Seafarer career progression

Read about the new improvements that will allow easier entry to the commercial maritime industry and provide clear career progression.

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Among the improvements introduced under SeaCert are positive changes that allow easier entry to the commercial maritime industry and provide clear career progression. SeaCert also takes account of international standards and allows for portability of qualifications between countries.

Traditional career progression

Career progression for seafarers traditionally focuses on vertical progression - progressively higher levels of certification for a particular type of vessel, and/or more extensive operational limits.

The Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework document shows how this structure applies for SeaCert certificates. The template for each certificate includes information on vertical career progression and the flowcharts (see below) almost all represent a vertical career path.

Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework[PDF: 1.98Mb, 104 pages]

About Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework

The more detailed flowcharts show the sea service and other requirements to progress vertically through the certificate structure:

  • Page 11, Figure 4: A high-level view of SeaCert that shows the progression of certificates within each operational limit
  • Page 12, Figure 5: Operations in specified, enclosed and inshore limits
  • Page 20, Figure 6 Non-fishing operations within coastal and offshore limits
  • Page 24, Figure 7: Deck certificates for work on fishing vessels
  • Page 30, Figure 8: Deck certificates for work in the unlimited area
  • Page 41, Figure 9: Certificates for sailing vessels and superyachts
  • Page 46, Figure 10: Engineering certificates

Non-traditional career progression

Rather than progressing directly to higher-level certificates, some seafarers may prefer to move across vessel and certificate types. For example, they may wish to progress from fishing to non-fishing certificates and vice versa, moving either horizontally or diagonally. Or they may choose to move from non-STCW to STCW certificates, and from management-level to operational or support-level certificates in the same or a different industry sector.

Information is provided below about non-traditional certificate progression between certificates under the maritime rules that came into force on 1 April 2014. Sea service (experience) and competency requirements are shown, along with any special ancillary certificate requirements and any requirement for examinations or assessments. (The certificates appear in broadly the same order as they are listed in the Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework document.)

For the detailed requirements for a certificate, refer to:

Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework[PDF: 1.98Mb, 104 pages]

Note that this progression information does not cover transition from older or legacy certificates, or certification progression from these certificates.

Transitioning to a new certificate

Principles of non-traditional progression

In determining the requirements for non-traditional seafarer progression, the following principles have been taken into account:

  • Certificates of competency (CoC) and certificates of proficiency (CoP) are evidence that a seafarer is competent to carry out support (rating), operational (watchkeeping) or management (second-in-command or command) functions aboard a particular type of ship in a particular operational limit or limits.
  • The type of sea service and the competencies required can vary for different categories of ship. For example, warships, fishing vessels, sailing vessels or superyachts each have very different and specific activities that may be considerably less than the broad range of activities and types and sizes of commercial trading ships (merchant ships).
  • Some certificates have tonnage or kilowatt limitations – such as less than 3000 gross tonnage (<3000GT) or less than 3000 kilowatts (<3000kW) – while others have unlimited tonnage and kilowatts.

 

Categories of ship

There are five broad maritime categories for shipping activities, associated sea service requirements and seafarer certification, as defined below by Maritime Rule Part 32.02. Sector-specificCoC and CoP are issued under the first four of these categories.

Commercial ship: a ship that is not a pleasure craft, solely powered manually or solely powered by wind, including a naval vessel but not a warship. For seafarer certification, a commercial ship is considered to be a commercial trading ship carrying cargo (a merchant ship).

Fishing vessel: a ship that is required to be registered under New Zealand fisheries legislation.

Superyacht: a commercial yacht or sail training vessel that is 24 metres (m) or more in length, < 3000GT and does not carry cargo or more than 12 passengers.

Sailing ship: a ship designed to be navigated under wind power alone, with any motor provided only as an auxiliary means of propulsion or with a non-dimensional ratio (sail area) divided by (volume of displacement) 2/3 of more than 9.

Warship: has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Maritime Transport Act, 1994.

Factors affecting non-traditional progression

Seagoing service: defined by STCW Regulation I/1 as 'service on board a ship relevant to the issue or revalidation of a certificate or other qualification'.  This principle is applied to any sea service (experience) required when moving from one sector to another.

Relevant ship: for STCW certificates, MNZ has determined that a relevant ship is a commercial trading ship (merchant ship) of 500GT or more operating beyond restricted (enclosed and inshore) limits.

Experience: when moving from one category to another, seafarers generally need to gain experience aboard a relevant ship belonging to the new category before a certificate for that category can be issued. The length of sea service required to gain the experience is determined by the level of certificate currently held and the level of certificate sought, but will generally be six months. For example, for the holder of a Master certificate (STCW Reg. II/2) to be in command of an unlimited fishing vessel (STCW-F Reg. II/2), six months’ experience aboard fishing vessels is required.

It may be necessary for the holder of a management-level CoC to move to an operational-level certificate in another category before they can progress to a management-level certificate in that category.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL): training providers may grant RPL to a certificate holder seeking a CoC or CoP for another category.

Recognition of sea service: it may be possible for the holder of a management-level CoC to move directly to a support-level CoP in the same category without having to gain extra sea service in that category. For example, this may apply when moving from Master <3000GT to Able Seafarer Deck.

Ancillary training: extra ancillary training may be required if moving from one category to another, such as from fishing to commercial STCW ships. (The requirements for ancillary training are set out in the guidelines for seafarer certificates.)

Training courses: in some cases, extra competencies may be required, by completing training courses or training record books. For example, they might be required when moving from fishing ships, sailing vessels, superyachts or warships to Watchkeeper Deck, or when moving from merchant ships to fishing vessels.

Examinations: in all cases of non-traditional progression, regardless of the chosen career pathway, a final (oral) examination is required to assess competency for the new certificate.

 

 

Moving from Part 35 certificates to Part 32 certificates

Section 2 of Maritime Rule Part 35 gives the Director the ability to approve organisations to issue certificates of competency for the operation of:

  • craft of six metres or less in overall length
  • non-passenger boats that are not fishing boats, 15 metres or less in length overall and operate only within restricted limits.

Part 35 certificates are restricted for use aboard these vessels, operated by an organisation approved under Part 35. The certificates are of varying structures and levels of competency. Some approved organisations may wish to use their Part 35 certificate as the basis for transitioning to a fully commercial certificate such as Skipper Restricted Limits (SRL), which is required to be master aboard commercial passenger/non-passenger/fishing vessels.

As vessels operated with Part 35 certificates are commercial ships, sea service aboard these vessels may be acceptable for SRL, depending on the area of operation permitted under the Part 35 certificate. Standards of competency and sea service vary widely among organisations approved under Part 35, and candidates for a Part 32 certificate should discuss their competencies with a training provider to determine whether recognition of prior learning is possible for the competencies they gained for their Part 35 certification.

Note: Information about career progression from Marine Engineer Class 5 (MEC 5), Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3), Marine Engineer Class 2 (MEC 2), MEC 2 on ships less than 3000kW, MEC 2 endorsed chief engineer and Marine Engineer Class 1 (MEC 1) certificates is available on request.

From

To

Sea service

Competencies

Comment

Chief Mate <3000GT

Master <3000GT near-coastal

24 months’ sea service  as watchkeeper or 12 months’ sea service as Chief Mate

 

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <500GT

Chief Mate

12 months’ sea service on ships >500GT

 

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Chief Mate <3000GT near-coastal

Six months of the qualifying seagoing service as Master <500GT or while holding Master <500GT must have been on ships ≥ 500GT

 

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <3000GT near-coastal

24 months of the qualifying seagoing service as Master <500GT or while holding Master <500GT must have been on ships ≥500GT

 

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <3000GT

Master

No additional sea service

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

 

Chief Mate

Master <3000GT near-coastal

24 months’ sea service as watchkeeper or 12 months’ sea service as Chief Mate

 

 

Final oral exam

Mate Fishing Vessel – Unlimited (MFV-U)

Six months in a deck capacity on a fishing vessel ≥24m operating beyond restricted limits

STCW-F ancillaries

Final oral exam

Master

Skipper Fishing Vessel – Unlimited (SFV-U)

Six months’ sea service in a deck capacity on fishing vessels of ≥24m operating beyond restricted limits

 

STCW-F ancillaries

Final oral exam

Skipper Restricted Limits (SRL)

and

Skipper Coastal/Offshore (SCO)

 

No sea service

Engineering module from SRL Training record book

Final oral exam

Master Yacht <24m

As for Master Yacht <24m

Obtain RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate

 

RYA assessment

Master Yacht <24m

Skipper Coastal/ Offshore (SCO)

Six months’ sea service aboard passenger/non-passenger/fishing vessel of 12m or more operating in any limit

 

Engineering module from SRL training record book

Final oral exam

Chief Mate Yacht

Watchkeeper Deck

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of 500GT or more operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/1 competencies

Final oral exam

Master Yacht <500GT

Watchkeeper Deck

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of 500GT or more operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/1 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <500GT Near-coastal

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of <500GT operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/3 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <500GT

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of <500GT operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Master Yacht

Watchkeeper Deck

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of 500GT or more operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/1 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <500GT Near-coastal

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of <500GT operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/3 competencies

Final oral exam

Master <500GT

Six months in a deck capacity on commercial trading ships of <500GT operating beyond restricted limits

 

Training course

STCW A-II/2 competencies

Final oral exam

Engine Room Watch Rating (EWR)

Marine Engineer Class 5 (MEC 5)

24 months’ sea service performing duties on main machinery propulsion for not less than eight hours out of every 24 hours

 

Training course

Final oral exam

Able Seafarer Engine (AB Engine)

Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3)

18 months’ combined workshop skills training and approved sea service in the engine department, including six months performing engine room watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the chief engineer officer or an engineer officer, aboard ships with 750kW main propulsion power or more

 

Training course

Final oral exam

Electro-technical Rating (ETR)

Able Seafarer Engine (AB Engine)

 

AB Engine sea service

AB Engine training record book

Final oral exam

Electro-technical Officer (ETO)

 

Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3)

No extra sea service

STCW A-III/1 competencies

Final oral exam

Marine Engineer Class 6 (MEC 6)

Skipper Restricted Limits (SRL)

SRL sea service

SRL training record book minus engineering knowledge

 

Assessment

Final oral exam

Marine Engineer Class 4 (MEC 4)

Marine Engineer Class 3 (MEC 3)

12 months’ combined workshop skills training and approved sea service in the engine department, including six months performing engine room watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the chief engineer officer or an engineer officer, aboard ships with 750kW main propulsion power or more

 

Training course

RPL for two MEC 4 modules

Final oral exam