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UK MCA Written & Oral Examinations - Certificate of Competency

UK MCA Written and Oral Examinations and Syllabuses for Deck and Engine Department Certificate of Competency.

oow 500gt mca orals

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issues of Certificates of Competency for Deck Officers and Marine Engineer Officers in the Merchant Navy and Certificates of Equivalent Competency for UK Merchant Ships.

The MCA examination is aimed at ensuring the candidate’s ability to undertake the duties appropriate to the officer of the watch (OOW), chief mate, master, second engineer or chief engineer etc.

Oral examinations are part of the procedure for the attainment of all MCA certificates of competency, and all candidates must demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the English language.

Before being admitted to the MCA oral examination candidates must be in possession of a Notice of Eligibility (NOE). There is no requirement to hold an Notice of Eligibility prior to attending any of the following MCA approved written examinations -

  • SQA OOW written examinations for Navigation/Stability and Operations
  • SQA Chief Mate / Master written examinations for Navigation/Stability and Structure
  • SQA Management level written examinations for Engineering Knowledge – General/Motor or General/Steam.

When attending for examination, the following documents should be produced for scrutiny by the examiner:

  • Notice of Eligibility (if required for the exam);
  • discharge book or passport (if a discharge book is not held);
  • certificate of competency (if one is held);
  • Deck or Engineer (as appropriate) Record Book, if an approved course of training has been followed, or Vocational Qualification (VQ) portfolio of evidence (as appropriate).

Covid 19 Update

  • Written Exams: Where required the MCA will extend the validity date of an MCA Written Examination pass by up to 6 months if evidence can be provided that the Covid-19 period has affected the time taken to achieve the pass result. Anyone who is not able to attend an exam due to the potential spread of Coronavirus will not be treated as a fail and will be allowed to move their exam to the next date.
  • Oral Exams: Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the associated guidance, the MCA announced it was cancelling all face to face oral exams. The MCA has moved this process online.

mca 500gt ship

MCA Written Examinations

Deck Officers Written Examinations

Deck Yacht Officers Written Examinations

Engineer Officers Written Examinations

Engineer Yacht & SV Written Examination (Old Scheme)

Engineer Officer Small Vessel (SV) New Scheme 2021


  • Workboat Less Than 500 GT Syllabus
  • 1 day MCA Small Workboat Stability Course Syllabus

MCA Oral Examinations

STCW Deck Oral Examinations

  • STCW Reg - II/3 OOW Near Coastal - Ships Under 500GT
  • STCW Reg - II/3 and II/2 Master Near Coastal - Ships Under 500GT / Chief Mate Near Coastal - Ships Under 3,000GT / Chief Mate Unlimited - Ships Under 3,000GT
  • STCW Reg - II/1 OOW - Ships of 500GT and Above
  • STCW Reg - II/2 Chief Mate Unlimited and Master Unlimited - Ships Less Than 3,000GT
  • STCW Reg - II/2 Master Unlimited

STCW Engineer Oral Examinations

  • Engineer Officer Of the Watch

    • STCW Reg - III/1 Engineer Officer Of the Watch

  • Chief and Second Engineer Officers (Common Syllabus)

    • STCW Reg III/3 - Second Engineer - ships less than 3000 kW
    • STCW Reg III/3 - Chief Engineer - ships less than 3,000 kW
    • STCW Reg III/2 - Second Engineer
    • STCW Reg III/2 - Chief Engineer

MCA Maritime Security Certifications

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only. Please check with UK MCA for the accurate and latest information