Career pathways for ratings

Find out more about your career and training options as a ratings. There are career pathways and training requirements open to ratings serving on a regulated Australian vessel.

Career pathways for ratings

'Ratings' refers to skilled seafarers who perform various essential tasks across all ship departments.
There are several pathways you can take to become a rating. It depends on the area you decide to work in. 

STCW refers to The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978.

You can hold any of the following:

More information

Ratings training requirements

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Trainee requirements per ratings task
Ratings taskRequirement
Navigational watch and engine room watch ratings (see schedule 1) 
two months qualifying sea service

an AMSA Certificate of safety training (STCW Reg VI/1) with security awareness endorsement (STCW Reg VI/6-1)


must also complete approved shore based training before joining their first ship (see schedule 1).



six months of qualifying sea service


AMSA Certificate of safety training (STCW Reg VI/1) with security awareness endorsement (STCW Reg VI/6-1)


a valid Certificate of medical fitness form 303



Integrated ratings (international qualification for Australian registered vessels operating in international waters)

AMSA Certificate of safety training


a valid Certificate of medical fitness form 303


completion of Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating) shore-based training program.

Pre-sea—Certificate of safety training

The Certificate of safety training (COST) is the first international qualification you need to become a seafarer.

Unit numberCompetencySTCW reference
MARF037Follow vessel security procedures (security awareness training)STCW Code table A-VI/6-1
MARF041Observe personal safety and social responsibility (PSSR)STCW Code table A-VI/1-4
MARF035Contribute to fire prevention and firefighting (basic firefighting)STCW Code table A-VI/1-2
MARF046Survive at sea in the event of vessel abandonment and personal survival techniques (PST)STCW Code table A-VI/1-1
HLTAID011Provide first aidSTCW Code table A-VI/1-3

Learn more about the Certificate of safety training.

Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating)

You must complete an AMSA approved training program that meets the requirements of STCW.

The approved training program is the Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating).

It comprises:

  • 27 units of competency
  • 5 tasks and guided study books (TAGS books)
  • qualifying sea service.

The units of competency are separate sections or courses, named pre-sea (Certificate of Safety training).

They include:

  • 17 core units of competency common to both deck and engine room ratings
  • 7 deck rating requirements (Group A)
  • 3 engine rating requirements (Group B)

Find out more about Certificate III in maritime operations (integrated rating) and the units of competency at

Task and guided study (TAGS) books

The approved TAGS books include:

  • TAGS book 1—Shipboard induction, shipboard procedures, engine room duties, work health and safety/occupational health and safety requirements

TAGS Book 1 is available as two separate volumes.

  1. Suitable for trainees getting a Navigational watch rating certificate. 
  2. Suitable for trainees getting an Engine watch rating certificate.
  • TAGS book 2—Survival management, survival craft, firefighting and prevention
  • TAGS book 3—Engine room, deck machinery
  • TAGS book 4—Ships maintenance and marine rigging
  • TAGS book 5—Dry cargo, liquid cargo, offshore vessels

After four months qualifying sea service and completion of TAGS book 1, you may receive STCW Regulation II/4 – ratings assisting in keeping a navigation watch and STCW Regulation III/4 – ratings assisting in keeping in an engine room watch.


Pathways to enter the industry as a rating

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1. Integrated rating pathway
1. Integrated rating pathway
Last updated: 23 May 2024