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IMO STCW 2010 Regulations - Mandatory Minimum Requirements for Certification of Masters and Chief Mates on Ships of 500 Gross Tonnage or More

STCW II/2 Master 500gt or more is a STCW Management level Deck Officer’s endorsement. Master, also known as Captain, are in overall command of the ship and are responsible for the safety, efficiency and commercial feasibility of the ship. 

Chief Mate is the second in command following the Captain or Master and head of the deck department on a merchant vessel.

Master's or Chief Mate's license states the area of operations and maximum gross tonnage of vessel for which that license is valid.

Please find below the STCW 2010 regulations and tables. You may also check our STCW Guide section for more clarity on the requirements at various stages of a merchant mariner..

stcw code ii 2

STCW Code Section A-II/2 - Chapter II (STCW 2010 Resolution 2)

Mandatory Minimum Requirements for Certification of Masters and Chief Mates  on Ships of 500 Gross Tonnage or More

Maters and Chief Mates Standard of Competence



  1. Every candidate for certification as master or chief mate of ships of 500 gross tonnage or more shall be required to demonstrate the competence to undertake, at the management level, the tasks, duties and responsibilities listed in column 1 of table A-II/2.
  2. The minimum knowledge, understanding and proficiency required for certification is listed in column 2 of table A-II/2. This incorporates, expands and extends in depth the subjects listed in column 2 of table A-II/1 for officers in charge of a navigational watch.
  3. Bearing in mind that the master has ultimate responsibility for the safety and security of the ship, its passengers, crew and cargo, and for the protection of the marine environment against pollution by the ship, and that a chief mate shall be in a position to assume that responsibility at any time, assessment in these subjects shall be designed to test their ability to assimilate all available information that affects the safety and security of the ship, its passengers, crew or cargo, or the protection of the marine environment.
  4. The level of knowledge of the subjects listed in column 2 of table A-II/2 shall be sufficient to enable the candidate to serve in the capacity of master or chief mate*.
  5. The level of theoretical knowledge, understanding and proficiency required under the different sections in column 2 of table A-II/2 may be varied according to whether the certificate is to be valid for ships of 3,000 gross tonnage or more or for ships of between 500 gross tonnage and 3,000 gross tonnage.
  6. Training and experience to achieve the necessary level of theoretical knowledge, understanding and proficiency shall take into account the relevant requirements of this part and the guidance given in part B of this Code.
  7. Every candidate for certification shall be required to provide evidence of having achieved the required standard of competence in accordance with the methods for demonstrating competence and criteria for evaluating competence tabulated in columns 3 and 4 of table A-II/2.

Masters and Chief Mates Near-Coastal Voyages

  1. An Administration may issue a certificate restricted to service on ships engaged exclusively on near-coastal voyages and, for the issue of such a certificate, may exclude such subjects as are not applicable to the waters or ships concerned, bearing in mind the effect on the safety of all ships which may be operating in the same waters.

*The relevant IMO Model Course(s) may be of assistance in the preparation of courses


STCW Table A-II/2 of Chapter II (STCW 2010 Resolution 2)

Specification of minimum standard of competence for masters and chief mates on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more

STCW Table A-II/2 PDF


STCW Section B-II/2 of Chapter II (STCW 2010 Resolution 2)

Guidance regarding the certification of masters and chief mates on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more

MUST READ:

STCW Regulation II/2 of Chapter II (STCW 2010 Resolution 1)

Mandatory Minimum Requirements for Certification of Masters and Chief Mates on Ships of 500 Gross Tonnage or More

Master and Chief Mate on Ships of 3,000 Gross Tonnage or More



  1. Every master and chief mate on a seagoing ship of 3,000 gross tonnage or more shall hold a certificate of competency.
  2. Every candidate for certification shall:
    1. meet the requirements for certification as an officer in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more and have approved seagoing service in that capacity:
      1. for certification as chief mate, not less than 12 months, and
      2. for certification as master, not less than 36 months; however, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if not less than 12 months of such seagoing service has been served as chief mate; and
    2. have completed approved education and training and meet the standard of competence specified in section A-II/2 of the STCW Code for masters and chief mates on ships of 3,000 gross tonnage or more.

Master and Chief Mate on Ships of Between 500 and 3,000 Gross Tonnage

  1. Every master and chief mate on a seagoing ship of between 500 and 3,000 gross tonnage shall hold a certificate of competency.
  2. Every candidate for certification shall:
    1. for certification as chief mate, meet the requirements of an officer in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more;
    2. for certification as master, meet the requirements of an officer in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more and have approved seagoing service of not less than 36 months in that capacity; however, this period may be reduced to not less than 24 months if not less than 12 months of such seagoing service has been served as chief mate; and
    3. have completed approved training and meet the standard of competence specified in section A-II/2 of the STCW Code for masters and chief mates on ships of between 500 and 3,000 gross tonnage.

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check with IMO STCW Convention for the latest requirements and accurate info

LAST UPDATED ONDec 5, 2019