Recognition of prior learning

Prior learning may be recognised for some training programmes.

Students who want their prior learning recognised towards a training programme for a certificate of competency should contact a relevant approved training provider to discuss their situation.

Training providers can determine whether any prior learning you have completed is relevant and meets or exceeds what they will be teaching. This will enable them to decide whether your prior learning should be recognised and credited to a specific paper.

Please contact Maritime New Zealand for guidance about recognition of your maritime qualifications, your ancillary certificates or sea service if the information you need is not available on the website.

Contact the Seafarer Certification team



Situations where recognition of prior learning may be appropriate include:

  • a candidate having prior training from another source that may be relevant to the new course they have enrolled in
  • a candidate who has passed relevant papers overseas as part of a training course or programme enrolling to study for a different or higher-level New Zealand certificate.

Scenario 1

A student who already has an engineering degree enrols in a marine engineering class 3 (MEC 3) course. The training provider can decide whether to cross-credit any of this prior learning to a specific paper or papers taught as part of the MEC 3 training.

Scenario 2

A candidate with relevant papers gained overseas asks the training provider to assess these for cross-credit as prior learning. The most common scenario would be seeking recognition of mathematics or science papers, for example, for the mathematics or physics elements of a second mate ticket. The decision would be up to the training provider.

In this scenario, questions about qualifying sea service for the New Zealand certificate would be referred to Maritime New Zealand, which would need full details of the candidate’s service record to determine what sea time, if any, was relevant.


Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about seafarer certification, please contact our Certification team.


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 SEACERT or 0508 732 237

Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).