The plethora of recently introduced mandatory courses for superyacht crew has raised questions about crew who must, as a result, take these fresh compulsory courses despite having already taken an equivalent in the past – costing that crewmember both time and money. But, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has done its bit to show awareness of this problem and has extended ‘grandfathering’ - an industry term used to refer to a crewmember getting a certificate of Proficiency (CoP) or Certificate of Competency (CoC) based on previous experience without having to complete a course – for existing crew pertaining to the new ISPS security courses (details of which have recently been covered in a separate article).

The MCA’s Marine Information Note (MIN) 480 (M) outlines: “[New security training] regulations came into force on 1 January, 2012, however Port State Control officers have been requested by the IMO [International Maritime Organization] not to enforce these regulations until 1 July, 2015, provided that the vessel otherwise complies with the ISOS Code. Due to the extension of this deadline, the MCA will continue to issue CoPs for security awareness and designated security duties until 1 July, 2015, to seafarers who have obtained the relevant sea service and experience in the five years immediately prior to 1 January, 2014.”



Until 1 July, 2015, crewmembers have the chance to be issued with a CoP in Security Awareness, providing the crewmember has at least six months’ sea service “in any given capacity in the five years prior to 1 January, 2014. A CoP in Designated Security Duties can also be issued to crew who have at least six months’ sea service which has included designated security duties in the five years prior to 1 January, 2014.

Documentary evidence of the sea service must be provided and, according to the MCA, may take the form of discharge book entries or sea service testimonials. And, where applicable, they must include a separate statement on company-headed paper, signed by the master or other company official, stating the mentioned sea service included the designated security duties.


"Grandfathering is always a great opportunity for existing crew who deserve to obtain a certificate based on their previous experience rather than having to undertake a new course."



“Grandfathering is always a great opportunity for existing crew who deserve to obtain a certificate based on their previous experience rather than having to undertake a new course,” explains Lars Lippuner, head of business development at Warsash Superyacht Academy. “The extended deadline means that those who have at least six months’ sea service prior to 1 January, 2014, can still apply for the new Proficiency in Security Awareness – or event  the Proficiency in Designated Security Duties, if they had prior security duties –  until 1 July, 2015, by simply sending a form to the MCA.”

This news is yet more proof that the MCA is not only listening to the maritime industry, but is being proactive to what it’s heard and is responding, all in a bid to ease the increasingly complex certification process of today’s crew in an increasingly regulated industry.

Download the MCA’s MIN 480 (M) here.