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Calculate sea service

How to calculate your sea service before you apply for a sea service assessment.

To obtain a certificate of competency you must have approved seagoing service, which is assessed in accordance with Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014 and Marine Order 71 (Masters and deck officers) 2014.

Your sea service is calculated by recording days from different periods of sea service. You can take days of sea service which do not consecutively form a month and add them together. If you have served 30 days of sea service within the last 6 months, you can add these days together and we will consider this to be 1 month of sea service.

Calculate sea service for a deck certificate

If you perform Master or Deck officer duties or functions for:

  • at least 8 hours in a 24 hour period, the qualifying sea service is calculated as a whole day (and no more than a whole day).
  • less than 8 hours in a 24 hour period, the qualifying sea service is calculated for the actual hours served plus 25% of that time.

Qualifying sea service will count when you are doing duties or functions on a vessel and applies whether you live on board or not.

Qualifying sea service is calculated in Schedule 3.2 and 3.3 of Marine Order 71 (Masters and deck officers) 2014.

Read more about specific requirements for Deck certificates.

Calculate sea service for an Engineering certificate

If the machinery is in use or immediately available for:

  • at least 8 hours in a 24 hour period and you are on duty or on call for that period, the qualifying sea service sea service is calculated as a whole day (and no more than a whole day).
  • less than 8 hours in a 24 hour period and the you are on duty or on call for that period, the qualifying sea service is calculated for the actual hours served plus 25% of that time.

Qualifying sea service will count when you are doing duties or functions on a vessel and applies whether you live on board or not.

Qualifying sea service is calculated in Schedule 3.2 and 3.3 of Marine Order 72 (Engineer officers) 2014.

Training record book requirements

If you are completing the Engineer experience training program, or the trainee engineer program and you have completed an Engineer class 3 near coastal task book, we will accept this in leui of the training record book.

If you have not completed an Engineer class 3 near coastal task book, you must fulfill one of the following conditions to get your training record book authorised before sending it to us:

  • When there is a higher ranking Engineer on board other than the training record book holder, the training record book must be signed off by the higher ranking Engineer provided that they hold at least a Certificate of competency as marine engine driver grade 1 and above.
  • Where the Engineer class 3 could be the highest ranking engineer or sole engineer on board, we will permit the master of the vessel or superintendent to authenticate the training record book. No sea service penalties will apply.

Read more about specific requirements for Engineering certificates.

Calculate sea service for an Integrated or Chief integrated rating certificate

If you are doing Rating or Trainee duties or functions for:

  • at least 8 hours in a 24 hour period, the qualifying sea service sea service is calculated as a whole day (and no more than a whole day).
  • less than 8 hours in a 24 hour period, the qualifying sea service is calculated for the actual hours served plus 25% of that time.

Qualifying sea service will count when you are doing duties or functions on a vessel and applies whether you live on board or not.

Qualifying sea service (QSS) is calculated in Schedule 3.2 and 3.3 of Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014.

Calculate sea service for issue of a Certificate of proficiency as integrated rating

The Australian Seafarer Traineeship (AST) has replaced the existing entry-level training arrangements for Integrated rating in the Australian shipping industry. The traineeship comprises approximately 12 weeks off the job training at one of the approved training providers. The trainee must also complete at least 9 months on the job qualifying sea service. This must include successful completion of a TAGS program managed by the college. We have approved this training program as meeting the requirement of the STCW Convention Regulations II/4 and III/4 and, subject to completion of an additional 7 months qualifying sea service, STCW convention Regulations II/5 and III/5.

Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014 specifies that the sea service for issue of an Integrated rating certificate should be on an appropriate vessel. An appropriate vessel is greater than 24 metres in length, or greater than 750 kilowatts propulsion power.

During the on the job phase, the trainee must have completed 4 months qualifying sea service and fully completed TAGS Book 1 before they can form part of a bridge and engine room watch.

The TAGS program consists of five books, which must be satisfactorily completed during the 9 months sea service to the satisfaction of the approved college provider.

Once a trainee has completed TAGS Book 1, holds a steering certificate, and has completed at least 4 months qualifying sea service as a trainee—confirmed by an original or certified true copy of a letter from their company—they may apply at an AMSA regional office for the endorsements in the back of TAGS Book 1 to be signed by an AMSA Examiner.

On completion of their training program, before an applicant can be issued with an Integrated rating certificate, in addition to application form, medical fitness and fee requirements, we must be in possession of suitable documentation from the appropriate college and shipping company indicating that the applicant has completed the necessary training and qualifying sea service (QSS), depending on which is relevant to the trainee:

  • Documentation from Australian Maritime College, South Metropolitan College of TAFE (Fremantle) or Hunter TAFE (Newcastle) stating that the applicant has completed the course requirement for issue of a Certificate III in marine operations (integrated rating) which consists of two components (off the job academic training and on the job TAGS training).
  • Evidence from their shipping company in the form of a copy of the letter/s detailing at least 9 months QSS since completion of the college pre-sea course component.

Calculate sea service for issue of a Certificate of proficiency as chief integrated rating

Prior to the issue of a certificate as Chief integrated rating, you must hold a Certificate of proficiency as an integrated rating, have completed at least 24 months sea service as an Integrated rating (since obtaining an Integrated ating certificate), and have satisfactorily completed an AMSA approved Chief integrated rating course.

Vessels not suitable as an appropriate vessel

For issue of a Certificate of proficiency as integrated rating, Able seafarer—deck or Engine and navigational watch rating and Engine watch rating certificates, we will not accept service on jack up drill rigs and barges engaged in port construction.

Subject to a determination by the Manager Seafarer Certification Service, we may accept up to a maximum of four months qualifying sea service on semi-submersible drill rigs and floating cranes. In making this determination the Manager will take into consideration the size of the vessel, if it operates with a normal shipboard management structure, is fitted with lifeboats and other SOLAS survival equipment and crew take part in emergency drills and training that meets the requirements of the relevant regulations in SOLAS Chapter III. Determinations will be made on a case by case basis.

Bridging integrated rating

Able seaman, Engine room ratings (greasers) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) equivalents can undertaking bridging training to apply for an Integrated rating certificate of proficiency.

We will accept Certificate of rating as able seaman, Deck rating, Engine room rating, and greaser, depsite the fact that they are not mentioned in Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014.

Holders of a Certificate of rating as able seaman or an Engine room rating, Rating certificates listed in Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014 or persons holding RAN equivalents, may undertake relevant components of the approved off the job training towards becoming an integrated rating. The Australian Maritime College, South Metropolitan College of TAFE and Hunter TAFE have recognition of prior learning systems approved by us to assess an applicant's learning requirements in order to undertake the necessary bridging Integrated rating training.

On completion of requirements – including an application form, medical fitness form, and paying fee requirements – a Bridging integrated rating applying for their Integrated rating certificate must provide evidence from the appropriate college and shipping company that the applicant has completed the necessary training and qualifying sea service as follows, depending on which is relevant to the trainee:

  • Documentation from Australian Maritime College, Challenger TAFE (Fremantle) or Hunter TAFE (Newcastle) stating that the applicant has completed the course requirements for issue  of a Certificate III in marine operations (integrated rating) which consists of two components (off the job academic training and on the job TAGS training
  • Evidence from their shipping company in the form of a copy of the letter detailing required qualifying sea service since completion of the college component which, for holders of an Able seaman certificate, must include at least 2 months documented sea service relevant to an engine room rating. For holders of an engine room rating, must include at least 2 months documented sea service relevant to an able seaman.

How to apply for a sea service assessment

Once you have met the sea service requirements for your qualification you will need to lodge an application using Seafarers form 419 for a sea service assessment. If you are applying for a Deck or Engineer certificate, you will need to complete an oral examination, as instructed in your AMSA assessment letter.

Important disclaimer

This information is summary information only. We makes decisions about seafarer certificates under Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014, Marine Order 71 (Masters and deck officers) 2014, Marine Order 72 (Engineer officers) 2014Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014 and Marine Order 74 (Masters and deck officers – yachts) 2015. Please refer to these marine orders for full details of eligibility and other requirements for certificate applications.

Last updated: 19 December 2017
Last reviewed: 19 December 2017