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Approved Engine Courses (AEC1 and AEC2) for Small Vessel Engineer on Yachts, Tugs, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey and Similar Small Vessels

approved engine course aec

Article IX of the STCW Convention allows an administration to adopt alternative arrangements of education and training for special types of ships and trades. The MCA has utilized this alternative arrangement to create a certificate structure for this course.

The aim MCA Approved Engine Course is to give the basic training to the engineer officers who want to pursue a career on Small Vessels - Fishing Vessels, Yachts, Tugs, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey, Oceanographic Research Vessels and Government Patrol Vessels - of less than 3000 GT and Power Less than 9,000 kW with Unlimited Area of operation. This training is relevant to wide ranges of personnel that require the knowledge and understanding to build up a career as an Engineer of a Small Vessel.


Approved Engine Course (AEC) is divided in two parts, AEC I and AEC II. The previous AEC is modified to AEC 1. The AEC 2 is an enhanced continuation with the delivery of approximately 50% practical tasks and half (50%) theory. The AEC part I and part II will be termed as the full AEC. The Approved Engine Course 1 (AEC 1) is a Non-STCW certificate.

While the MCA recognizes these qualifications, it cannot guarantee recognition internationally. Holders of these certificates should check the certification requirements of the local Port State Control Administration prior to entering their jurisdiction.

Entry Requirements

  • Age: 18 years
  • AEC1: There is no entry qualification specified to join this course
  • AEC2: Must have completed MCA approved AEC 1 course or equivalent (where one can clearly demonstrate that previous qualifications and experience held cover the contents of the AEC 1 syllabus) or possess a suitable exemption

mca approved engine course

You may also read: UK MCA Small Vessel Engineer Requirements

Approved Engine Courses (AEC)




Approved Engine Course 1 (AEC1)

  • The AEC 1 (35 hours) basic theoretical learning and relevant practical hands-on trainings course, provides base foundation for Small Vessel engineers from the course participants and enable students to carry out regular servicing of onboard machinery/equipment by developing a greater understanding of possible faults before they develop into major problems.
  • The aim of AEC1 course is to provide students with the basic theoretical knowledge and some practical hands-on experience of diesel engines and systems to enable them to meet the requirements of the MCA Codes of Practice for the Safety of Large Commercial Sailing & Motor Vessels, the Safety of Small Commercial Motor Vessels and the Safety of Small Workboats & Pilot Boats.

AEC1 Syllabus

  • General principles of the operation of the compression ignition engine and spark ignition engine
  • General principles of the cycle of operation and constructional details of diesel engines
  • Safe operation of the fuel system and management of fuel oil
  • General principles and purposes of air in the combustion process
  • Safe operation of the cooling system, including maintenance of pumping components
  • Maintain the lubrication system and associated equipment
  • Electrical distribution system on-board
  • Power transmission arrangements
  • Hull fittings, ship-side valves, protective coatings and cathodic protection
  • Legislative requirements
  • Pollution prevention and management of safe working practices

Approved Engine Course 1 (AEC2)

  • The AEC 2 (35 hours) basic theoretical learning and relevant practical hands-on trainings course, may be completed individually or together with the MCA AEC 1 Course. This short course provides base foundation for Small Vessel engineers from the course participants and enable students to carry out regular servicing of onboard machinery/equipment by developing an understanding of possible faults developing before they become major problems.

AEC2 Syllabus

  • Function of the components and their arrangement in a compression type refrigerant plant, and is able to demonstrate competency in basic fault finding
  • Legislative and management requirements within engineering operations
  • Maintenance systems onboard
  • Safe operations when undertaking lifting and/or slinging operations
  • Electrical distribution system on-board
  • Maintain basic hydraulic systems
  • Theoretical knowledge that would allow them to complete the practical skills to undertake basic maintenance
  • Practical skills to undertake basic maintenance
  • Potable fresh water system onboard
  • Sewage system onboard

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