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Transport Canada Chief Mate Certificate of Competency Requirements for Canadian Seafarers

chief mate canada

Chief Mate is the officer next in rank to the master and on whom the command and charge of the vessel falls in the event of the incapacity of the master (premier officier de pont). The Chief Mate is responsible to the Captain for the security and safety of the vessel. Specific responsibilities include - Ensuring the safety of personnel on board; Training in safety, firefighting and search and rescue; Managing the deck department and crew; and Ensuring the safety of the ship's cargo and ship's maintenance. The Chief Mate position is second in the line of command of the vessel after the Captain.

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You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for Chief Mate

Transport Canada Chief Mate Requirements


Competency Requirements

  • Hold a certificate of - Chief Mate Near Coastal, Watchkeeping Mate, or Watchkeeping Mate Near Coastal

Sea Service Requirements

  • After obtaining a Master 500 Gross Tonnage, Near Coastal certificate, Watchkeeping Mate certificate or Watchkeeping Mate, Near Coastal certificate, an applicant for a Chief Mate certificate shall acquire at least 12 months of sea service as officer in charge of the deck watch, on board one or more vessels of at least 500 gross tonnage, while the vessels are engaged on voyages that are unlimited voyages or near coastal voyages, Class 1, which sea service shall include at least 6 months on voyages outside the Great Lakes Basin and where the distance between extreme ports called at during those voyages is more than 500 nautical miles.

Examination Requirements

canada chief mate exams

Certificate Requirements 

  • (See below)

Transport Canada Chief Mate Near Coastal Requirements

Competency Requirements

  • Hold a certificate of - Watchkeeping Mate, or Watchkeeping Mate Near Coastal

Sea Service Requirements

  • After obtaining a Master 500 Gross Tonnage, Near Coastal certificate, Watchkeeping Mate certificate or Watchkeeping Mate, Near Coastal certificate, acquire at least 12 months of sea service as officer in charge of the deck watch, on board one or more vessels of at least 500 gross tonnage, while the vessels are engaged on voyages other than sheltered waters voyages. 

Examination Requirements

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Certificate Requirements

  • (See below)

Transport Canada Chief Mate 500 Gross Tonnage Domestic Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • Acquire the following sea service on board one or more vessels of at least 5 gross tonnage:
  • (a) if the applicant has successfully completed an approved training program, (i) at least 12 months performing deck duties, or (ii) at least 6 months performing deck duties while holding a Chief Mate 150 Gross Tonnage, Domestic certificate;
  • (b) if Part 2 requires the vessels on which the service was acquired to have on board a chief mate, at least 6 months as chief mate while holding a Chief Mate 150 Gross Tonnage, Domestic certificate; or
  • (c) in all other cases, (i) at least 24 months performing deck duties, (ii) at least 12 months performing deck duties while holding a Chief Mate 150 Gross Tonnage, Domestic certificate, or (iii) an equivalent prorated combination of the requirements

Examination Requirements

canada chief mate 500gt domestic exams

Certificate Requirements

  •  (See below)

Transport Canada Chief Mate 150 Gross Tonnage Domestic Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • Acquire the following amount of sea service performing deck duties on one or more vessels of at least 5 gross tonnage - (a) at least 12 months; or (b) at least 6 months if the applicant has successfully completed an approved training program

Examination Requirements

  • Chartwork and pilotage level 1, navigation safety level 1 and Oral examination on general seamanship

Certificate Requirements

  • (See below)

Certificate Requirements for Chief Mate, Chief Mate NC & Chief Mate 500/150 GT Domestic


  • MED with respect to STCW basic safety
  • MED training with respect to proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats
  • MED in advanced fire fighting
  • MED for senior officers (only for Chief Mate & Chief Mate NC)
  • Restricted Operator’s Certificate (ROC-MC) issued under the Radiocommunication Act
  • SEN Level II for Chief Mate & Chief Mate NC; SEN Level I for 500 GT; SEN Limited for 150 GT
  • Marine advanced first aid

Transport Canada Chief Mate Limited 60 Gross Tonnage or More Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • (1) In the case where the certificate is to be valid on board a vessel of 150 gross tonnage or more, subject to subparagraph (b)(i), the following sea service on one or more vessels of at least 25 gross tonnage while the vessels are engaged on voyages that correspond to those that the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought is permitted to engage on:
    • (a) at least 6 months performing deck duties;
    • (b) a total of at least 6 months, consisting of (i) up to 3 months as master or chief mate while holding a certificate that authorizes the applicant to be in charge of the deck watch, which may be served on one or more vessels of at least 5 gross tonnage, and (ii) at least 3 months performing deck duties; or
    • c) at least 3 months from an approved program of on-board training
  • (2) In the case where the certificate is to be valid on board a vessel of less than 150 gross tonnage, subject to subparagraph (b)(i), the following sea service on one or more vessels of at least 25 gross tonnage while the vessels are engaged on voyages that correspond to those that the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought is permitted to engage on:
    • (a) at least 3 months performing deck duties;
    • (b) a total of at least 3 months, consisting of (i) up to 6 weeks as master or chief mate while holding a certificate that authorizes the applicant to be in charge of the deck watch, which may be served on one or more vessels of at least 5 gross tonnage, and (ii) at least 6 weeks performing deck duties; or
    • (c) at least 6 weeks from an approved program of on-board training

Examination Requirements

  • Examinations on subject-matter appropriate to the area of operation and the type and gross tonnage of the vessel to which the certificate relates

Certificate Requirements for Chief Mate Limited 60 GT or More

  • If the vessel is a passenger-carrying vessel that does not carry a fireman’s outfit, MED with respect to small passenger vessel safety
  • If the vessel is not a passenger carrying vessel and does not carry a fireman’s outfit, (i) MED with respect to basic safety, or (ii) a practical examination on MED using the vessel’s emergency equipment;
  • If the vessel has boat or life-raft launching equipment, MED training with respect to survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats
  • If the vessel is carrying a fireman’s outfit, MED with respect to STCW basic safety
  • If the vessel is a ferry that has more than one enclosed deck and that either is used outside of the period commencing on March 31 and ending on December 1 or engages on voyages other than sheltered waters voyages, the following courses - (i) MED in advanced fire fighting, and (ii) MED for senior officers
  • SEN limited if the vessel is fitted with radar
  • Marine basic first aid
  • An appropriate radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act if the vessel is equipped with a VHF radiotelephone installation

Transport Canada Chief Mate Less Than 60 Gross Tonnage Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • Acquire at least 1 month of sea service, or at least two weeks of sea service from an approved program of on-board training, while performing deck duties on board one or more vessels of a gross tonnage at least equivalent to that of the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought while the vessels are engaged on voyages that correspond to those that the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought is permitted to engage on

Examination Requirements

  • Examinations on subject-matter appropriate to the area of operation and the type and gross tonnage of the vessel to which the certificate relates

Certificate Requirements

  • If the vessel is a passenger-carrying vessel, (i) MED with respect to small passenger vessel safety, (ii) MED with respect to basic safety and MED with respect to small seasonal passenger vessel safety (certificated personnel), or (iii) MED with respect to small seasonal passenger vessel safety (certificated personnel) and MED with respect to small seasonal passenger vessel safety (non-certificated personnel)
  • If the vessel is not a passenger carrying vessel, (i) MED with respect to basic safety, or (ii) a practical examination on MED using the vessel’s emergency equipment
  •  An appropriate radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act if the vessel is equipped with a VHF radiotelephone installation
  • Marine basic first aid

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

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