Revalidation of STCW Master and deck certificates of competency
If you hold a STCW Master or deck certificate of competency you should apply to us to revalidate your certificate before it expires, if it has not been suspended or revoked. The revalidation process may differ and is dependent on whether you have enough sea service or not.
You must complete a sea service and course component to revalidate your certificate as well as have a valid certificate of medical fitness and GMDSS radio operator’s certificate (or certificate of recognition) (refer below to options which do not require a GMDSS ROC) . Read more about how to revalidate your Master or deck certificate of competency and how to apply with form AMSA 419:
Click on the relevant link to go to the application form for revalidating each deck certificate of competency:
- Master less than 24 metres foreign going
- Mate less than 500 gross tonnage
- Watchkeeper deck less than 500 gross tonnage
- Watchkeeper deck
- Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage
- Master less than 500 gross tonnage
- Chief mate
- Master less than 3000 gross tonnage
- Watchkeeper deck less than 3000 gross yachts
- Chief mate less than 3000 gross tonnage yachts
- Master less than 500 gross tonnage yachts
- Master less than 3000 gross tonnage yachts
Continued competence courses
Australia is a party to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Under this convention, we comply with the standards required in STCW A-I/11. These standards require all seafarers to demonstrate continued competence refresher training in sea survival and fire fighting at the appropriate level. This requirement also includes the Fast rescue boat endorsement.
Completion of these courses is commonly known as a demonstration of continued competence.
Medical course component
Under the standards in the STCW, there is no requirement for revalidation of elementary first aid, medical first aid, and medical care certificates. However Maritime Labour Convention 2006, Regulation 4.1, Guideline B4.1 Medical care on board ship and ashore states:
3. Persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this guideline and any such other seafarers as may be required by the competent authority should undergo, at approximately five-year intervals, refresher courses to enable them to maintain and increase their knowledge and skills and to keep up-to-date with new developments.
In view of this guideline, employers should determine whether it is necessary for their seafarers to maintain currency of their course-associated medical certificate.
Revalidating from overseas
If you hold a Master or deck certificate of competency and live overseas, STCW short course(s), including continued competence refresher training, completed overseas in eligible countries may be recognised by AMSA for the purpose of revalidation if you satisfy the requirements below.
You will also need to prove sea service to revalidate your certificate (i.e. at least 12 months in 5 years or at least 3 months in the previous 6 months prior to application). Sea service letters are required for this and are only accepted if issued by your employer and written on company letterhead paper. Letters issued by the ship’s Master will not be accepted.
You must also have a valid certificate of medical fitness and GMDSS radio operator’s certificate or GMDSS radio operator’s certificate of recognition.
You will need to meet a number of requirements before we can accept STCW short courses you have completed overseas in eligible countries for revalidation:
- Be a resident overseas — permanently living in a country other than Australia.
- Contact that country’s flag State administration to obtain information regarding the location of an approved course provider IN that country.
- Make sure you are completing the course IN the country which has an agreement with Australia.
- On completion of the course, obtain a course completion certificate which contains your name, the title of the course, STCW Regulation number, issue date and name and contact details of the overseas course provider.
• You must obtain a letter from the overseas course provider that states the course is approved by the administration of that country and you have attended the course.
(Example: If you completed a STCW short course in India, which has an agreement with Australia, and at an Indian maritime training organisation that was approved by the Indian Directorate General of Shipping, AMSA will recognise the course.)
If you meet the above requirements, for revalidation purposes we recognise the courses below from eligible countries with which we hold an agreement:
Certificate or endorsement type
STCW short courses
(approved by an administration with which we have an agreement)
Certificate of competency – Master and Deck officers
|Certificates of proficiency in fast rescue boats||Fast rescue boats (STCW section A-VI/2 paragraphs 7 to 10)|
|Advanced training for oil tanker endorsement||Advanced training for oil tankers (STCW section A-V/1-1 paragraph 2)|
|Advanced training for chemical tanker endorsement||Advanced training for chemical tankers (STCW section A-V/1-1 paragraph 3)|
|Advanced training for gas tanker endorsement||Advanced training for gas tanker endorsements (STCW section A-V/1-2 paragraph 2)|
|Basic training for IGF code endorsement||Basic training for IGF code (STCW Code section A-V/3 paragraph 1)|
|Advanced training for IGF code endorsement||Advanced training for IGF code endorsement (STCW section A-V/3 paragraph 2)|
|Basis polar code endorsement||Basis Polar Code (STCW section A-V/4 paragraph 1)|
|Advanced polar code endorsement||Advanced Polar Code (STCW section A-V/4 paragraph 2)|
Recognition of an equivalent function
We do recognise some equivalent functions if you work in the below occupations within Australia:
- Technical, engineering and marine superintendents
- Surveyors (i.e. inspectors) appointed under the Navigation Act 2012 (the Act) or working for a recognised organisation as defined by the Act
- Lecturers in AMSA approved Registered training organisations.
To be assessed for the above you will need proof of at least 2.5 years’ service in the 5 years immediately preceding application. This service must have been completed in the type of positions identified above from a non-seagoing sector of the maritime industry. We will require a statement from your employer, written on company letterhead paper which demonstrates that you have maintained your professional competence and you will be capable of exercising the full capacity, function levels and limitations applying to your certificate. When preparing the statement, reference should be made to the criteria outlining the revalidation course for Master’s and deck officers. You can find this criteria in the syllabus document.
In our assessment of the submission for full revalidation, we will consider whether a full or partial revalidation training course is required and is dependent on your employment history.
Depending on your employment history you may be required to complete the full STCW short courses of Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats, Advanced fire fighting, Medical first aid at sea and Security awareness training (if not already completed).
If you hold a Master or deck certificate of competency we will accept a combination of either Part A (e.g. shipmaster's medical, legislation, stability and cargo work, etc.) or Part B (e.g. Bridge resource management (BRM), passage planning, navigational equipment, etc.) revalidation courses (Revalidation courses must be completed in Australia at an AMSA approved college) and a written statement on company letterhead paper from your employer covering the other competencies required for the Master or deck officers revalidation course.
All revalidation course completions, where applicable, must be completed within 5 years of application.
Find an approved training organisation.
Acceptance of sea service completed on tugs operating in Australia
Tugs operating outside Australian port limits
If you have sea service on tugs which operate outside Australian port limits but within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Australia the normal revalidation process applies.
Harbour tug operating within Australian port limits
If you have at least 2.5 years’ sea service in the last 5 years immediately preceding the application as a Harbour tug Master or mate employed within Australian ports, we will accept this time as meeting the qualifying sea service requirement to revalidate your Master or deck officer certificate of competency. Tug Masters and mates will still need to complete continued competence refresher training in Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats and Advanced fire fighting. The certificate of competency will be restricted to use within the Australian port limits where the tug operates, unless you hold a valid GMDSS radio operator’s certificate or GMDSS radio operator’s certificate of recognition.
This restricted port limit option above does not apply to Master’s and mates operating tugs in foreign ports.
Revalidate as an Australian port pilot
This option DOES NOT apply to holders of a Certificate of recognition or Restricted certificate of recognition. It also DOES NOT apply to pilots working overseas in foreign ports.
Port pilots restricted to an Australian port
If you are a port pilot working in an Australian port(s) and you have at least 2.5 years service in the 5 years immediately preceding your revalidation application, we will accept that service as meeting the qualifying sea service requirement to revalidate your Master or deck certificate of competency limited to that port(s). The supporting letter confirming 2.5 years pilotage service in the past 5 years must be provided by your employer written on company letter head paper.
Please note that your revalidated Certificate of competency will have a restriction which will allow you to work only within a 12 nautical mile radius to seaward of the port limits where you are a licenced pilot.
If you are a port pilot you will NOT be required to hold either a valid Australian GMDSS radio operator’s certificate or GMDSS radio operator’s certificate of recognition.
You will also NOT be required to hold a valid certificate of medical fitness. However, you are required to meet the medical fitness requirements of your employer.
Removing restriction from your certificate of competency
You can remove the port limit restriction from your certificate of competency at any time by revalidating it in full. To gain full revalidation, you must have at least 2½ years’ service as a port pilot in the 5 years immediately preceding your revalidation application. We will accept that service as meeting the competencies of Part B revalidation course (e.g. Bridge Resource Management, passage planning, navigational equipment, etc.). To be eligible for a full revalidation you would need to satisfy one of the following options:
- Complete Part A revalidation course at an approved training provider (e.g. shipmasters medical, legislation, stability and cargo work, etc.), or
- Complete a recognised Advanced marine pilots training course
In addition, you will need to complete the full courses in Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats and Advanced fire fighting within the preceding 5 years.
If you have completed the recognised Advanced marine pilots training course you must also complete medical care (known as ‘Shipmasters’) refresher training. We will recognise completion of the HLTAID014 Provide Advanced First Aid or equivalent as meeting these requirements.
You will also need to complete a GMDSS refresher course at an AMSA approved RTO or hold a valid GMDSS radio operator’s certificate or GMDSS radio operator’s certificate of recognition, valid Certificate of medical fitness and completed Security awareness training (if not already completed).