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Qualifying near coastal sea service

Calculating, recording and providing your sea service for a domestic certificate of competency.


We assess your sea service based on the requirements in the National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part D—Crew competencies (NSCV Part D).

You can find the sea service requirements for each certificate under domestic qualifications. We may ask to see different types of evidence depending on your application type. In most cases, you will need to provide more specific information when you apply for a certificate for the first time.

Evidence of sea service

You will need to provide sea service documents the first time you apply for a certificate. The only exception to this is if you are applying for a general purpose hand near coastal certificate, which does not require sea service documentation. You will also need to provide sea service documentation when you apply to revalidate the following certificates:

  • master less than 35 metres near coastal
  • mate less than 80 metres near coastal
  • master less than 80 metres near coastal
  • marine engine driver grade 1 near coastal
  • engineer class 3 near coastal

Types of sea service documents

Preferably, your sea service will be recorded on an AMSA 771 form as this gives us the right information we need to make a decision. However, you can also use:

  • a sea service log book that was issued by either a maritime safety agency or AMSA
  • the on board sea service record from an AMSA task book
  • a letter from a supervisor, the vessel operator, owner, master or chief engineer. You can find a template for this letter here (WORD 20.48 KB).

If you can't get a supervisor, vessel operator, owner, master or chief engineer to issue you a letter or sign your sea service record, you can submit an AMSA 771 form along with a Commonwealth statutory declaration stating why you were unable to get your sea service record signed, and that the information on the form is valid and correct.

Task books

Completing a task book reduces the amount of sea service you need for a new certificate or to add an endorsement to an existing certificate. If you choose to use a task book you must have it signed off by a representative of a registered training organisation that runs the course for that certificate, then send us a copy of the first page including your contact details and the assessor’s signature. You do not need to send us your task book if it’s been signed by a registered training organisation representative. A task book cannot be backdated. AMSA will not assess or review any sea service gained prior to an application being lodged.

You can get a task book from us or from some registered training organisations.

How to count sea service

A day is any time you have worked at least 7.5 hours, doing work that relates to the certificate you want to apply for. If you work for less than 7.5 hours, you can add your days together until you have 7.5 hours, which will count as one day. If you work for more than 7.5 hours in a 24-hour period, you can only count one day even if you worked more than one shift.

For all new certificates, at least half of your sea service needs to be completed within the past 5 years before your application is lodged. If you need to provide sea service to revalidate your certificate, all of that sea service needs to be within the past 5 years before your application is lodged.

Completing an AMSA 771 form

Any sea service completed within the past 5 years should be recorded on one sea service record while any sea service older than 5 years should be on a separate form.

Sea service completed for different tasks, on different vessels or for different areas of operation should be recorded on separate forms. For example: if you spent 240 days working 4hr days doing engineering duties between 2016 and 2019 and during the same time period spent 320 days working 10 hour days doing deck duties, this should be recorded on different forms. Another example might be that you spent 42 days working within sheltered waters on MV Mischief and 26 days working seawards of sheltered waters on MV Mischief, this sea service should be recorded on different forms.

You should record your time-on as the time you start work, which can include pre-operating checks and does not have to be when the vessel departs the mooring or wharf. You should record your time-off as the time you finish work.

Types of sea service

Deck Certificate

To get a deck certificate such as a master less than 24m near coastal, you have to complete deck duties which can include:

  • navigation, including chart work
  • mooring
  • anchoring
  • cargo

Deck duties should be recorded as:

D Deck
DE Deck and engineering
GPH General purpose hand
INW In charge of navigational watch/officer of the watch
C Coxswain grade 1 or 2
Engineering Certificate

To get an engineering certificate such as a marine engine driver grade 2 near coastal, you have to complete engineering duties which include operating or maintaining main or auxiliary machinery used for:

  • propulsion
  • mooring
  • anchoring
  • cargo

Engineering duties should be recorded as:

AE Assistant to engineer or engine driver
E Engineer or engine driver
EW Engeineer watchkeeper
EIC Engineer in charge
AEIC Assistant engineer in charge
DE Deck and engineering
GPH General purpose hand
C Coxswain grade 1 or 2
Dual Certificate

For dual certificates, such as coxswain grade 1 near coastal and coxswain grade 2 near coastal, you can submit sea service for a combination of deck and engineering duties.

Dual certificate duties should be recorded as:

C Coxswain grade 1 or 2
DE Deck and engineering
GPH General purpose hand

 

In Charge of Navigational Watch

To apply for a master less than 35 metres near coastal or a master less than 80 metres near coastal, you need to make sure you have recorded enough sea service as ‘in charge of a navigational watch’.

A person is considered to be in charge of a navigational watch or officer of the watch, when they are in charge of the navigation of the vessel. They can also be in charge of a bridge team, which is there to support in the navigation process. The master is always in command, however, during long voyages a chief mate or deck watchkeeper may take charge of the watch while the master is resting or doing other work.

A person is not in charge of a navigational watch when working:

  • as a general purpose hand
  • as a navigational watch rating
  • under training
  • to assist a master
  • under the direct supervision of the person in charge of the vessel

 

Areas of operation

The area where you complete your sea service may mean your certificate needs to be restricted to operating within sheltered waters.

Sheltered waters are smooth and partially smooth waters, as defined by the state or territory in which you are operating. If you spend all of your sea time within sheltered waters, you should record the sea service as sheltered waters (SW). If you start in sheltered waters but spend most of your work time outside sheltered waters, you should record the sea service as seaward of sheltered waters (SSW).

Sea service accrued on private luxury yachts

Privately owned luxury yachts are often referred to as 'white boats' or 'superyachts'. We will accept sea service accrued on luxury yachts provided you are being paid to work on the vessel and the vessel is not primarily at anchor or docked. Task books can also be completed while working on a luxury yacht. The yacht can operate anywhere in the world and your sea service does not need to be completed within Australian waters.

If you claim commercial sea service on a luxury yacht, you may be required to provide further evidence as proof of the commercial nature of the sea service and the period of time that you were employed. You may need to provide evidence such as:

  • a letter from the vessel owner or operator with details of the vessel confirming that you were in paid employment, and the nature and period of employment
  • an original or copy of your employment contract which clearly identifies the vessel/s, duties you undertook and the period of your contract
  • originals or copies of your pay slips

Last updated: 

Thursday 21 July 2022