Changes to domestic certificates of competency from 1 January 2023 — new Marine Order 505

Understand the changes

AMSA has worked with industry to develop a nationally consistent and simplified qualifications framework for Australians working across the domestic commercial vessel industry. 

Following extensive consultations in 2019 and 2021, the revised Marine Order 505 (Certificates of Competency – National Law), came into force from 1 January 2023.

The resulting revised qualifications framework and guidelines provide national consistency, improved qualification pathways, and better safety outcomes for Australian seafarers and domestic commercial vessel operators.

These revisions mean some changes to certificates of competency, commonly known as ‘tickets’.

Most National System (AMSA-issued) certificate of competency holders can continue to work as normal and will not be impacted by these changes. When it comes time to renew an expiring certificate or apply for a new certificate, your current certificate will transition to the new qualifications framework.

Medical fitness required for new applications

A Certificate of Medical Fitness – Domestic Seafarers is now required for all new and equivalent applications.

Standards for the assessment of medical fitness have also been revised.

For more details, see: Standards for medical examination of domestic seafarers PDF608.3 KB

The new Marine Order 505:

  • Introduced 5 new certificates of competency:
    • Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal
    • Master <45m Near Coastal (replaces Master <35m, which will be phased out)
    • Master <100m Near Coastal (replaces Master <80m, which will be phased out)
    • Sailing Master Coastal
    • Sailing Master Offshore.
  • Phased out 3 old certificates of competency, which are no longer issued:
    • Master <35m Near Coastal (replaced by the new Master <45m Near Coastal)
    • Master <80m Near Coastal (replaced by the new Master <100m Near Coastal)
    • Mate <80m Near Coastal (replaced by the existing Master <24m Near Coastal)
  • Made some changes to supervisory definitions in order to clarify when a General Purpose Hand certificate of competency is required.
  • Introduced a new standard for the assessment of medical fitness for domestic seafarers.
  • Incorporated some existing exemptions.
  • Introduced changes to sea  service for some certificates of competency.
  • Requires first aid and medical fitness certificates for all new certificate of competency applications.  
    • Existing holders of a Coxswain Grade 2 Near Coastal certificate of competency must now hold a first aid certificate —this is because the type of vessels that a Coxswain Grade 2 Near Coastal can operate has expanded and is no longer restricted to non-passenger.

For more details, see MO505 Guidelines on the changes to the certificates of competency and exemptions PDF1.12 MB

Fishing Port Lincoln
What do I need to do now?

Take the time to understand how these changes may affect you or your operation.

Vessel owner or operator  - If you’re a vessel owner or operator and you have crew, make sure everyone working on your vessel has the right ticket and meets all the pre-requisites for the role they’re working in. 

Seafarer/ Crew Member - If you’re a crew member, make sure you provide your employer with up-to-date documentation to show you comply with these. 

Sign up to receive updates from AMSA.