Seafarers, Cooks and Chief Cooks: Check Out New Certification and Qualification Info!

The MUA has put together a detailed guide on changes to AMSA certification and VET qualifications, as well as workers compensation, OHS and ILO MLC, so you are up-to-speed on what the changes mean and what you have to do.

Below you will find information and Frequently Asked Questions for:

  • Marine Cook qualifications and AMSA licenses (tickets)
  • Validation and Revalidation of AMSA licenses (tickets) for all seafarers
  • Coverage under the Seafarers Act (workers’ compensation) and OHS (MI) Act
  • The commencement of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention
  • New VET qualifications for Ratings occupations

The questions and answers give the basic information and links to fuller details and documents you can download to your computer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Question: What are the new rules for Marine Cooks?

Answer: The new rules require that persons who are employed as a Marine Cook on board a Regulated Australian Vessel must hold a relevant AMSA certificate.

Question: What are the requirements?

Answer: For a seafarer to obtain a Certificate of Proficiency as Marine Cook, he or she must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. He or she must be over 18 years of age; and have completed:
  • A training course in hospitality that AMSA considers appropriate training for the performance of the duties or functions of marine cook (see below for details of the new VET qualification for Marine Cook);

or

  • At least 6 months documented qualifying seagoing service as a marine cook before 1st July 2014; and

2.  Hold a Certificate of Safety Training in accordance with Marine Order 3 (Seagoing Qualifications) 2004;

and

3. Hold a Certificate of Medical Fitness issued in accordance with Marine Order 9 (Health – medical fitness) 2010.

IMPORTANT: Whether you are employed on a RAV or not, the union strongly advises that you apply to AMSA for a Certificate of Proficiency as Marine Cook.

More information regarding Marine Cooks can be obtained at: http://www.amsa.gov.au/seafarers/int-qualifications/certs-endorsements-recognition/cert-of-proficiency-marine-cook/index.asp

Question: What do I need to work as a Marine Cook if I wish to enter the industry for the first time?

Answer: Yes. You will need to qualify for the new VET Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Marine Cookery) and obtain the associated AMSA license (Certificate of Proficiency as Marine Cook).

Question: I’m a seafarer. What do I need for the validity and revalidation of seagoing certificates? 

Answer: All seafarers, including Ratings, must now have their AMSA Certificates revalidated every 5 years.  All current Certificates expire on 31 December 2016.  Certificate holders will be required to satisfy revalidation requirements every five (5) years, to maintain the validity of their certificate.

Question: What about security awareness?

Answer:   All seafarers (Masters, Deck Officers, Engineer Officers, Ratings (Deck and Engine Room) and holders of Certificates of Safety Training - COST) must hold a security awareness endorsement by December 2016 but are eligible to gain this endorsement by gaining recognition of sea service. This sea service recognition must be applied for BEFORE DECEMBER 2013

Question: How do I get a Security Awareness endorsement?

Answer: There are two options for obtaining a Security Awareness endorsement:

Option 1 – until 1 January 2014 seafarers may apply to AMSA if they have approved qualifying sea service of at least 6 months between 31 December 2008 and 31 December 2011.

Option 2 – you can complete an approved Security Awareness training course at an AMSA approved training provider.

There is no need for refreshment or revalidation of this training if the seafarer meets the security-related familiarization requirements of the STCW regulations (VI/1) and participates in the shipboard drills and exercises required by the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code.

Question: What if I already hold a certificate in Safety Training (COST)?

Answer: If you have a Certificate of Safety Training (COST), click here for more information

Question: if I am among the Integrated Ratings, what do I have to do?

Answer: if you hold a certificate as Integrated Ratings. click here to get additional information.

Question: If I hold a Chief Integrated Rating, what do I have to do?

Answer: if you hold a Chief Integrated Rating, click here for additional information.

Question: Where can I be trained for these new requirements?

Answer: A list of AMSA approved training providers can be found by clicking here.

Question: Does the 6 months sea time requirement for revalidation, have to be completed on vessels of a certain tonnage, or on voyages over 12 hours of duration, or on voyages inter or intra state? Can seafarers on towage, dredges or small vessels have their sea time recognized for revalidation?

Answer: The sea service requirement of either 12 months in the past 5 years or 3 months in the last 6 months immediately preceding application, has to be completed on vessels where the seafarer actively participates in the mandatory abandon ship and fire drills required by SOLAS.  There is therefore no minimum size of vessel or voyage type required.  In addition, every 5 years a seafarer will be required to complete a shore based AMSA approved continued competence course in sea survival and fire fighting at an AMSA approved college. 

See AMSAs Sea Service Guide at http://www.amsa.gov.au/search/index.asp?q=sea+service+guides

Question: Will AMSA accept seafarers Article discharges as proof of sea service?

Answer: No, original letters on company letterhead paper from the employer are required to prove sea service.  This avoids potential false sea service claims.

Question: How do casuals get revalidation?

Answer: A casual that obtains a job should ask their employer for a sea service letter that states the length of sea service completed and that the person was actively participating in mandatory abandon ship and fire drills required by SOLAS.  In addition, every 5 years, they must also complete the shore based AMSA approved  continued competence course in sea survival and fire fighting at an AMSA approved college.   For a rating the course would be of about 1.5 days duration (A Chief Integrated Rating continued competence course would last about 2 days).

OR 

If a casual does not obtain sufficient sea service of either 12 months in the past 5 years or 3 months in the last 6 months immediately preceding application, the casual will be required to complete two AMSA approved STCW short courses, (1) Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting and (2) Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats.

For those Ratings that do not hold a Security Awareness endorsement, they may obtain one by proving sea service of at least 6 months in the period 31 December 2008 to 31 December 2011 OR by completing an AMSA approved course at an AMSA approved college.

When the continued competence and Security Awareness Training (i.e. (a) and (b) above) have been completed the Rating certificate will be issued for a full 5 years.

Question: What is the requirement for the STCW 2010 revalidation in conjunction with the IR revalidation?

Answer: All ratings (IR, CIR) are required to prove continued competence in sea survival and fire fighting every 5 years.  For serving seafarers this will require evidence of actively participating in mandatory abandon ship and fire drills required by SOLAS over a period of 12 months in a 5 year period or 3 months in the last 6 months immediately prior to application and attending a shore-based AMSA approved continued competence course in sea survival and fire fighting of about 1.5 days (2 days for a CIR) duration. 

For those seafarers that do not have the required sea service they will have to complete the full STCW courses, (1)  Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting and (2) Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats.

For those Ratings that do not hold a Security Awareness Training endorsement they may obtain one by proving sea service of at least 6 months in the period 31 December 2008 to 31 December 2011 OR by completing an AMSA approved course at an AMSA approved college.

When the continued competence and Security Awareness Training (i.e. (a) and (b) above) have been completed the Rating certificate will be issued for a full 5 years.

Question: What is the requirement for acquiring STCW 2010 for those who do not have it?  Does the current IR certificate cover it?

Answer: Please refer to the previous answer regarding requirement for the STCW 2010 revalidation in conjunction with the IR revalidation.

Question: Do caterers have to update to STCW 2010?

Answer: A caterer will be required to hold a Certificate of Safety Training.  A Certificate of Safety Training will be revalidated for a full 5 years providing they have satisfied:

(i) Either the continued competence requirements in sea survival and fire fighting by having evidence of actively participating in mandatory abandon ship and fire drills required by SOLAS over a period of 12 months in a 5 year period or 3 months in the last 6 months immediately prior to application and attending a shore based AMSA approved continued competence course in sea survival and fire fighting of about 1.0 day duration, OR, for those  that do not have the required sea service they will have to complete the two full STCW courses (1)  Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting and (2) Personal Survival Techniques.

AND

(ii) Hold a Security Awareness Training endorsement they may obtain one by proving sea service of at least 6 months in the period 31 December 2008 to 31 December 2011 OR by completing an AMSA approved course at an AMSA approved college.

When the continued competence and Security Awareness Training (i.e. (a) and (b) above) have been completed the COST certificate will be issued for a full 5 years.

Question: What will be the requirement now for recording seatime?  Will a Seaman's book be accepted by AMSA?

Answer: AMSA will only accept evidence of sea service from the employer in the form of a letter written on original letterhead paper.  Nothing else will be accepted.

Question: For those that have completed the Tug Course and do not hold an IR Certificate what happens to them?

Answer: The AMSA Ship Safety Division only regulates qualifications issued under the STCW Convention.  As the ‘Tug Course’ is non STCW, the matter is discussed with the AMSA Domestic Vessel Division.

Question: What are the requirements for working on harbour tugs and small boats, if any?

Answer: If the seafarer holds a IR or CIR certificate refer to dot points 1 to 4.  Otherwise if the seafarer holds a State /NT certificate, please refer to the previous answer for those who completed the Tug Course and do not hold an IR Certificate.

Question: As the manning on tugs is now 3 marine personal, does this need to be taken into consideration when the AMSA approved courses are put in place.

Answer: Please refer to the answer above for those that have completed the Tug Course and do not hold an IR Certificate.

Question: Do PIRs who have just completed their seatime have to revalidate?

Answer: Under the 2010 STCW amendments ALL seafarers are required to revalidate their certificate every 5 years.  A trainee IR will be issued with a full 5 year Certificate of Proficiency if they have completed Security Awareness Training, if they have not they will be issued with a certificate that will expire on 31 December 2016.

Question: In relation to qualifying sea time, it appears that only 4 weeks out of the 6 months required can be undertaken on inshore vessels e.g. tugs and bunker barges.

Answer: For all sea service for trainee IRs refer to  http://www.amsa.gov.au/search/index.asp?q=sea+service+guides