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Section 1: Marine surveyor accreditation scheme

We accredit surveyors to assist us in inspecting vessels. Find out how you can become an accredited surveyor.

We accredit surveyors to act as a third party provider to make sure domestic commercial vessels needing a survey meet national law requirements.

The role of an accredited surveyor

Accredited surveyors have the responsibility of checking a vessel’s compliance with the national standard for commercial vessels (NSCV), the national standard for the administration of marine safety (NSAMS) and the uniform shipping law code (USL Code), as well as Marine Order 503 (Certificates of survey—national law) 2013 and Marine Order 507 (Load line certificates—national law) 2013. These standards and marine orders provide recommendations to us about the appropriateness of a vessel to hold, or be issued, a certificate of survey and / or a load line certificate.

Accredited surveyors do not have the power to issue:

  • infringement notices
  • detention notices
  • breach reports against a vessel.

Accredited surveyors are not employed by us and are not issued work (jobs) by us. As a vessel owner you have the option to select any accredited surveyor to undertake the survey of your vessel.

As third party providers, accredited surveyors set their own fees.

Types of survey

In general terms, surveys follow the lifecycle of a vessel. The three broad types of surveys are:

  • plan approval
  • construction or alteration survey
  • periodic survey.

Plan approval is conducted to assess the overall design of a vessel against the applicable standards prior to its construction. Plan approval includes the review of plans, design calculations and building specifications.

Build or alteration surveys are conducted to ensure that a vessel is built in accordance with the approved design and the applicable standards. These surveys may include verification of the quality of workmanship, the quality of materials used, the arrangement of safety and machinery systems and the placement of draft marks.

Periodic surveys are conducted to verify that a vessel continues to comply with any applicable standards.

Categories of the scheme

The categories of the scheme relate to survey activities described in National Standard for Administration of Marine Safety (NSAMS) Standards, section 4, and the National Standard for Commercial Vessels:

(a) Initial survey—plan approval

Assess and approve a vessel’s plans against the applicable standards.

(b) Initial survey—stability approval

Assess and approve a vessel’s stability book against the applicable standard.

(c) Initial survey—load line—assignment

Assign a load line to a vessel in accordance with the applicable standards.

(d) Initial survey—electrical—extra low voltage

Assess a vessel’s electrical installation (up to 50V AC or 120V DC) during construction or alteration to ensure it meets the applicable standards.

(e) Initial survey—electrical—low voltage

Assess a vessel’s electrical installation (up to 1000V AC or 1500V DC) during construction or alteration to ensure it meets the applicable standards.

(f) Initial survey—electrical—high voltage

Assess a vessel’s electrical installation (greater than 1000V AC or 1500V DC) during construction or alteration to ensure it meets the applicable standards.

(g) Initial survey—construction or alteration—hull, deck, superstructure

Assess a vessel’s hull and superstructure, including workmanship, during construction, alteration, or repair to ensure that it meets the applicable standards and approved plans.

(h) Initial survey—construction or alteration—machinery

Assess a vessel’s machinery during construction, alteration, or repair to ensure that it meets the applicable standards and approved plans.

(i) Initial survey—construction or alteration—load line conditions and markings

Assess a vessel’s load line in relation to its conditions of assignment during construction or alteration to ensure that it meets the applicable standards and approved plans.

(j) Initial survey—construction or alteration—equipment

Assess a vessel’s equipment during construction, alteration, or repair to ensure that it meets the applicable standards and approved plans.

(k) Initial survey—construction or alteration—commissioning

Conduct final assessments of a vessel after construction, prior to service, to determine that the vessel is fit for purpose and that all systems function as expected.

(l) Periodic survey

Assess an existing vessel’s structure, machinery, systems and equipment to ensure that they continue to meet the applicable standards and that no modifications have been made.

(m) Periodic survey—electrical

Assess an existing vessel’s electrical installation to ensure it continues to meet the applicable standards and that no modifications have been made.

(n) Periodic survey—load line

Assess an existing vessel’s load line certificate, markings and conditions of assignment to ensure they continue to meet the applicable standards and that no modifications have been made.

(o) Survey of safety equipment

Assess an existing vessel’s safety equipment to ensure that it continues to meet the applicable standards. 

(p) Survey of communications equipment

Assess an existing vessel’s radio and communications equipment to ensure that it continues to meet the applicable standards. 

Last updated: 1 December 2017
Last reviewed: 1 December 2017