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Special Training for Ratings and Officers

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) list some minimum training requirements for ratings or officers when working on certain types of ships.

This help guide has information on the special training required by ratings and officers to carry out their duties on tankers, high-speed craft, and passenger ships.

Training Requirements to Work on Tankers

To carry out work as an officer on a tanker, or a rating with cargo handling duties, you would need to have completed (either):

  • A minimum of three (3) months of sea-going service on tankers.
  • A minimum of thirty (30) days of service on a tanker (under 3,000 gross tonnes) on voyages not over 72 hours.
  • One of the tanker familiarisation training programmes.

As an officer responsible for cargo operations, you would also need extra training and a tanker endorsement.

Fill in Form MSF 4210 to apply for a tanker endorsement on a UK certificate of competency (or for use on board UK vessels).

Note: MCA guidance notes MSN 1861 explain the requirements to revalidate all certificates of competency and tanker endorsements under the STCW convention and code.

Masters or Officers on High-speed Craft

To work as a master or an officer on a high-speed craft (including hovercraft) you would need to complete special training in:

  • Propulsion and control systems for the craft
  • Handling characteristics
  • Communication and navigation procedures
  • Handling of the craft in the event of severe weather conditions (or damage)

In most cases, ratings or engineers working on a high-speed craft would also need to complete specialist training, depending on the duties carried out.

The MSN 1740 guide introduces the revised requirements for training and certification of officers and crew on all high speed craft.

Note: MCA guidance notes MGN 26 (M) contain detailed information on special training required for working on high-speed craft.

Training for Working on Passenger Ships

The specialist training required to work on a passenger ship means you need to complete certification courses in:

  • The awareness of life-saving appliances and control plans.
  • Crowd management.
  • How to help passengers reach muster and embarkation stations.

Your duties might include providing direct service to passengers. In this case, you would also need to complete additional training in:

  • Embarkation procedures and providing special assistance.
  • How to communicate effectively with the ship’s passengers.
  • The safe usage of personal life-saving appliances.

You may also have the responsibility for the safety of passengers in emergency situations (including cargo safety and hull integrity).

If these tasks fall within your duties on board you would need to complete specialist training in:

  • Crisis management and human behaviour.
  • Loading and embarkation procedures.
  • The carriage of dangerous goods and the securing of cargo.
  • Stability trim and stress calculations.

Note: MCA guidance notes MGN 203 (M) contain details on the minimum level of training for concessionaires and crew to work on board UK domestic passenger ships of classes IV to VI (A).

Special Training Required by Ratings and Officers in United Kingdom