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MCA Small Vessels Second Engineer and Chief Engineer CoC Requirements (New Scheme) for Yachts, Tugs, Workboats, Seismic Survey, Research Vessels and Patrol Vessels

mca sv engineer

The MCA Small Vessel Engineering Certificates of Competency are for  engineers working in Yachts, Tugs, Fishing Vessels, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey, Oceanographic Research Vessels and Government Patrol Vessels. In 2021 they will replace the existing yacht, fishing, tug & government engineering qualifications.

After this time existing qualifications will be recognized, but if you wish to progress your qualification you will need to convert to a CoC in the new scheme. The route for certification is structured to provide a progressive career path for those in the industry to achieve Small Vessel engineer qualifications.


Small Vessels in this case are defined as being under 3,000 GT and with propulsion power under 9,000kW. There are no operational area restrictions and the SV Certificate of Competency can be used on any of these types of vessels within the limitations stated on their Certificate of Competency.

Small Vessel engineer CoCs will carry the following STCW functions -  Controlling the operation of the vessel and care for persons on board (function 3); Marine Engineering (function 4);  Electrical, Electronic and Control Engineering (function 5);and  Maintenance and Repair (function 6).

research vessel

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

MCA Engineer Officer Small Vessels CoC General Requirements




Limited to Fishing Vessels, Yachts, Tugs, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey, Oceanographic Research Vessels and Government Patrol Vessels

  • Meet the minimum age requirement
  • Complete the minimum period of seagoing service
  • Undertake the required ancillary technical and safety training
  • Complete the appropriate program(s) of education and training, meeting the minimum vocational and academic standard
  • Meet medical standards (including eyesight)
  • MCA oral examination must be passed within 3 years prior to the date of the issue of your Certificate of Competency

MCA Second Engineer Small Vessels Unlimited Less than 9000 kW, Less than 3000 GT Requirements (STCW III/2)

There are three routes to SV SECOND Engineer:

Approved Route Requirements

  • Hold an Approved Engine Course I & II (AEC I & II) – this not required if you are completing your seagoing service as Assistant Engineer;
  • Have completed 12 months’ combined sea service and workshop training, which must include - 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping or Unmanned Machinery Space (UMS) duties on vessels of at least 350 kW; 5 months’ seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW; 2 weeks MCA-approved Initial Workshop Skills Training; and a further 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
  • Complete the MNTB Small Vessel Training Record Book (TRB)6 during your seagoing service;
  • Complete the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer;
  • Successfully pass the MCA-approved written examinations for - Marine Diesel Engineering; Auxiliary Equipment Part - 1; and Operational procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship construction;
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates (see below)
  • Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent;
  • Complete MCA oral examination for Second Engineer Officers on Small Vessels less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, III/2

The Experienced Seafarer Route Requirements

To be eligible to register on a study program you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed 24 months’ seagoing service on vessels of at least 200 kW;
  • Hold an Approved Engine Course I & II (AEC I & II);
  • Hold basic STCW safety training certificates

Once gaining entry onto an MCA-approved course in addition to meeting the requirements you must complete the following requirements to be issued with a Notice of Eligibility (NOE) to sit an MCA oral examination:

  • Have completed - A further 11 months’ seagoing on vessel of 350 kW which must include a minimum of 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping or UMS duties; 2 weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training; and a further 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW or 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
  • Complete the SV Training Record Book (TRB) during your seagoing service

Graduate Engineer/HND/HNC/Apprenticeship Holders Route Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping duties or UMS duties. Seagoing service must be completed on vessels of at least 350 kW and you must document your onboard training during this period in an approved MNTB Small Vessel Training Record Book (TRB).
    • A Graduate (Degree), a holder of an MCA-approved HND in Marine Engineering Qualification or an engineering apprenticeship (NVQ level 3 or above), must complete - a further 5 months’ of seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW and either - An additional 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW OR 2 weeks of further MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
    • A HND student must complete a further 8 months’ of seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW and either - An additional 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW OR 2 weeks of further MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
    • A HNC holder must complete a further 11 months of seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW - An additional 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW OR 2 weeks of further MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training.
  • Hold an Approved Engine Course I & 2
  • 2 weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training; (d) Successfully complete the MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations - Marine Diesel Engineering; Auxiliary Equipment Part - 1; and Operational procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship construction.
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates listed in section 5; (f) Hold a valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent;
  • Pass the MCA oral examination for Second Engineer Officers on Small Vessels less than 9000 kW, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, III/2.

Exemptions

  • AEC I & II: An MCA-approved training provider may exempt you from the AEC I & II if you - Can demonstrate that your previous qualifications and experience cover the AEC OR You can complete all of the required seagoing service as an Assistant Engineer Officer under the sponsorship of a company.
  • MCA-approved initial Workshop Training 2 weeks: If you have previously completed Workshop Skills Training you may be exempt from completing it to gain your first Certificate of Competence.

MCA Small Vessels Chief Engineer Unlimited Less than 3000 kW, Less than 500 GT Requirements (STCW III/3)

  • Either hold a Second Engineer, less than 3000 kW, unlimited area, III/3, Certficate of Competency and complete at least 12 months seagoing service on vessels of at least 750 kW; OR
  • Hold a Second Engineer unlimited, III/2, Certificate of Competency.
  • Pass the MCA oral examination STCW Reg - III/3 Chief Engineer less than 3000 kW.

MCA Small Vessels Chief Engineer Officer Unlimited Less than 9000 kW, Less than 3000 GT Requirements (STCW III/2)

  • Have completed 24 months’ seagoing service which must include - 12 months as a SV Second Engineer or SV Chief Engineer while holding the applicable STCW Convention regulation III/2 Certificate of Competency. 6 months of this service must be complete on vessels of at least 750 kW; and 6 months of this service must be completed on vessels of at least 350 kW.
  • Successfully complete the MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations.
  • Complete either MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for General Engineering Science I & II; OR the Diploma in Maritime Studies Small Vessel and the Diploma in Maritime Studies Small Vessel Chief Engineer.
  • Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates
  • Pass the MCA oral examination for Chief Engineer Officer, less than 9,000 kW, less than 3,000 GT, unlimited area, STCW Reg III/3.

MCA Small Vessels Ancillary and Safety Course Requirements

mca small vessel certificates
Table: Ancillary and Safety Course Certification Small Vessels Engineer - Credits: MCA

  1. The MCA will accept certificates issued under the authority of any IMO 'White List' country.
  2. The MCA will accept certificates issued under the authority of any EU Member State, as well as Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
  3. Certificates must be MCA approved.

Comparison of Existing CoC to Small Vessels (SV) CoC

mca existing to sv engineer coc
Table: Existing Vs New Small Vessels Engineer CoC - Credits: MCA

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