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Final consultation on near coastal qualifications

Regulatory requirements for certificates of competency affect thousands of Australians working across the domestic commercial vessel (DCV) industry. The new legislative framework for these certificates must be relevant to a wide range of roles and operations, while maintaining safety standards.

We have been working to develop a nationally consistent and simplified qualifications framework. We are now in the final stages of completing the review, preparing guidelines, transitional arrangements and related amendments to other legislative instruments.

We are now inviting industry to provide feedback on the proposed final draft marine order and the supporting guidelines. 

We are now inviting industry to provide feedback on the proposed final draft marine order and the supporting guidelines.

We are now inviting industry to provide feedback on the proposed final draft marine order and the supporting guidelines.

The draft marine order

The draft marine order contains:

  • original changes consulted on in the 2019 consultation 
  • additional changes resulting from feedback industry provided during that consultation

We have reviewed the large volume of feedback we received in 2019.

We have worked with an industry reference group made up of representatives from across the DCV sector. 

Together we looked for contemporary whole-of-industry solutions for themes found in feedback.


The supporting guidelines

The supporting guidelines explain:

  • the changes to the DCV qualifications framework reflected in the draft marine order
  • the proposed repeal of select general exemptions.

Following this final consultation, we aim to have the new domestic commercial vessel qualifications framework and amended Marine order 505 finalised, and ready to come into effect in 2022 with a suitable transition period. 

Who this consultation will relate to
  • People working on Australian DCVs.
  • Anyone holding or intending to obtain a certificate of competency to work on a DCV.
  • People and organisations with responsibility for the crewing of DCVs.
  • People operating under an AMSA general exemption to perform duties or functions on an Australian DCV.
  • Industry groups or bodies that represent Australian seafarers.
  • Organisations conducting, or seeking approval to conduct, AMSA-mandated practical assessments.
Industry reference group

The industry reference group (IRG) plays a key role in the review of the near coastal qualifications framework. They provide input and feedback about proposed changes. The feedback from the IRG complements feedback from industry received through the formal consultation process. 

The IRG represents the diverse interests, business models and geographic distribution of the Australian domestic commercial vessel industry.

Industry representatives 

The IRG consists of representatives from:

  • ferries, sailing, tourism and charter vessels 
  • fishing, pearling and aquaculture 
  • construction and towage 
  • Australian sailing 
  • Maritime Industry Australia Limited (MIAL)
  • unions

What happened after the first consultation in 2019

After the first consultation, we found areas that need further consideration. We then worked closely with the IRG to develop more proposed changes.

It is these new changes that we are now asking your feedback on.

Read more about the first public consultation.