How to revalidate a UK Certificate of Competency

Information on how to revalidate a UK CoC (and UK GMDSS at the same time).


Your CoC is valid for 5 years’ seagoing service. You can apply to renew a valid or expired CoC at any time.

If you apply up to 6 months ahead of your CoC expiring, we will honour the anniversary date; any earlier than 6 months and the new expiry will be 5 years from the date we revalidate your CoC.

You can apply for revalidation if you’ve completed one of the following:

If your CoC lapsed a long time ago, you’ll need to demonstrate ‘continued competency’ (i.e. show you met the sea service/occupation requirement in the 5 year period before your CoC expired and every 5 year period after this).

How to apply

Please download and complete the following application form:

  • MSF 4201 - Application to revalidate a UK CoC

There’s no additional form/fee if you wish to revalidate your UK GMDSS at the same time.

Submitting your application

Please ensure your documents are included as attachments or within a .zip folder. Unfortunately, we cannot open .rar extensions or links to file-sharing services (e.g. OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox etc).

Please email your completed form and photos/scans of your documents to

You should receive an automated email acknowledging receipt - please check your junk/spam folder. Your application will be added to the queue and assessed in due course.

Processing your application

If there’s any issues with your application, we will email you.

Upon dispatch, you’ll receive an email with courier tracking details (following customer feedback, Scottish Highlands & Islands addresses will be sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery).

Please note we have modernised our CoC format to a new photocard design, an example of which is shown in Annex A of MIN 655. We are also issuing GMDSS slips so you do not need to post us your UK GMDSS booklet.


In line with section 4.3 of MIN 655, should your emailed application be selected for random screening, we will email you to request original documents by post.

Fast track requests

It is unlikely we will consider expediting an application within our service standard of 14 days.

If you have been waiting longer than 14 days and need us to assess your application on an urgent basis, please ask your company to email directly with your full name, date of birth and the vessel joining date.

Revalidation fee

The fee is currently between £64 and £84 depending on your return address:

  • UK return address - £64
  • EU/EEA return address - £74
  • Rest of World return address - £84

You can pay by debit/credit card online using one of the GovPay payment links on the application form.

If you wish to pay by bank transfer, please email for our bank details.

Please note that once we begin to assess your application, the fee becomes non-refundable.

Refresher training

We need to see the following updated training certificates issued within the last 5 years:

  1. Personal Survival Techniques (STCW Table A-VI/1-1)
  2. Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW Table A-VI/1-2)
  3. Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats (STCW Table A-VI/2-1)
  4. Advanced Fire Fighting (STCW Table A-VI/3)

Refresher training must be in date when we receive your application. For revalidation purposes, it doesn’t matter if the refresher training expires afterwards; you will still get the full term revalidation.

Advanced courses do not exempt you from the basic courses. Combined certificates (e.g. AFF+FPFF or PSCRB+PST) are fine.

We only accept PSCRB and AFF refreshers issued under the authority of the MCA or a country listed on our Flag State Endorsement list.

We accept PST and FPFF refreshers issued under the authority of a party to the IMO STCW white list.


Restricted PSCRB cannot be used to revalidate merchant CoCs but can be used to revalidate Yacht-restricted CoCs (as per section 5.4 of MSN 1858 Amendment 1 for Deck Officers, and section 6.3 of MSN 1904 for Engineers).

Revalidating with PSCRB-R will result in a Davit lifeboat limitation being applied to your CoC.

Certificates which do not need all four refreshers

  • OOW Yachts <3,000 GT only - do not need to do updated AFF
  • Master (Code Vessels) <200 GT with OOW Yachts <500 GT only - do not need to do updated AFF and PSCRB
  • Master (Code Vessels) <200 GT with OOW Yachts <3,000 GT only - do not need to do updated AFF

AMSA 2 day refresher

If you’re in Australia, we accept AMSA-approved STCW Continued Competence Refresher as meeting the 4 x updated training requirement.

Medical certificates

We need to see a valid ENG1 medical fitness certificate or recognised non-UK equivalent.

For medicals issued under DG Shipping India, you must include a page called ‘Annexure IV - Medical Certificate for Service at Sea’.

We do not accept offshore medicals (e.g. OGUK and OPITO).

If you cannot find a MCA-approved doctor outside the UK, please try the Norwegian Maritime Authority’s list of approved doctors.

ECDIS and High Voltage

If you do not provide the following optional certificate with your revalidation application, you will receive an ECDIS/High Voltage limitation:

  • Deck Officers - MCA-approved ECDIS/NARAS/NAEST issued on or after 1st January 2005
  • Engineering OOW - MCA-approved High Voltage Operational or Management
  • Second/Chief Engineer - MCA-approved High Voltage Management

Tanker endorsements

To revalidate existing tanker endorsement(s) held on your UK CoC, we need to see one of the following:

  • 90 days’ seagoing service on board a tanker carrying the relevant cargo, or;
  • Relevant MCA-approved tanker training certificate(s), or;
  • 30 months’ occupation in a role involving loading/unloading dangerous cargo

Sea service/training/occupation must be within the last 5 years.

If you’re revalidating Advanced Oil and/or Advanced Chemical, we’ll also need to see a breakdown of the cargoes carried if your service was on a combined oil+chemical tanker.

Carrying vegetable oil alone does not count towards revalidating a chemical tanker endorsement.

If you do not meet the requirements, we will email you for further evidence or confirmation that we can remove your tanker endorsement(s).

You can also apply for new tanker endorsements at the same time as revalidating your CoC.

Sea service

You’ll need to show 12 months’ seagoing service in the last 5 years or 3 months’ seagoing service in the last 6 months. For service on yachts, this is on board service (i.e. date of engagement to the date of discharge).

If you hold Master (Code Vessels) <200 GT CoC, we’ll accept 6 months’ seagoing service on code vessels in the last 5 years.

Qualifying sea service

  • Deck Officers: seagoing service on ships of more than 80 GT or 24 metres
  • Engineering Officers: seagoing service must be on vessels of at least 750kW registered power
  • Yacht CoC: on board service on yachts of more than 15 metres or at least 350kW registered power

Service as an Able Rating (AB) is fine. For service as Ordinary Seaman (OS), you’ll need to provide proof that your duties are relevant to the certificate held.

Service as a motorman, oiler or greaser is fine but wiper will not be accepted.

For service inside UK categorised waters or within harbour limits for waters outside the UK or on vessels which do not meet the above criteria - please see the acceptable occupation route below:

Acceptable occupation

You’ll need to show at least 30 months in the last 5 years. Examples of roles we accept include:

  • Marine Pilots
  • MCA surveyors
  • maritime college lecturers
  • technical, engineering and marine superintendents or ship repair managers
  • Harbour Masters
  • hydrographic surveyors
  • Classification Society marine surveyors
  • officers working on vessels of over 24 metres within categorised waters
  • Engineering and Deck officers actively managing yacht repair, refit or construction
  • VTS operator

Please note this list is not exhaustive; occupations not listed above will be assessed on a case by case basis during the application process.

We’ll need to see a company letter confirming your job title, employment dates and a breakdown of relevant duties/responsibilities.

If you have both sea service and acceptable occupation, we will equivalise the different rates by multiplying any qualifying sea service by 2.5 and adding this to the occupation.

Alternative route

If you do not meet either the sea service or acceptable occupation requirements, you will need to follow the alternative route - please see sections 9.1 to 9.8 of MSN 1861 Amendment 1 for more details.

If you wish to apply for revalidation via the Alternative Route, please use form MSF 4258 and email this to either or

For shore based refresher training for a yacht-restricted Deck CoC, please see sections 9.9 and 9.10 of MSN 1861 Amendment 1 and apply using form MSF 4201 to

Applying for new tanker endorsements

You can apply for new tanker endorsement(s) at the same time as revalidating your UK CoC.

The fee is currently £73 per endorsement. There’s no courier fee to pay as this is included in the CoC revalidation fee.

You’ll need to complete MSF 4210 as well as the revalidation application form and email both to

All sea service/training requirements below must be within the last 5 years:

Basic/Operational level

  1. Relevant MCA-approved Basic Tanker Training, and;
  2. MCA-approved Tanker Fire Fighting.

If you already hold Advanced Oil or Advanced Chemical tanker endorsement on your UK CoC, you automatically qualify for Basic Oil and Chemical endorsement (i.e. no training required).

Advanced/Management level

  1. You must meet the basic level requirements (as above) unless you are exempt because you hold the corresponding basic endorsement on your UK CoC, or you are applying for Advanced Oil/Chemical and hold the opposite Advanced Oil/Chemical endorsement on your UK CoC, and;
  2. Relevant MCA-approved Advanced Tanker Training, and;
  3. Two forms of evidence (e.g. discharge book and dangerous cargo testimonials) showing 90 days’ seagoing service on board a tanker carrying the relevant cargo.

Lapsed endorsements

If you previously held tanker endorsement(s) on your UK CoC but they were removed, you will still need to complete MSF 4210 and pay the fee, however, the requirements are:

  • 90 days’ seagoing service on board a tanker carrying the relevant cargo, or;
  • Relevant MCA-approved tanker training certificate(s), or;
  • 30 months’ occupation in a role involving loading/unloading dangerous cargo.


Your UK CoC is proof that you have met the requirements for PSSR (A-VI/1-4), EFA (A-VI/1-3) and MFA (A-VI/4-1). There’s also no requirement to update these three courses. If an employer is querying this, please refer them to sections 5.1 and 5.2 of MIN 643.

Pre-August 1998 grandfather rights

If a seafarer had 6 months sea service prior to August 1998, they weren’t required to complete PSSR or EFA originally (as per section 2.4 of MGN 97).

‘First Aid at Sea’ certificate issued before August 1998 should be considered as equivalent to MFA (as per section 7 of MGN 147).

Medical Care

Medical care is not a requirement to revalidate your CoC. If you serve as Master or the person in charge of medical care on a UK flagged vessel, please note section 5.3 of MSN 1865 Amendment 1.

Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 17 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added sections on ECDIS/High Voltage and Medical Care. Added Ghana to FSE list.

  2. Added section on applying for new tanker endorsement(s) at the same time as applying for CoC revalidation.

  3. Updated for MIN 655 (resuming full term physical CoCs) and added section on temporary certification replacement.

  4. First published.