Steps are being made towards allowing superyacht captains with Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) qualifications to gain Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Certificates of Competency (CoCs), which would allow them to return to work in Australian waters.

The AMSA qualifications department has reached out to the superyacht industry and has formed a committee to consider the MCA qualification stream and compare it to that of AMSA, and ascertain exactly what CoCs could be awarded to those returning to Australia with only MCA qualifications.



“This is a huge step forward as we, the yachting professionals, have been lobbying AMSA for years to make it easier and more straightforward for returning captains who hold MCA qualifications to convert these to Australian qualifications, in order to be able to work back home,” explains Donna Morris, director of Superyacht Crew International and member  of the lobbying committee.

The committee is reviewing the following qualifications: OOW (yachts < 300gt), Chief Mate (Yachts < 3,000gt), Master (Yachts < 500gt) and Master (Yachts < 3,000gt). Basic Safety Training, Yachtmaster 200gt and Yachtmaster Ocean, Navigational Watch Rating, GMDSS radio operators certificate and ENG1 have already been reviewed.

“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,” Morris adds.


"We, the yachting professionals, have been lobbying AMSA for years to make it easier and more straightforward for returning captains who hold MCA qualifications to convert these to Australian qualifications, in order to be able to work back home."



Under currently legislation, captains with MCA qualifications who are wishing to return to Australia to continue working on board must take significant time and efforts to get the relevant qualifications. Some, according to Morris, have even given up and left Australia due to the frustrations. “It is this that we wish to avoid in the future so that we will have sufficient mariners to fill jobs in all sectors of the maritime industry,” explains Morris. “Currently yacht captains and senior deck and engine crew with MCA qualifications only are restricted to working on private yachts.”

On 19 and 20 May, 2015, the ASMEX conference will be taking place in Sanctuary Cove, Queensland, Australia, an AMSA representative will present to delegates, and it is anticipated that an update will be made as to the progress of this initiative. The Crew Report will bring readers an update as soon as possible after the event.