Coastal pilot continuing professional development framework—advisory note 02/2019

The purpose of this Pilot Advisory Note (PAN) is to advise AMSA-licensed coastal pilots and pilotage providers on the implementation of AMSA’s revised requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) for the purposes of coastal pilot licence renewal. This PAN sets out the AMSA-approved CPD framework for coastal pilots which is to be progressively implemented from February 2019.


Marine Order 54 (Coastal pilotage) 2014 (MO54) provides in section 61(1)(c) that one of the criteria for the renewal of a pilot licence is that the person holding the licence has 'completed continuing professional development to the satisfaction of AMSA within the four years before applying for the renewal'.
A revised and enhanced CPD framework for coastal pilots has been developed following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders including pilots, pilotage providers and training providers. The framework aligns with practices in other responsible professions and addresses community expectations associated with the performance of pilotage duties.


The AMSA-approved CPD framework described in this PAN meets AMSA’s satisfaction for the purposes of MO54 section 61(1)(c). 

The revised CPD framework aims to improve professional standards, skills and knowledge deemed appropriate for the conduct of coastal pilotage operations, via attendance at contemporary training (including simulation training), peer-to-peer interaction and potential engagement with appropriate professional bodies.

The framework is points-based and requires the accumulation of a minimum number of CPD points (40) in the four-year period prior to applying for the renewal of a coastal pilot licence. The four-year rolling period for CPD points accrual accords with the CPD timeline outlined in MO54 section 61(1)(c). Further details of the CPD points accrual requirements in the context of pilot licence validity are provided in the ‘Key points’ and ‘Implementation schedule’ sections below.

Points can be accrued via the completion of training and/or activities chosen from three main categories (industry, courses/training and vocational).

The list of approved activities is shown at Annex A to this PAN (PDF 570 KB).

The list of training and activities which can accrue CPD points will remain dynamic. Activities may be included/removed as proposed by pilots and/or providers, subject to AMSA’s approval (*see ‘Key points’ below).

Key points

Attention is drawn to the following key points:

  • A minimum of 40 CPD points are to be accrued in the four-year period prior to applying for the renewal of a coastal pilot licence (in accordance with the CPD timeline requirements outlined in MO54 section 61(1)(c)). Of those 40 points, a minimum of 20 CPD points are to be accrued in the two-year (licence cycle) period prior to applying for the renewal of a coastal pilot licence. 
  • The cornerstone of the revised CPD framework is the mandatory completion of an AMSA-approved CPD Simulation Training Course for Coastal Pilots. The course entails the completion of 16 hours of simulation time (with at least 8 hours in the role of coastal pilot).  The AMSA-approved CPD Simulation Training Course for Coastal Pilots is to be completed at least once every two year licence cycle period. Completion of the course accrues 16 CPD points. 
  • In addition to completion of the simulation course outlined above, coastal pilots are required to obtain a minimum of four additional CPD points (per two-year licence cycle) from the other approved training / activities listed in Annex A. 
  • The amount of CPD points attributable to any particular activity and the maximum number of points allowed to be accrued per CPD item, per licence cycle, are detailed in Annex A. 
  • Coastal pilots were previously required to complete the Advance Marine Pilot Training Course (AMPTC), as an 'approved training course within the four years before applying for the renewal', as specified under MO54 section 61(1)(b). The obtainment of the minimum 20 CPD points per licence cycle in accordance with the approved CPD framework (described herein), will absolve the completion of the AMPTC for the purposes of coastal pilot licence renewal. 
  • All other licence renewal criteria specified under MO54 section 61 remain unchanged.
  • No CPD points are attributable for the conduct of Check Pilot Voyages (either as a Check Pilot or a pilot being checked), noting the completion of such voyages is already an existing licence renewal prerequisite under MO54 section 61. 
  • Completion of the AMPTC will remain an initial prerequisite for the issue of a trainee coastal pilot licence (other than completing an AMSA-approved ‘in-house’ training course for trainee pilot induction).
  • * The list of approved CPD training / activities is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive. The list is intended to be user-driven and can grow as pilotage provider / pilot-initiated CPD activity requests are submitted to AMSA and subsequently added to the list of CPD activities once approved. 
  • Coastal pilots who are members of the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute (AMPI ) are not required to duplicate AMPI CPD requirements in order to also meet AMSA’s CPD requirements. AMPI members are still required to complete the mandatory 16 hours of coastal pilotage specific simulator training every two year licence cycle period, however AMSA will accept currency within the AMPI CPD framework, as an alternative means to address the remaining four CPD points requirement for coastal pilot licence renewal.

Implementation schedule

The revised coastal pilotage CPD framework described herein will commence from February 2019. Coastal pilots are to undertake CPD activities to achieve the minimum CPD points required henceforth. 

Essentially, coastal pilots will have a minimum of four years to achieve 40 points of approved CPD activity from 1 February 2019, however AMSA will apply the new CPD compliance requirements when processing licence renewal applications from 1 February 2021 onwards.

This means that coastal pilots must accrue a minimum of 20 points of approved CPD activity from 1 February 2019 until each licence is due for renewal thereafter (in accordance with the prevailing two-year licence cycle period), including the completion of the approved coastal pilot CPD simulation training course at least once every two years.

Further information

Contact AMSA’s Principal Advisor, Coastal Pilotage or email for any queries regarding the operation of the revised CPD framework for coastal pilots described herein.

Additional information about the background and development of the AMSA-approved CPD framework for coastal pilots is also available in the ‘Outcomes Report’ from the Coastal Pilot Training Working Group (CPTWG) Meeting #5 and the AMSA CPD Discussion Paper (2013), which are both available on request.

If you have any questions about this PAN email

Download Annex A to this PAN (PDF 570 KB).

Last updated: 

Tuesday 4 February 2020