Oral examination

Our procedures for conducting oral examinations.

We conduct oral examinations to assess your knowledge and skills for issue of a Certificate of competency, Certificate of recognition for foreign seafarers, or for the revalidation of a certificate. The oral examination is usually the last requirement to be passed before your certificate is issued.

You are required to pass an oral examination which is applicable to the level of certificate applied for.

There are charges for oral examinations. Find out more about fees and charges. You must pay the charge at the time of booking your oral examination. We will not accept an oral examination booking without payment. If you are attending an oral examination, you should leave all bags and equipment including jackets, laptops, tablets and phones outside the examination room. No recording devices are permitted, and if found the consequences will be serious.

It is a requirement of Marine Orders 71 (schedule 4), 72 (section 9) and 73 (section 8) that you must have a working knowledge of English.

If, during the oral examination, the examiner determines that you do not have a level of English to understand a question asked, or do not have an adequate English vocabulary to answer a question, or understand documents in English, we will not issue you a Certificate of competency or Certificate of recognition, as applicable.


These programs of study are guides only and the content of individual oral examinations may vary as the examiner may not cover all areas listed in the syllabus.

The procedure for the conduct of the AMSA oral examination is contained in Conduct of oral examinations.

Scheduling of oral examinations

The following weekly schedule applies for deck and engineer oral examinations and are conducted at the following AMSA offices:

Documents required

If you wish to sit an oral examination, you will need to apply for a qualifying sea service assessment using the Seafarer form 419 and lodge at a participating Australia Post retail outlet. Once you have received your assessment letter, you will be able to book the examination at an AMSA examination centre. The following documents should accompany the application:

  • AMSA-issued sea service assessment letter
  • photographic identity—for example a valid Australian driving licence or current passport.
  • any other supporting documentation if necessary.

For Watchkeeper deck and Engineer watchkeeper qualifications, you must bring your completed AMSA approved training record book to your oral examination.

After an oral examination

After your examination, your application will be assessed.

You should be aware that due to high workloads we may take a period of time to process an application. If the application is incomplete or incorrectly completed then you may expect a delay in the processing time.

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