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Warsash Maritime Academy is an exam centre for IAMI (International Association of Maritime Institutions) exams. Exam results are usually available within six weeks of sitting the exam and will be communicated by Warsash Maritime Academy. It is recommended that you leave us your address to send you your pass certificate.
There are two distinct progression routes, depending upon your particular circumstances with respect to your current employment, one being to get a Marine Engine Operators Licence (MEOL). This consists of an oral exam at the MCA. You are not required to attend a study course before this but will need to get a Notice of Eligibility (NOE). To be eligible for an MEOL you will need to have accrued the relevant sea service time and have passed the Skills Test. Warsash Superyacht Academy has produced a full study guide with examples of the types of questions that you will be asked during your oral exam.
You do not have to follow this path and can go straight to the Y4 (NOE and sea service described later on).
Once you have your NOE you can then go ahead and book your oral exam at any of the MCA offices throughout the UK. The MCA office you have chosen will not confirm your booking until you have received your NOE. (note: the list now includes Falmouth) Be aware that they do have busy periods so it is best to book your oral well in advance to ensure you get your preferred date. Click here for a list of MCA Marine Offices.
Yacht engineer candidates with previous engineering experience (even if it’s non maritime related) or previous sea service can apply to the UK MCA for a Letter of Initial Assessment. The MCA will require details of your qualifying sea service, engineering qualifications and any craft apprenticeship served, together with any course certificates (first aid, fire fighting, sea survival etc). This letter will effectively map out your career progression, listing course details and required sea service from your current level up to a Y1 Certificate of Competency. To be assessed you must download and submit the relevant application form.
This a seafarers medical fitness certificate which must be renewed every two years. You must have a valid certificate work at sea. A list of approved doctors, both in the UK and overseas, can be found on the MCA website.
When you have accrued sufficient sea service to sit an oral examination with the MCA, you are required to apply for an NOE. This form can be downloaded from the MCA website and must be returned with ORIGINAL COPIES all of your supporting documentation (sea service testimonials, STCW certificates, exam pass certificates and ENG1) to prove that you are eligible for an oral examination.
This is an elementary engineering course designed for masters and chief mates who don’t have an engineer on board, and candidates starting their career as an engineer on yachts. It is a combined classroom and workshop based course of 30 hours’ duration and will teach you the fundamental skills and knowledge required to start you on your career. It is not a requirement to have completed this course, but if you are just starting out it shows commitment, willingness to progress, and will increase your employability. To be accepted on this course you must be over 18 years of age.
There are five basic training modules that every person working at sea is required to complete before they can be employed on a UK-registered vessel. This is a mandatory safety requirement and more advanced versions of these modules will have to be completed as your career progresses.
More information about the courses
The engineering section of the MCA Seafarer Training and Certification department can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: +44 (0)23 8032 9231 – select option 2 for the engineering team.
You will need to get experience working on board a yacht in in order to gain seatime towards your Y4 Certificate of Competency (CoC). The route that you must follow is well mapped out, however your previous experience and qualifications may give you exemptions from some or all of the Y4 modules. To avoid paying for courses that you do not need you should apply to the MCA for a Letter of Initial Assessment.
See our progression chart for yacht engineers.
Y4, Y3 and Y2 modules are valid for three years from the date of issue of the pass certificate. If you have not passed your oral exam and all three modules within a three-year period, your modules will expire and you will have to take them again. Gaining your CoC removes this requirement for the modules appertaining to that certificate.
Warsash Maritime Academy is an ELCAS approved training provider. If you have ELCAS funding available to you, you can use it to pay for your training. All you need to do is let us know that you will be accessing your ELCAS funding, and provide us with the relevant forms to complete on your behalf when making a booking with us.
Candidates undertaking an MCA written exam conducted by SQA/IAMI who have been diagnosed as dyslexic by either an educational psychologist or a specialist dyslexia teacher may be allowed an extra 15 minutes for each hour of normal examination time. Please note that the request for the extra time must be made at least two weeks prior to the exam date and must be accompanied by the relevant paperwork.
The MCA will not allow the use of readers, scribes or computers; however, other aides such as tinted film etc are permitted. If you have been assessed, and an increased exam time has been agreed, it will remain valid for all future exams, until the tenth anniversary of the assessors report.
MIN 435 explains the MCA dyslexia policy in detail.
You can resit the examination at a licensed SQA examination centre anywhere in the world. They will require you to produce the relevant course completion certificate and pay the SQA exam fee plus their administration costs. An exam paper will only be released by the SQA if there are five or more students sitting that particular paper, so in practice you will only be able to resit if an exam centre is advertising the particular module you need. Warsash Superyacht Academy is committed to our students’ success. We will therefore allow a student who has one of our course completion certificates to attend the entire module again, as a revision course, prior to resitting the exam. This is offered at the reduced rate of £495, can be booked at any time and includes the examination plus administration fees, as well as an up-to-date study guide.
It depends upon how badly you fail. If you didn't come up to the required standard, the examiner will advise you of what you failed on and suggest a suitable strategy. However if you made a fundamental error with respect to safety then a sea time penalty may be imposed. MIN 451 gives further guidance on retaking oral exams.
HELM stands for Human Element, Leadership and Management and was brought in as part of the Manila Amendments to the STCW Code (also known as STCW2010).
Seafarers must complete the corresponding HELM course for their Certificate of Competency (CoC):
We have scheduled our courses so they fit the yacht OOW and Master modules as well as yacht engineering Y4 to Y2 modules.
HELM(O) - course details HELM(M) - course details Warsash was the first training provider to achieve approval for both HELM(O) and HELM(M) and was closely involved in establishing the syllabus for these courses.
You can take your documents to the MCA in Southampton and they will take photocopies of the originals. If you are not able to do this, sending by courier or Royal Mail recorded delivery is the next best thing. If you are studying at Warsash, the deck course leader and a few other members of staff have been given permission by the MCA to authenticate photo copies of your ORIGINAL documents, so you do not have to trust them to the postal service.
Your best way forward is to get practical experience on yachts and learn on the job. Ideally you will have transferable skills from school (woodwork, metalwork or similar). Your first step is to get a position on a yacht to achieve a minimum of one month’s service as a yacht engineer. This will qualify you to attend a Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) recognised training provider and obtain an Approved Engine Course (AEC) Certificate. Warsash Superyacht Academy is in partnership with yacht recruitment agencies that can assist in this process.
If you have good GCSE or A-level grades, the most cost and time effective method of getting onto a superyacht is to enrol in the merchant navy as an engineer officer cadet. You will be paid a wage by a sponsoring company; they will also pay your course fees. At the end of a three year period of study (depending upon starting qualifications) you should be awarded a Merchant Navy Officer of the Watch certificate. This is much quicker than the Yacht 4 route and is a far superior qualification, which has fewer limitations on the size and power of yacht you will be able to work on. It will also speed up your career progression towards Chief Engineer.
A Notice of Eligibility is valid for five years from date of issue, and for three years after a successful oral exam. You must apply for your NOE well in advance of your anticipated exam date as they can take up to six weeks to be processed. For more information on how to apply for an NOE visit the MCA website and look for section titled: Commercial and Private Yachts
Provided that you have accrued sufficient sea time and yacht service you can apply for a Notice of Eligibility; this will allow you to sit an oral examination at the MCA.
There is no substitute for hard work and pre-study! It is strongly recommended that you read your study guides and from them try to answer the selection of past questions that we supply you. You may find that you need to search the internet to gain additional information before you fully understand the problem. By this means you will arrive at Warsash ‘knowing what you don’t know’, and this will then enable you to focus your studies during the course.
No, because of the amount of time and effort involved in improving them to ensure they reflect current practice; they are only available when booking a course.
MEOL(Y) notes can be purchased on their own.
On a merchant ship all time spent on board counts as sea time, however the MCA recognises that yachts spend a lot of time tied up alongside on shore power, with very little machinery actually running. The qualifying service period is therefore broken into two distinct categories:
Sea time: a period spent at sea with main machinery running (anchorage counts) and yacht service: time spent on board in charge of the engine room.
You must ensure that your service testimonial clearly differentiates between them!
The MCA will, in some cases, accept up to three months in a repair yard as yacht service. This is dependent upon the candidate being able to prove that there was a significant amount of engineering work taking place and that they were actively engaged with it.
It is highly recommended that you do not leave the merchant navy (MN) until you have obtained your Class 2 CoC, as this will allow you to reassess your career choice at any point from position of strength. With a Class 2 CoC you only require six months’ yacht service to enable you to sit a Y1 oral examination. Many owners are beginning to recognise that MN officers have undergone a much more robust training regime than yacht engineers and are prepared to pay a premium for this. The large yachts, because of their tonnage and engine size, can only employ engineers with a full MN CoC, however not all MN personnel are considered suitable for superyachts: they generally prefer to recruit staff with the social skills obtained from serving on cruise ships. (tattoos and piercings are a definite no) NOTE: do not fall foul of the difference between sea time and yacht service when going for a superior qualification.
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