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Issue interim certificates of competency

Guidance for registered training organisations (RTOs) issuing interim certificates of competency to seafarers, including eligibility, validity and record keeping information.

Eligibility for an interim certificate of competency

There are strict rules around the issue of interim certificates of competency. You can only issue an interim certificate of competency to a seafarer who has:

  • completed the relevant MAR Maritime training package qualification
  • completed the relevant AMSA mandated practical assessment (AMPA)
  • met all other requirements for issue of a certificate of competency, including:
    • medical and eyesight requirements
    • sea service requirements
    • holding a current first aid certificate
    • holding a radio certificate (for deck certificates other than Coxswain grade 2)
  • completed a certificate of competency application form 426* that is signed and dated, and 
  • has evidence of having submitted their application to AMSA through Australia Post.
Seafarers must provide an Australia Post lodgement receipt number as evidence that they have submitted their application.

*A certificate of competency application requires the seafarer to have a certificate of completion from their RTO. If this cannot be provided within 14 days of the official course completion, then AMSA can accept a statement/ letter issued by the RTO, stating that the applicant has completed the relevant course.  Please contact AMSA  for further information should your RTO’s course completion letter not be delivered to the seafarer in such a timely manner.        

The RTO must sight the completed certificate of competency application (426 form), the required attachments and the Australia Post payment receipt. All sections of the form must be completed. Attachments include the following:

  • cover page of completed AMPA (except general purpose hand)
  • current Certificate of medical fitness for domestic seafarers form 1850
  • current HLTAID011 Provide First Aid certificate, or equivalent
  • Short-range operator certificate of proficiency or Long-range operator certificate of proficiency, or equivalent (if required)
  • evidence of qualifying sea service
  • task book seafarer details page (if task book completed)
  • evidence of submission to AMSA - an Australia Post lodgement receipt number.

An interim certificate of competency application form must be completed by  approved AMPA assessors from the RTO conducting the assessment. Once the interim certificate of competency has been pre-filled by the assessor, it must be provided to the seafarer as a hard copy only, making sure that the information provided is true and correct and that they understand the conditions of the certificate, including the expiry date. Please note that the post office lodgement receipt number is to be entered into the check box provided.

RTOs can issue an interim certificate of competency as soon as a seafarer has completed all the requirements.  

Each interim certificate of competency can only be issued once and for a single certificate of competency. If a person meets the requirements, for example, for both Master less than 24 and Marine engine driver grade 3, then 2 separate interim certificate forms must be issued.

Who can issue an interim certificate of competency

The interim certificate of competency must be issued as a hard copy only by an approved AMPA assessor of the RTO where the AMSA mandated practical assessment (AMPA) is completed. 

The approved AMPA assessor must confirm the seafarer meets the eligibility requirements, insert the issue and expiry dates, and give a printed/hard copy to the seafarer. 

The seafarer will need to carry the printed copy (or evidence of this) with them at work until their certificate of competency (card) is received from AMSA

Validity of the interim certificate of competency

An interim certificate of competency is valid for a period of 60 days. If during this time we become aware that the seafarer’s sea service is inadequate, or they fail to meet any of the other eligibility requirements, their interim certificate of competency will be revoked. 

If the application form is not filled in correctly or required documents are missing, out of date, or illegible, then it will result in the application being considered incomplete. The applicant will be given one calendar month in which to address all the issues outlined in the email and resubmit a complete application for the missing or illegible documentation. Learn more about AMSA's incomplete application policy.

If an application for a certificate of competency is rejected, the interim certificate of competency will be revoked, and the seafarer will be notified in writing. 

If a person loses their interim certificate of competency, you can provide them with a copy so they can continue operating. You must not issue a new interim certificate of competency.

If an interim certificate of competency is issued in error, or there is an error when completing it, you must void all copies and notify AMSA.

Is it mandatory that the RTO issues an interim certificate of competency?

No, RTOs approved for final assessments do not have to issue an interim certificate of competency if they choose not to do so.  

Record keeping

All RTOs (approved as final assessors) must also email a copy of each interim certificate of competency to AMSA within 7 days of issue. These should be sent to the following email: nearcoastal.applications@amsa.gov.au 

You must keep a copy of all interim certificates of competency issued for 7 years. This may be in electronic form.

Last updated: 

Thursday 11 January 2024