Outcomes from review of AMSA Certificates of Competency (Marine Order 505)

All fishing vessels require masters and engineers to hold tickets (certificates of competency) to meet the type of vessel they are working on. The new AMSA legislative framework for these certificates can now be found under Marine Order 505 (previously NSCV Part 7).

A review has just been completed to ensure that the tickets are relevant to a wide range of roles and vessel marine operations, while maintaining safety standards. The review was part of the AMSA focus to develop a nationally consistent and simplified qualifications framework.

AMSA has finalised the revised Marine Order 505 and this will come into effect on 1 January 2023.

The new Marine Order includes all the previous content contained in NSCV Part D and makes no changes to the popular certificates Master 24 NC, Coxswain 1 and 2.

The following key changes have been made to the certificates:

  1. Coxswain Grade 3 – is a new near coastal certificate of competency which replaces the current Exemption 38 arrangements.
  • The Cox 3 ticket provides basic seamanship knowledge and skills, and it replaces the current Exemption 38 (Low complexity duties) arrangements.
  • A Cox 3 holder may operate small domestic commercial vessels in smooth waters or close to shore.
  • Cox 3 certificate holders are required to acquire job specific training and skills in accordance with their organisation’s Safety Management Systems (SMS), in addition to meeting the eligibility criteria for the certificate.
  • Importantly, a person who meets the eligibility criteria for the Coxswain Grade 3 can operate without having to apply for a certificate of competency.
  • Once the eligibility criteria have been satisfied, applying for a Coxswain Grade 3 certificate is optional.
  1. General Purpose Hand Certificate – is required for deck crew who are under ‘general supervision’. There is no requirement for a GPH ticket for crew under ‘direct supervision’.
  • direct supervision – means that the person being supervised is frequently within sight and hearing of the supervisor. (This is the case on most fishing vessels.)
  • general supervision – means that the person being supervised receives instruction and direction on tasks, and recurrent personal contact from the supervisor, but is not frequently attended by the supervisor.
  1. Replacement of the Master <35m with Master <45m
  2. Replacement of Master <80m with Master <100m
  3. Phasing out Mate <80m. No new tickets to be issued.

There were also some changes to the sea time requirements, endorsements and restrictions for the certificates of competency.

The standard for the assessment of medical fitness for masters and crew of domestic commercial vessels has been modified under the new Marine Order 505, and a medical certificate is now required for the ‘first issue’ of all certificates of competency, and the validity duration of the certificate varies depending on age.

Finally, the new Marine Order 505 incorporated the provisions for the approval of registered training organisations to conduct mandated practical assessments, and the conditions of the approval, with only minor changes to the previous arrangements.

The full Marine Order 505 and explanatory documents can be found here.