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Transport Canada Chief Engineer and Third-Class Engineer Certificate of Competency Requirements for Canadian Seafarers

chief engineer canada

Chief Engineer is the engineer officer responsible for the mechanical propulsion and the operation and maintenance of the mechanical and electrical installations of a vessel (chef mécanicien). Working in the engineering department as a licensed mariner, a Chief Engineer is a highest ranking official onboard along with the Master.

The Chief Engineer must ensure that the engine room is suitable for inspection by coastguard authorities and ensures that there is a surplus of fuel and spare parts. In an emergency the Chief Engineer will assume complete control of the engine room. A Chief Engineer must be organized to efficiently maintain the engine room and must also be able to work under pressure and within time constraints in the event of an emergency. Man management skills are essential for a role in Marine Engineering at a senior level.

Note: Proposed new regulations of Transport Canada which will be effective some time in 2019 (MPR2019) may changethese requirements as they are planning to merge Third-class and Fourth-class Engineer competency to an STCW 2010 compliant Watchkeeping Engineer certification. 

ship engine room canada

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

Transport Canada Competency Requirements for Chief Engineer (Motor Ship and Steamship)


  • Hold a certificate of - Third-class Engineer, Motor Ship certificate, in the case of an applicant for a Motor Ship endorsement; or Third-class Engineer, Steamship certificate, in the case of an applicant for a Steamship endorsement.

Transport Canada Sea Service Requirements for Chief Engineer

  • At least 24 months of sea service as an engineer performing engine room duties on one or more vessels that have a propulsive power of at least 750 kW and motor vessels, in the case of an applicant for a Motor Ship endorsement; or steamships, in the case of an applicant for a Steamship endorsement

Transport Canada Certificate Requirements for Chief Engineer

  • Ship management practices taught using a propulsive plant simulator

Transport Canada Third-Class Engineer Requirements

Competency Requirements

  • Hold a certificate of - Fourth-class Engineer certificate with STCW endorsement

Sea Service Requirements

  • After having acquired the qualifying service required for a Fourth-class Engineer, Motor Ship or Steamship certificate, acquire at least 12 months of qualifying service as follows:
  • (a) at least 6 months of sea service as engineer in charge of the engineering watch or in charge of the machinery on one or more of the following vessels that have a propulsive power of at least 500 kW - (i) a motor vessel other than a stationary MOU, in the case of an applicant for a motor ship certificate, or (ii) on a steamship, in the case of an applicant for a steamship certificate
  • (b) up to 3 months of qualifying service in respect of attendance at a program or course, other than an approved training course, at a maximum rate of one day of service for every three days of attendance, if (i) the program or course substantially covers the subject matter of at least one of the examinations given below (ii) the applicant provides a testimonial indicating that the applicant has successfully completed that program or course; and
  • (c) any remaining time in a combination of the following types of service on one or more of the following vessels that have a power of at least 500 kW - (i) up to 3 months as an engineer on day work on board a vessel, (ii) up to 3 months of qualifying service in respect of time spent in laying up, fitting out or refitting as an engineer on board a vessel to be credited at a maximum rate of one day of qualifying service for each calendar day of at least 8 hours of work, (iii) service as an engineer on board a vessel without a propulsion system that is a motor or steam dredge, an MOU, a floating elevator or a similar vessel, to be credited at a rate of one-half the time served counting as qualifying service, and (iv) service as an engineroom rating performing watchkeeping duties in an engine room on board a motor vessel or steamship, to be credited at a rate of one-third the time served counting as qualifying service

Examination Requirements

  • (a)The following written examinations at the third-class engineer level, after obtaining a Fourth-class Engineer certificate - applied mechanics, thermodynamics, electrotechnology, and applied mathematics
  • (b) An examination on ship watchkeeping practices using a propulsive plant simulator, after providing the certificate referred (ship watchkeeping practices taught using a propulsive plant simulator)
  • (c) Written examination on general engineering knowledge at the third-class level, after meeting all the requirements above
  • (d) One of the following written examinations at the third-class level, after meeting the requirements of written examination on general engineering knowledge at the third-class level (i) engineering knowledge of motor vessels, in the case of an applicant for a Third-class Engineer, Motor Ship certificate, or (ii) engineering knowledge of steamships, in the case of an applicant for a Third-class Engineer, Steamship certificate; and
  • Oral examination on the knowledge set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) and a knowledge of the legislation relevant to the certificate sought, after passing the examination referred to in (d)

Certificate Requirements

  • 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
  • Marine advanced first aid
  • Ship watchkeeping practices taught using a propulsive plant simulator

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

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