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Maritime NZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Certificate of Competency (MNZ SeaCert & STCW) Requirements for New Zealand Seafarers

radio officer

With this Radio Officer certificate, you can perform at an operational level the functions and duties of a radio officer on a ship required to participate in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), and operate the specialized GMDSS equipment. The Radio Officer certificate is designed for persons whose only shipboard duties are to operate the radio equipment. Seafarers whose shipboard duties include both navigational watchkeeping and radio operations must obtain a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio operator certificate of competency.

With GMDSS Operator certificate, you can work as a navigational watchkeeper at the operational level and perform the functions and duties of a radio operator on board a GMDSS ship, and operate its specialized GMDSS equipment. The GMDSS Operator certificate corresponds with the GMDSS radio operator certificate issued under regulation IV/2 of the STCW (STCW Code). This is a radio operator certificate designed for certificated navigating officers.

GMDSS is an internationally agreed set of radio technologies that are used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships and aircraft. Certain ships are designated as GMDSS ships. The GMDSS safety procedures, equipment types and communication protocols are designed to perform functions such as alerting, search and rescue coordination, locating, maritime safety information broadcasts, general communications, and bridge-to-bridge communications.

gmdss ships

Radio Officer is a merchant marine rating who helps to monitor and keep track of the communications aspect in a ship and a GMDSS Radio Operator is responsible for efficiently operating the GMDSS equipment


MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator General Requirements

  • 18 years old, medically fit and have good eyesight
  • Good character and a fit and proper person
  • Complete a GMDSS training course
  • Obtain a maritime general operator’s certificate (MGOC) as a radio operator

MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Requirements

MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Prior Certification Requirements

  • None required

MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Sea Service Requirements

  • None required

MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Training Requirements

  • You must complete an approved GMDSS training course. This training must meet the competencies required for the certificate, as specified in section A-IV/2 of the STCW Convention.

MNZ Radio Officer and GMDSS Operator Ancillary Certificates

Radio Officer

mnz radio officer ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Radio Officer Ancillary Certificate Requirements - Credits: MNZ

  • MNZ strongly recommends that you also get an ancillary certificate for proficiency in security awareness training (STCW A-VI/6-1).

GMDSS Operator

  • You must have a New Zealand maritime general operator’s certificate (MGOC) issued under the Radio Communications Act 1989 or an equivalent under the International Radio Regulations. If you already have a New Zealand-issued MGOC you may use it; otherwise, this training will be included in the training for your GMDSS certificate.

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with Maritime NZ for the latest requirements and accurate info

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