AMSA Certification Update

(update 11 10 17)

AIMPE members are alerted to the fact that AMSA has developed a new online form for seafarers

to apply for a range of matters including:

   *   Revalidation of Certificate of Competency;

   *   Assessment of Sea Service;

   *   New Certificate of Competency; and

   *   Seafarer's Service Book.

This is an overview with a link to the online form:

amsa1578.pdf amsa1578.pdf (197.83 KB Wed Oct 11 11:24:41 2017)

The multi-purpose form must be completed online.

If you need to apply for more than one Certificate then you will need to complete a separate form for each one.

Once completed, it is necessary to print out the form and then take it to one of the approved Post Offices around the country.

Here is the AMSA list of Post Offices that can process your application:

AMSA1119.pdf AMSA1119.pdf (198.68 KB Wed Oct 11 11:40:56 2017).

New Entrants

If you are interested in how to become a Marine Engineer click here:

A_career_as_a_Marine_Engineer_-_9_October_2017.pdf A career as a marine engineer

And you could end up here....... 

inspecting the main engine of a vessel like the Lowlands Brilliance

ETO & Watchkeeper Training convergence

(uploaded 25 09 17)

How would a new-entrant applicant for Electro Technical Officer (“ETO”) training ever get the qualifying sea service required in order to be issued with an ETO Certificate of Competency?

We have enough trouble trying to obtain seatime for Watchkeeper applicants under existing Cadet/Trainee arrangements, but which ship-operator is prepared to put on an additional person as an ETO-in-training for the 6 months required by the Current Marine Order 72 text?


Four AIMPE members, all of them Electricians, did the ETO training course at AMC, which takes up to 2 years to try to turn students into an ETO, and all 4 consider the course to have insufficient practical training unless the applicant were already an Electrical Tradesperson or Marine Engineer. One of the 4 decided that as he was already doing half of the Watchkeeper subjects as part of his ETO training, he may as well do ALL the Watchkeeper subjects and as he already had all the sea service he needed, be issued with both ETO and Watchkeeper certificates of competency.


This is an important development because the biggest problem facing a graduate of that ETO course would be how to acquire the qualifying sea service on a vessel with at least 750kW total electrical generating capacity….and if one cannot get that service then the time and expense of that study will never result in issue of an ETO Certificate of Competency.


However, AMSA have revised and re-issued all their engineering FACT-SHEETS to emphasise:-

  1. An ETO applicant can do a few more subjects and get a Watchkeeper certificate; and
  2. A Watchkeeper applicant can do a few more subjects and get an ETO certificate; and
  3. A qualified ETO can go back to college and do a few more subjects and get a Watchkeeper certificate; and
  4. A qualified Class 1, Class 2 or Watchkeeper can go back to college and do a few more subjects and get an ETO certificate.


You will find AMSA’s ETO/STCW47 Fact-Sheet at

You will find AMSA’s WK/STCW44 Fact-Sheet at


The real advantage of these clarifications will be realised if vessel-operators join with AIMPE in promoting COMBINED ETO/WATCHKEEPER Cadet/Traineeships, even though the study period will be a little longer than doing only one. The vessel-operator will gain the services of a dual-qualified ETO/Engineer, and the industry gains a combined ETO/WK pathway to deliver the seaservice needed in order for an ETO qualification to actually be issued.


And, just to confuse you, AIMPE has produced a diagram showing all the engineering entry points and pathways, now including the ETO qualification.


So, if you know of someone who was thinking of becoming a new-entrant ETO or new-entrant WK Trainee or Cadet, speak to them about the advantages of doing both at the same time.

And if you are a vessel-operator and you would like to know more please contact me to discuss.


Henning Christiansen

AIMPE Director Professional Development   0419 400 324

Revalidation Short Course Requirements


 Revalidation of a Certificate of Competency requires appropriate sea-service of:-

 a. 12 months in total during the preceding 5 years before application, or

b. 3 months in total during the preceding 6 months prior to revalidating,

or one of the alternative options set out in Schedule 4 of Marine Order 72 (Marine Engineers).

 However, even if meeting the above, you must in addition each time you Revalidate (i.e. at 5 yearly intervals)  provide evidence of the following:-

1)      Security Awareness (STCW Code A-VI/6-1), [AIMPE Note: if you have proof of completing this anytime previously you DO NOT have to do this again] and

2)      Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats (STCW Code A-VI/2-1), [AIMPE Note: if you have proof of completing this anytime previously you DO NOT have to do the full course again, but MUST do a Refresher Course] and

3)      Advanced Fire Fighting (STCW Code A-V1/3) [AIMPE Note: if you have proof of completing this anytime previously you DO NOT have to do the full course again, but MUST do a Refresher Course].

We understand that most colleges have arrangements to provide the Refresher Course for item 2) Survival & item 3) Advanced Fire in a combined 2-day course.

 As to members’ enquiries about continued validity of their Medical First Aid Certificate, the second column on page 3 of AMSA “Fact Sheet STCW-06” deals with this by advising as follows:-

Validity Period for First Aid, Medical First Aid, Medical Care certificates issued under STCW

There is no STCW requirement for revalidation of first

aid, medical first aid, and medical care certificates issued

under STCW. However Maritime Labour Convention 2006,

Regulation 4.1, Guideline B4.1 Medical care on board ship

and ashore states:

“3. Persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this guideline

and any such other seafarers as may be required by the

competent authority should undergo, at approximately

five-year intervals, refresher courses to enable them to

maintain and increase their knowledge and skills and to

keep up-to-date with new developments.”

In view of this Guideline, maritime shipping companies

should determine whether it is necessary to maintain

currency of their certificate.


But as you can see those quoted words are text from the MLC, NOT the STCW, so are not an STCW requirement and, so far, are not reflected in Marine Orders.


Accordingly the legal position is that your Medical First Aid Certificate, once achieved, remains valid.


I hope this assists members.


Henning Christiansen,

Director Professional Development,



Electro Technical Officers

For important information on the issue of ETO Certificates as per below please go to

"News & Alerts - Latest News"

ETO Certificate of Competency:

Existing Electricians (& Engineers with Electrical Trade) please act now

Engineer Class 3

AMSA Guidance Notes for STCW Endorsement for Class 3 can be viewed here:

 STCW Endorsement Class 3 AMSA STCW Endorsement Class 3 AMSA (566.46 KB)


Marine Orders Part 72

In 2012 AIMPE fought against a proposal to introduce a revised Marine Order Part 3 relating to Marine Qualifications.

AIMPE saw the proposal as a threat to the standards of Marine Engineer Qualifications. The draft MO3 would have removed vital pre-requisites, reduced the length of training dramatically and eliminated the important final standard assurance measure of the Oral examination.

AIMPE lobbied hard across the Federal Parliament - and remember in 2012 the Federal Government (ALP) was a minority government.

With support from key cross bench MPs AIMPE was believed the numbers were there to defeat the proposed MO3 on the floor of the House of Representatives. The government believed it too and they withdrew the proposed MO3.

Subsequently in 2013 AIMPE proposed a separate Marine Engineers Qualifications Bill - see below for details. Ultimately this was not passed by the Parliament.

However in 2014 a different proposal was brought forward by the new Federal Government (L-NP) which restored a separate Marine Order for Marine Engineer Qualifications. The new Marine Order 72 delivered what AIMPE had been fighting for - a separate regulation and it also maintained all of the key elements of the training requirements which AIMPE had argued remained vital. MO72 can be found at:

MO72-issue-140220Z.pdf MO72-issue-140220Z.pdf (107.15 KB)

Marine Engineers Qualifications Bill 2013

Below you will find documents relating to the Marine Engineers Qualification Bill and related MO3 & MED and Class 3 issues.

Click on the link below to open the document.

AIMPE position on MED & Class 3 & the Qual Bill AIMPE position on MED & Class 3 & the Qual Bill (192.39 KB)

AIMPE request to AMSA to extend consultation period for MO3 AIMPE request to AMSA to extend consultation period for MO3 (86.54 KB)

AMSA response to MO3 extension request AMSA response to MO3 extension request (712.72 KB)

AIMPE submission on MO3 AIMPE submission on MO3 (146.61 KB)

Marine Eng's Qual Bill as moved by Coalition Marine Eng's Qual Bill as moved by Coalition (170.68 KB)

The Marine Engineers Qualifications Bill 2013 was introduced into Federal Parliament on 18 March 2013, by Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. The Bill and the Explanatory Memorandum can be downloaded here


Electro Technical Officer Certificate of Competency

Issue of an Electro-Technical Officer certificate of competency, read the AMSA Fact Sheet here: Electro-Tech AMSA Fact Sheet (334.48 KB)

Below is an explanation of the requirements of the Fact Sheet for an existing electrician undertaking electro-technical officer duties to be issued with an Electro-technical Offer certificate of competency (this is identified as option 1 on the Fact Sheet):

OPTION 1 – for those that were serving as electricians performing Electro-technical Officer (ETO) duties prior to 1 April 2014

Have completed at least 12 months documented sea service as an electrician performing electro-technical officer duties on ships with total installed electrical generation capacity of at least 750 kW.

(Note: the sea service may be counted up to 31 March 2014. This date is mandated by the STCW Convention as AMSA implemented the 2010 STCW amendments on1 April 2014; AMSA cannot therefore extend the date. To prove the sea service the applicant must include company letters (original or certified true copies) written on company letter head paper confirming the period served as electrician performing ETO duties):

 Hold an electrical trade certificate or equivalent:

(Note: the application form AMSA 419 must include a copy of the electrical trade held by the applicant. AMSA will accept an equivalent document)

 Complete the following approved STCW short courses:

- Basic Safety Training course, which includes Security Awareness Training,

- Advanced Fire Fighting,

- Medical First Aid.

(Note: above the courses are mandated by the STCW Convention and Marine Order 72. Some existing electricians holding a certificate of safety training may not hold a security awareness endorsement which is now a mandatory requirement – this course can be completed on line from an AMSA approved college).

 Hold the following valid certificates:

- Certificate in Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats,

(Note: above the course are mandated by the STCW Convention and a requirement of MO72).

- AMSA Certificate of Medical Fitness

(Note: this is a mandatory requirement of STCW Convention and MO 72).

The application form, AMSA419, and guidance notes may be obtained from

Please note all applications must be submitted through a participating Australia Post retail outlet (a list of post offices is displayed with the link above)

The fees for the issue of a certificate are listed in Fact Sheet 22

AIMPE's Position Paper (published 30 April 2013) for MED to Class 3 to Watchkeeper can be viewed here: MED & Class 3 Engineers: OUR Future (186.77 KB). 

 AIMPE re Class 3 Engineers - Decision of Federal Council June 2011

On 2 June 2011 the AIMPE Federal Council unanimously carried a resolution for AIMPE to explore with AMSA the possibility of further enhancing our proposed engineering reforms by asking AMSA to investigate:-

A graphic representation of the existing proposal AIMPE has already taken up with AMSA, together with how these two new proposals might appear, is set out below for members information and discussion. Your letters to the Editor on the subject will be welcomed:-


AIMPE has approached AMSA requesting them to create a BRIDGE to Watchkeeper for Class 3 holders without a Trade who can demonstrate (e.g. letter from company) 30 months of qualifying sea service MAINTAINING + operating on vessels above 750kW whilst holding Engineer Class 3.

zIf rather than the Class 3 workshop modules the applicant did the Watchkeeper-level workshop [competencies from Cadet-course] before this 30 months experience in lieu of a Trade then the 30 months period could be reduced to 24 months.

If the qualifying sea service meets the Watchkeeper qualifying sea service requirements a candidate who meets the above could gain entry to the Watchkeeper course and may require no further seatime before sitting the AMSA Orals for Watchkeeper.


Explore with AMSA their willingness to shorten to 18 months the experience requirements in our proposed BRIDGE to Watchkeeper for AMSA/STCW Class 3 holders with a non-approved Trade.


Explore with AMSA their willingness to also create a BRIDGE to Class 2 for AMSA/STCW Class 3 holders with an approved Trade.

Henning Christiansen                   Jim Mallows

Federal Secretary                     Director Professional Standards