Does my deck crew need a General Purpose Hand certificate?
This question has been asked a lot recently, and the answer is…it depends.
To find the answer, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.
- Does your crew carrying out deck duties relating to navigation, mooring, anchoring, cargo, or propulsion?
- When undertaking these deck duties is your crew under direct supervision, that is, are they frequently within sight and hearing of your vessel skipper, engineer or mate?
If you answer yes to both questions, then in most cases they will not need to have a GPH certificate.
If your crew work under general supervision, that is, they are not frequently within sight or hearing of the vessel skipper, engineer or mate, then they should hold a GPH certificate.
Transitional arrangements to GPH ticket
Between now and 31 December 2023, AMSA has in place a special ‘transitional arrangements’ which provide two alternatives options for crew to demonstrate evidence of training/experience, so they can apply for a General Purpose Hand certificate.
Option 1 – If they have completed either Elements of Shipboard Safety (ESS), or a Certificate of Safety Training (CoST) course:
- At least 30 days of sea service, performing GPH duties onboard a Domestic Commercial Vessel, recorded on an AMSA 771 record of sea service form.
Option 2 – If they have not completed any formal seafarer training (ESS, CoST or a GPH course):
- At least 180 days of sea service, performing GPH duties onboard a Domestic Commercial Vessel, recorded on an AMSA 771 record of sea service form, and
- A letter from your vessel’s owner, or master, stating that you are competent at the duties identified within the vessel’s safety management system (Marine Order 505 Schedule 1 s6 (12-15)
Note: If they are not able to complete a 771 form, a signed letter from the employer containing the same information required on a 771 form will also be accepted.
The crew will also have to meet medical fitness and first aid pre-requisites.
You can find all the information here.
Important disclaimer: This article is summary information only.
All information about seafarer certificates comes under Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency — national law) 2022.
This document has full details of the eligibility and other requirements for certificate applications.