Medical and eyesight requirements for seafarers
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To apply for or renew a certificate of competency or proficiency, you need to prove that your medical fitness and eyesight meet the required standards.
To do this, you need to have a medical examination and get a certificate of medical fitness from a medical practitioner (doctor). For some certificates, you may also need to have your eyes tested by a registered optometrist.
Refer to the guideline for the certificate of competency or proficiency you are applying for, to find out the medical fitness and eyesight standards you must meet.
Medical fitness examinations
The medical examination for any national certificate may be conducted by any New Zealand registered medical practitioner.
Search the list of registered doctors on the Medical Council of New Zealand website:
Medical Council of New Zealand [www.mcnz.org.nz]
STCW and STCW-F-aligned certificates
The medical examination for any STCW or STCW-F-aligned certificate must be conducted by an approved medical practitioner.
Engineering certificates and renewals
Eyesight tests for new applicants for engineering certificates and for renewals of all certificates are conducted by a medical practitioner as part of the medical examination. However, if there are any concerns about the test results, they will refer the seafarer to a registered optometrist for further testing.
Applicants for new deck certificates must have their eyesight and colour vision tested by a New Zealand registered optometrist.
Find an optometrist
If your certificate of competency or proficiency requires an eyesight test by a registered optometrist, search the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board’s online register.
You can search the register for optometrists by name or location:
Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board
Find out more
For more information, refer to the guideline for medical and eyesight requirements for seafarers:
Read the legislation relating to medical and eyesight standards for seafarers, and the more detailed information provided in the advisory circular:
Resources for medical practitioners and optometrists
For more information, guidelines and forms for medical practitioners and optometrists, click on the link below: