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U.S. Coast Guard Requirements (General, Sea Service, Training & Other) for Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW) STCW Endorsement

uscg rfpnw

Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW) is a qualified rating and Certificate of Competency or Endorsement, designed to fulfill the requirements of regulation II/4 of the STCW Convention in the deck department. A Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW) is a qualified rating, designed to fulfill the Support Level in the deck department. STCW requires all ratings forming part of a navigational watch on seagoing vessels of 500gt and over to be duly certificated to perform these duties.

According to USCG Regulations, you can qualify for a Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch separately from the Able Seaman Endorsement. The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in section A-II/4 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type.

merchant ship rfpnw

You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for RFPNW

USCG RFPNW General Requirements

  • Age: 16
  • U.S. Citizenship, OR
  • Holds a valid MMC (except OUPV limited to non-documented vessels)
  • Alien admitted for permanent residence
  • Medical Certificate
  • Mariner must hold a national endorsement

USCG RFPNW STCW Endorsement Requirements

Sea Service Requirements

  • 180 days of seagoing service, which includes training and experience associated with navigational watchkeeping functions and involves the performance of duties carried out under the supervision of the master, mate, or qualified STCW deck rating, EXCEPT, as identified in National Crossover Table below. OR
  • Proof of successful completion of a Coast Guard-approved or accepted training, which includes - Not Less than 60 days of approved seagoing service
  • Note: Service on GL will be credited day for day up to 100%; Service on inland waters, other than GL, may substitute for up to 50% of the total required service; and Service on vessels to which STCW applies will be credited day for day


  • Evidence of meeting the Standards of Competence prescribed in section A-II/4 of STCW Code - Record of Practical Performance Assessments from NVIC 06-14

Approved Training

STCW Endorsement as RFPNW - National Crossover

approved training oicew 2
Table: STCW Endorsement as RFPNW - National Crossover Credits: USCG 

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

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