Seafarer skills and training
You must get training to work on a seagoing ship, yacht or other vessel. You’ll also need a certain amount of experience at sea.
You’ll need to:
- be over the minimum age
- meet health and fitness standards
- get certificates of competency (CoC) - these are qualifications that allow you to do specialist tasks as part of your job
- get a seaman’s discharge book - this will show your sea service and qualifications
Get seafarer training
Find out about careers at sea and where to get training.
You’ll need special training to work on a fishing vessel.
Training to be an engineer officer of the watch
You’ll need to apply for a letter of initial assessment (LIA) before you can begin training as an engineer officer of the watch (EOOW) unless you’re doing the approved cadetship. It might take up to 12 weeks to get your LIA.
Apply for seafarer certificates
Download application forms for certificates if you want to work as:
- able seaman or merchant navy or yacht ratings, for non-officer members of the crew who help officers in day-to-day tasks
- deck or engineer officer - this includes being a master or chief mate in charge of a vessel
- vessel traffic operator, supervisor or instructor
- radio operator
You can apply for certificates of equivalent competency (CEC) if you qualified outside the UK and you want to serve on a UK-flagged vessel.
How much you’ll pay will depend on your situation, eg whether you’re sitting exams or getting your certificates revalidated.
Get help with seafarer training
Contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) if you need more information on training and skills.
023 8032 9231
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