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Swapping land Qualifications into Sea Qualifications
Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 11:12 AM
Joined: 06/01/2015
Posts: 2

Hi my name is Joshua, i have just recently move to Antibes and looking for a start in engineering. I have 2 trades in heavy diesel one in industrial and one in road transport also an automotive cert also i have been working around heavy diesel and small diesel engines of all varieties for about 9 years now including . I am currently booked in to an AEC course to hopefully help myself get some work. I have been told by a couple of engineers around the docks saying that it is possible to get my trade certs recognised and put towards a y4. i was hoping someone would be able to tell me of the process of this or if it is possible? and do i need sea time and how much? and any other courses i would also need to do to acquire a Y4
                   kind regards Joshua

Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8:24 PM
Joined: 16/04/2014
Posts: 2

Yes spot on you can get your trade certs recognised by the MCA if they are deemed to be an acceptable apprenticeship, which will in turn significantly reduce the amount of sea and service time you need to log before you are eligible to then sit the various courses required to gain your Y tickets.
In order to do this you need to apply for an LIA:
Have a read through this: MGN 156 - This will tell you how you go about getting Y4 and beyond, and what courses are required as well as your sea and service time requirements. The short and simple of it I will paste below, take note of the text in bold text:

6.7.1 There are two routes for progression to engineer officer (yacht) certification: one relates to personnel who have completed a UK craft apprenticeship, and the other to non-UK personnel or UK personnel who have not completed a UK craft apprenticeship. 

6.3 Chief Engineer Certificate of Competency - (Yacht 4)

6.3.1 Entry requirements

Candidates must be

  1. not less than 19 years of age; and

  2. hold a valid ENG 1 medical fitness certificate;

and have successfully completed:


c. (i)

42 months service as a yacht engineer which must include at least 6 months accumulated actual sea service; or

  1. (ii)  an MN MEOL basic engineering craft skills training or MCA approved formal engineering craft training plus 36 months service as a yacht engineer which must include at least 6 months accumulated actual sea service; or

  2. (iii)  a UK engineering craft apprenticeship acceptable to the MCA plus12 months service as a yacht engineer which must include at least 6 months accumulated actual sea service; or

  3. (iv)  12 months service as a yacht engineer which must include at least 6 months accumulated actual sea service; whilst holding a MEOL(Y); or

  4. (v)  12 months service as a yacht engineer whilst holding a MEOL( MN); or

  5. (vi)  6 months service as a yacht engineer whilst holding a MN Senior Marine Engine Operator licence;

d. the ancillary courses listed in paragraph 9.2 below.

I was fortunate to get an exemption for 30 months yacht service time from the 42 months required for Y4, meaning I only need 12 months yacht service, 6 of which need to be actual sea time. It is well worth trying to obtain an LIA if you plan on pursuing your Y qualifications, just be prepared to wait as it can take up to 7 months for MCA to process your LIA application. 

Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 9:11 PM
Joined: 06/01/2015
Posts: 2

Thank you very much i found this very helpful, I will have to email the MCA and see if they accept Australian trades. I spoke to a lady at a crew agency and she said that the UK doesnt accept Australian trades, but i will have to clarify that with them. Did you apply benwark as soon as you got a job on a yacht? (the lady also suggested that i wait until i have 12 months work done before i apply; which seems not right for me with the very long processing time)
Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 9:27 PM
Joined: 16/04/2014
Posts: 2

My trades are kiwi so I'm in the same boat (I was an aircraft engineer back home), I went through a process with something called a NARIC. Basically you provide them with your Australian qualifications, and they give you a statement of comparability showing what the equivalent British qualification is.

If it is the equivalent of N/SVQ Level 3 then the MCA will tend to accept it (don't hold me to it though, depends entirely on your trade/apprenticeship from what I gather).

You then submit this NARIC statement with your LIA application.

No I submitted my application before I left for Europe to look for work, you don't need to have worked on a yacht before in order to apply, as they are assessing your training pre-yachting if that makes sense? It's worth a go regardless, as if your trades are accepted its a big help.

Good luck mate wink 

Steven Barclay
Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 2:12 AM
Joined: 21/04/2013
Posts: 1

I have completed the process that you need to do to transfer your trade certs. I'm from nz but have an Aussie diesel fitting trade cert. Cert III engineering as you have. 

You first need to get your trade recognised by AMSA (australian maritime safety authority) as a trade that is eligible to enter into their engineering officer program. Without this the MCA cant process your LOIA. From what I have been told their are three trade that are acceptable to AMSA. Diesel fitting, electrical fitting and fitter & turner trades. Once you have the letter from AMSA you can move onto to getting your trade recognised by the MCA. it is a similar process to that with AMSA basically providing evidence via letters, certificates and references to prove your trade is acceptable. 

All the relative information is online on AMSA and the MCA's websites. I have found them both helpful and reasonably quick to reply to emails etc. It is not very expensive for either LOIA at around $150 per one. It took a couple of months per letter to come through and it can take a lot longer so prepare for that. It's worth doing though as it knocked thirty months of my yacht time. 

My suggestion would be to complete your AEC as most boats need it for insurance purposes. It will be like first year apprentiship classes for you as it is all very basic and made for people with no mechanical background. 

After this find a job as a deck/engineer to get you started and once your LOIA comes through you'll find it easy to get a position as a second on a motor yacht around 50 meters. 

Hope this info speeds up the process for you.