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MCA Engine Room Rating Certificate of Proficiency (COP) Requirements for Working in the UK Registered Merchant Ships

mca engine room ratings

Engine Room Ratings are involved in assisting the up-keeping of the Engine Room, including maintaining the main engine, generator and auxiliary equipment, and more. They are responsible for - keeping all machinery spaces and equipment clean and free of hazards to ensure a safe working environment; understand the tasks to safely discharge or receive fuel, lube and dirty oils, and in handling engine room chemicals; perform all watchkeeping duties assigned, standing fire watches, and becoming familiar with the layout of the vessel; perform or assist in all maintenance activities; maintain good mechanical skills and judgment, with the ability to follow written and oral instructions to name a few.

Every Rating forming part of an engine room watch, or with designated duties to perform in a periodically unmanned engine room, on a seagoing ship powered by main propulsion machinery of 750kW propulsion power or more, must be certificated to perform such duties.

engine room rating at work

You may also read: International Maritime Organisation (IMO) STCW Requirements for Ratings 

MCA General Requirements for Engine Room Rating


  • Meet the minimum age requirements (lowest minimum age is 16)
  • Complete the minimum period of seagoing service
  • A valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent
  • Complete the appropriate programs of education and training
  • Hold applicable ancillary and safety course certificates

MCA Engine Room Watch Rating (ERWR) Certificate (STCW A-III/4) Requirements

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have at least 6 months’ seagoing service on vessels2 with at least 350kW in propulsion power; this seagoing service can be reduced to 2 months with 'special training' i.e. when following an Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB)/ Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) approved or accepted qualification
  • Have completed the Basic Safety Training
  • Have completed the ERWR training record book or the relevant section of the MNTB training record book (TRB)
  • If you hold a Motorman or non-STCW ERWR Certificate and have appropriate seagoing service in the engineering department, of either 6 months’ seagoing service within the last 5 years; OR 3 months’ seagoing service within the last year. You can complete the basic safety training to upgrade to an ERWR Certificate STCW Code A-III/4.
  • You can obtain an ERWR Certificate from an MCA-approved or you can apply directly to the MCA’s Seafarer Training and Certification Branch

MCA Able Seafarer Engine Certificate (STCW A-III/5) Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the requirements for certification as a UK Engine Room Watch Rating under the STCW Convention regulations III/4
  • While qualified to serve as a UK Engine Room Watch Rating, complete either - At least 6 months’ seagoing service on vessels with at least 350kW in propulsion power and approved training. The approved training can be the attainment of a Diploma in Maritime Studies Able Seafarer Engine Room (MSQ/MSA); OR 12 months’ seagoing service as a rating on vessels with at least 350kW in propulsion power and pass an MCA-approved Engine Course
  • Complete the relevant sections of the MNTB TRB while serving on board

Required Ancillary Safety Training for Engine Room Ratings

mca engine room rating courses
Table: Ancillary and Safety Course Certification for Engine Room Ratings - Credits: MCA

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

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