The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has announced that, beginning in early 2016, it will offer four new certificates of competency for mariners working on commercial motoryachts.
The new qualifications include:
Watchkeeper Deck <3000GT Yachts with Deck Rating endorsement (Endorsement for Master <200GT optional)
Chief Mate <3000GT Yachts
Master <500 GT Yachts
Master <3000 GT Yacht
AMSA has drafted Marine Order 743 (Master and deck officer yachts) that offers details for the new qualifications. It is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2016.
Similar qualifications exist in the UK and New Zealand, and Marine Order 74 will allow AMSA to recognize equivalent certificates issued by the MCA and Maritime New Zealand.
AMSA will recognize sea time gained on any vessel (not just “trading vessels”) of qualifying size.
“It is a huge step forward to have an easier and more straightforward process for returning captains who hold MCA qualifications to convert these to Australian qualifications, which would allow them to return to work in Australian waters on commercial vessels,” AMSA said in a statement. “The new initiative is aimed at making the transition smoother and easier to understand, with training schools clued in as to which areas need to have bridging courses designed to bring the captains’ skills and qualifications up to par with the Australian requirements.”