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Transport Canada Able Seaman, Bridge Watch Rating, Engine Room Rating, and Ships' Cook Rating Requirements for Canadian Seafarers

merchant navy ratings

An Able Seaman (AB) is the second lowest position in a merchant ship and above the ordinary seaman position. AB helps ensure the safe operation of boats and large ships and may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles. Another important duty is overseeing the safety of the vessel, including maintaining security and making sure that the work areas are clear of hazards.

Bridge Watch Rating (BWR) is an entry level position on marine vessels and the rating is certified to stand as look-out and who can serve on the helm during the watch. Every deck watch on large commercial vessels requires at least two members, the Watchkeeping Officer and the Bridge Watch Rating.

The Engine Room Rating (ERR) is helps the engineers and act as maintenance assistant; they are responsible for checking, stowage and the security of engine-room stores and takes orders from the engineer officer. They also operate and service main propulsion and auxiliary machinery under supervision and carry out engine room watchkeeping duties under supervision.

Ships Cook prepares cook and plan complete meals or individual dishes for vessel staff. The duties include - supervise kitchen staff and helpers, order supplies and equipment, clean kitchen and work areas, prepare meals, cook meals, plan menus, determine proper size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies.

merchant navy ship

Merchant Navy ratings may work in either the engine room, on deck or in the galley (ships kitchen) and their duties depend on which part of the ship they work in

Transport Canada Able Seaman (Able Seafarer) Requirements


Sea Service Requirements

  • At least 36 months of sea service on one or more vessels as a rating performing deck duties

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
  • Steering testimonial attesting to the ability to steer and containing the declaration
  • Marine basic first aid

Examination Requirements

  • The following examinations on general seamanship, after meeting the other requirements above –
  • A written examination
  • A practical examination

Transport Canada Bridge Watch Rating (BWR) Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • The following sea service performing bridge watchkeeping duties on one or more vessels -
  • At least 6 months; or
  • At least 2 months if successfully completed an approved training program in bridge watchkeeping duties

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
  • Steering testimonial attesting to the ability to steer and containing the declaration
  • Marine basic first aid

Examination Requirements

  • Written examination on general seamanship, after meeting the other requirements above

Transport Canada Engine Room Rating (ERR) Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • At least 6 months of qualifying service consisting of (i) at least 3 months of sea service as an engine-room rating, and (ii) any remaining time in any combination of the type of service required for a Fourth-class Engineer requirements
  • If the applicant has obtained a training certificate in engine-room rating duties, at least 3 months of qualifying service consisting of (i) at least 2 months of sea service as an engine-room rating, and (ii) any remaining time in any combination of the type of service required for a Fourth-class Engineer requirements

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
  • Marine basic first aid

Examination Requirements

  • One of the following examinations on the duties of an engine-room rating, after meeting the other requirements above -
  • A written examination, or
  • An oral examination

Transport Canada Ships Cook Requirements

Service Requirements

  • Acquire at least 1 month of qualifying service on one or more vessels as a ship’s cook or cook’s helper

Certificate Requirements

  • MED with respect to STCW basic safety
  • Marine advanced first aid

Examination Requirements

  • Written examination on the duties of a ships cook, and
  • practical examination on the duties of a ships cook unless the applicant provides the examiner with (i) a cook certificate recognized by a province, or (ii) a training certificate indicating that the applicant has successfully completed a cooking course

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

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