AMSA mandated practical assessments

General and practical information about the AMSA mandated practical assessment (AMPA), including how to perform the assessment.

Under Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency – national law) 2022, a seafarer must pass a final assessment before AMSA can issue them a certificate of competency.

The final assessment for low complexity certificates of competency is an AMSA mandated practical assessment (AMPA). This must be conducted by a registered training organisation (RTO) approved by AMSA.

The AMPA assesses the applicant's operational skills and knowledge, and their knowledge of Australian maritime legislation.

An AMPA can be started:

  • during practical assessments within the timetable of a course
  • at the very end of a course
  • when the previous AMPA has expired, or
  • at any other time when advised by AMSA.

The time it takes to complete an AMPA will be determined by the study period of the RTO delivering a MAR Maritime Training Package course however this must not be more than 12 months from the date of the first assessed task in the AMPA. The AMPA must therefore be completed within 12 months from the first assessed task in the AMPA.

The completed AMPA is valid for a period of 12 months after the date the assessor signs the AMPA cover page. This should also be the date of the last assessed task.

Applicants must complete the AMPA before being issued a certificate of competency for the low complexity CoCs mentioned below. To find the AMPA for the CoC being assessed please click on the appropriate link below:

If the applicant hasn't applied for a certificate of competency before their AMPA expires, they will need to complete a new AMPA before they can lodge an application.

Completing an AMPA for the General purpose hand(GPH) certificate is not required but may provide practical benefits as a candidate is only required to complete the AMPA for a particular unit of competency once.

Therefore, a candidate who has completed the GPH AMPA is not required to complete the same AMPA tasks again for another certificate of competency, provided it is within the 12 month period of the AMPAs validity or the candidate was issued with a GPH NC certificate of competency.

There are no AMPAs for the following certificates:

  • Coxswain grade 3 NC
  • Sailing master coastal NC
  • Sailing master offshore NC
  • Master less than 45m NC
  • Master less than 80m NC
  • Marine engine driver grade 1 NC
  • Engineer class 3 NC

For high complexity certificates of competency, the final assessment will be an oral examination conducted by an AMSA examiner.

Sea service requirement

The AMPA assesses competency, so a seafarer does not have to have completed sea service to undertake their AMPA.

They will need to have completed the required sea service within 12 months of completing the AMPA before applying for a certificate of competency or complete another AMPA at additional cost.

Credit for previously completed units

An RTO can complete the AMPA based on assessments that another RTO conducted. This must be recorded and dated in the 'Notes' sections for that unit on an AMPA form.

An AMPA for a certificate of competency shows that a seafarer has completed all AMPA assessment tasks required for that certificate.

An AMPA that records completion of a unit of competency can be used as credit towards another qualification if the person has been issued with an AMSA certificate of competency. This applies to all units of competency.

For example, if a seafarer has completed the AMPA for Follow environmental work practicesas part of their Coxswain grade 2, they need not repeat the AMPA for this unit in another certificate course (e.g. Coxswain grade 1, or Marine engine driver grades 3 or 2).

This applies only if the original assessment was completed within 12 months of the second AMPA assessment or if they have a current AMSA CoC that has covered that unit and RPL was granted by the RTO.

The AMPA must show evidence that the seafarer completed these units by recording it in the 'Notes' section of each of the units concerned. On the cover of the AMPA they should list the: 

  • name of the certificate of competency
  • certificate of competency number, and
  • date of issue

For example:

  • Holds Coxswain grade 2 NC #12345 issued on 6/7/2021.

The RTO should keep a copy of the certificate of competency along with their copy of the AMPA.

If a seafarer completed MAR training package units at one RTO  and wants to transfer credit for prior learning to another RTO, the new RTO they are transferring credit should conduct their assessment, transfer eligible credit, and then complete their AMPA. 

If a person has completed a course of study using a previous version of a maritime training package (such as TDM), they are eligible to complete the AMPA. There is no maximum time after course completion when a person may complete an AMPA (AMPA only assessment).


Tasks must be conducted by an individual or a group as specified in the AMPA.

For example:

  • All vessel handling tasks are individual tasks. You can have more than one seafarer on the vessel during the assessment, but every seafarer must perform each task individually.
  • Ropework tasks can be assessed simultaneously, but every seafarer must tie each knot. 

Group tasks allow a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 5 seafarers in the group for the purpose of the assessment task.

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Last updated: 

Monday 6 November 2023