have expressed an interest in becoming an AD. You’ll then be invited to apply to make sure of fair and open competition.

All the applications are reviewed by MCA’s chief medical adviser.

Company doctors are:

  • appointed at the request of companies with vessels on the UK flag, subject to the MCA chief medical adviser’s scrutiny of qualifications and experience
  • only able to do medicals on those employed by the shipping company
  • usually contractors to major shipping companies, or providing services to a ship management or crewing company
  • expected to provide a full occupational medical service for the shipping company

Apply to become an approved doctor

Download the application form to become an approved doctor, then send your completed application to the address on the form.

Speculative applications (meaning those not part of a recruitment process started by MCA) will be notified if a specific vacancy comes up.

The chief medical adviser will review your application, then it’ll be acknowledged by the medical administration team.

Further information

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 24 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to advise that recruiting for approved doctors in the Leeds area, closing 12th February 2020.

  2. Updated to advise of recruitment at Lowestoft and surrounding areas – closing date 4th October 2019.

  3. Amended closing dates for recruitment in selected areas

  4. Updated to advise of recruitment in Newlyn and Penzance – closing date 30th August 2019.

  5. Updated to advise of recruitment for Approved Doctors in Benbecula – closing date 26th July 2019.

  6. Updated recruitment for Approved Doctors in Birmingham – closing date 26th July 2019.

  7. Updated to advise of recruitment in Holyhead and Anglesey - closing date 26th July 2019.

  8. Updated recruitment for approved doctors in Exeter – closing date 19th July 2019.

  9. Updated recruitment 21st May 2019.

  10. Updated to advise of recruitment in the Aberdeen area – closing 31st March 2019.

  11. Updated to advise that MCA will be recruiting ADs in Antigua - closing 31st Jan 2019.

  12. Added Manchester Recruitment Campaign

  13. Updated page to advise MCA is recruiting ADs in Birmingham till 7th September 2018.

  14. Updated recruitment taking place in, Birmingham and Caithness till the 13th August.

  15. Updated recruitment for Blackpool and surrounding area – closing date 21 May 2018

  16. Updated recruitment, Cornwall – closing date 21 May 2018

  17. Updated approved doctors recruitment, Southampton – closing date 23 April 2018

  18. Updated to notify of recruitment taking place in Edinburgh – closing date 8 April 2018

  19. Updated AD recruitment section

  20. Updated recruitment; South Coast Devon – closing date 8 December 2017

  21. Recruitment update; Anglesey, Bangor and Holyhead area – closing date 27 October 2017

  22. Updated recruitment: Whitby - closing date 6 October 2017

  23. Updated Recruiting in Middlesbrough area – closing date 15th September 2017

  24. Updated - recruiting in Liverpool, Wirral and Chester area – closing date 6 September 2017

  25. Recruiting update; Portsmouth/Southsea area - closing date 21 July 2017

  26. Recruitment update; Horley Gatwick area - Closing Date 10 July 2017

  27. Updated recruitment; Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and surrounding areas – closing date 21June 2017

  28. Updated recruiting in Aberdeen area - closing date 2 June 2017

  29. Updated recruiting Northern Ireland, Kilkeel and surrounding areas – Closing date 2 June 2017

  30. Updated recruiting Southampton and Surrounding Areas – Closing date 2 June 2017

  31. MCA is recruiting for ADs in St Austell Area - Closing Date 20 January 2017. Immingham vacancy is now closed.

  32. Update recruiting - Immingham Area - Closing Date 15 December 2016

  33. Updated - Bristol area recruitment closed

  34. Doctors vacancy removed

  35. New Approved Doctor vacancy - Bristol area

  36. Added Dartmouth area to current vacancies

  37. Update - recruitment closed in London area.

  38. Update - recruitment closed in Manchester area.

  39. Updated - Southampton area recruitment closed.

  40. Oban and Lancaster/Morecambe trawls removed

  41. Closing date for London updated

  42. New Approved Doctor recruitment area added, Manchester

  43. Update to recruitment areas:; Southampton Area

  44. Closing date for Oban updated

  45. Update to recruitment areas; Lancaster/ Morecambe Area - Closing Date 27 May 2016

  46. New date for recruitment in Orkney

  47. Added details of the vacancy in the Lowestoft area.

  48. Update MCA now recruiting in Glasgow Area - Closing Date 4 March 2016

  49. Updated; No recruitment campaigns at this time.

  50. Updated recruitment; Portsmouth/Southsea Area - Closing Date 27th October 2015

  51. Updated Recruitment: Mallorca to close 8th Nov 2015

  52. Update: Recruitment in Liverpool Area - Closing Date 26th October 2015

  53. No current recruitment campaigns

  54. Holly Head campaign closed 21 August 2015

  55. Trawls at Edinburgh & Grangemouth; and Ipswich now closed.

  56. Update recruitment; London - Closing Date 12 September 2015

  57. Update recruitment of approved doctors; Holyhead - Closing Date 21 August 20152015

  58. Update recruitment; Aberdeen - Closing Date 12 September 2015

  59. Updated MCA approved doctors recruitment - Ipswich - Closing Date 10 August 2015

  60. Updated to include recruitment in Edinburgh and Grangemouth Area

  61. Updated MSN 1822 replaced by MSN 1839

  62. MCA is not currently recruiting approved doctors.

  63. Update Plymouth - Closing Date 15th April 2015 with additional information; Letter to Plymouth Practicitioners 20.03.2015

  64. Updated recruitment; Isle of Wight - Closing Date 31 March 2015

  65. Updated MCA recruitment areas; Liverpool - Closing Date 31 March 2015

  66. Updated Recruiting: Pembrokeshire - Closing Date 6 March 2015

  67. Updated: Currently recruiting approved doctors in Great Yarmouth - Closing Date 6 March 2015

  68. Colchester vacancy date extended 16 12 14

  69. Recruitment campaign for Shetland added 10th December 2014. Two closed campaigns removed.

  70. AD vacancies updated 25 11 14

  71. AD vacancies updated (24 11 14)

  72. AD vacancies updated 12 11 14

  73. AD vacancies updated (16 10 14)

  74. AD vacancies updated (22 09 14)

  75. Update to vacancies (17 09 14)

  76. Updated with AD vacancy details (30/07/14)

  77. Deatils of new AD vacancies added

  78. MCA AD vacancies updated 26 06 14

  79. First published.