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New certificate

New certificate

What do I need to do?

To obtain this certificate, you need to:

Provide proof of medical fitness

Prior to the initial issue of a certificate of competency you must obtain a Certificate of medical fitness in Australia.

The medical examination can be organised by contacting Sonic HealthPlus. We strongly recommend that you complete the medical examination before you commence training to ensure that you are medically fit for a seagoing career.

To book a medical examination, you can:

Read more about medical fitness.

Complete training courses

You will need to complete these courses:

  • Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage, including approved modules in command navigation, shipmasters business and management, and vessel operations and administration
  • Basic safety training, including security awareness training
  • Advanced fire fighting
  • Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats
  • Medical care on board ships.

These courses must be completed with an approved training organisation.

All of the certificates and training you complete and provide evidence of must comply with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

Provide evidence of sea service

Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage certificate

You will need to provide evidence that you have completed 12 months sea service as an officer in charge of a navigation watch. This service must have been carried out on ships greater than or equal to 24 metres on voyages of at least 24 hours duration. This service must have been completed while holding one of the following certificates:

  • A Watchkeeper deck less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency (with Watchkeeper deck less than 3000 gross tonnage near coastal endorsement)
  • A Mate less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • A Watchkeeper deck certificate of competency
  • A Master less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • A foreign certificate we consider equivalent.

Endorsed Master less than 3000 gross tonnage near coastal and Master less than 500 gross tonnage

You will need to provide evidence that you have completed one of the following options:

Option 1

You will need to hold or have held any of the following certificates:

  • an unrestricted Master less than 35 metres NC certificate of competency
  • A Mate less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • Any other certificate AMSA considers at least equivalent to the above.

You will then need to complete 36 months sea service as an officer in charge of a navigation watch on ships greater than or equal to 24 metres. The voyages must have been at least 24 hour duration. You must have held one of the above certificates, or one of the following certificates:

  • Chief mate certificate of competency
  • Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • Master less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • Watchkeeper deck certificate of competency
  • Watchkeeper deck less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency (with Watchkeeper deck less than 3000 gross tonnage near coastal endorsement)
  • Any certificate we consider equivalent.

Option 2

You must have completed at least 24 months documented qualifying sea service in charge of a navigation watch on ships greater than or equal to 24 metres.

Of this 24 months, at least 16 months must have been served on voyages of at least 24 hour duration.

Of this 24 months, at least 12 months must have been served on vessels as Master or Chief mate, while holding one of the following certificates:

  • Chief mate certificate of competency
  • Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • Master less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency
  • Mate less than 500 gross tonnage certificate of competency

How to apply for sea service assessment

You will need to complete this sea service and then submit a Seafarer form 419 to us so we can assess your sea service and issue you with an AMSA assessment letter. This letter is the evidence you need to prove that you have met the sea service requirements for your qualification. This letter will also instruct you to complete your oral examination.

Pass an oral examination

Once you have been assessed and issued with an assessment letter you will need to book and successfully pass an oral examination. Read more about booking an oral examination.

Additional requirements

You will need to hold one of the following valid certificates:

  • GMDSS radio operators certificate
  • GMDSS certificate of recognition

If you are serving on an ECDIS equipped ship, you will also need to hold an ECDIS endorsement.

How to apply

You will need to lodge a formal application using the Seafarer form 419 to be assessed towards the requirements for a Master less than 500 GT certificate of competency.

Lodge from within Australia

You will need to fill out the Seafarer form 419, attach all required supporting documents and lodge it at a participating Australia Post retail outlet.

You will need to pay the fees for your application at the post office at the time of lodgement.

Lodge from overseas

You will need to fill out the Seafarer form 419, attach all required supporting documents including a colour passport-style photograph and send the paperwork to us by email to STCW.applications@amsa.gov.au. When we receive your email we will let you know how to pay the fee for your application via AMSA online portal.