Information

Careers in Compliance: working at sea

Compliance is the operational Division of Marine Scotland and is responsible for managing the coastal, sea and air assets of Marine Scotland.


AB/ Seaman/ Petty Officer

An Able Seaman or Efficient Deckhand plays an important role on the bridge. They act as lookout for the Officer of the Watch, who is responsible for navigating the ship, and they also carry out all general deck maintenance on board the vessel, under the direction of the First Officer Executive and Chief Petty Officer. They are also members of the emergency team which means that they have vital role in firefighting lifesaving, damage control and preparing safety equipment on board in the event of an emergency. Lastly, they also assist Boarding Officers when inspecting fishing vessels at sea.

Qualifications/skills required

The entry level is Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) which can lead on to an Able Seaman certificate. Currently the only entry route to EDH is to be sponsored by a shipping company as it requires candidates to undertake time at sea on a merchant ship, as well as some classroom based learning and tuition on seamanship skills.

To obtain an EDH certificate you need:

  • Personal Survival Techniques,
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Security Duties
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • ENG1 seafarer’s medical
  • Navigational Watch Rating Certificate
  • 12 months sea time on sea going merchant ships

To obtain an AB certificate you need to hold the following certificates:

  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • ENG1 seafarer’s medical
  • Navigational Watch Rating Certificate*
  • Security Duties
  • EDH certificate
  • CPSC & RB (Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats) or CPSC (Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft) or an acepted MCA life boat qualification
  • At least 24 months sea time in the Deck department, or 36 months as a GP (General Purpose Rating) of at least 12 months on Deck duties, is also required.

* Navigational Watch Rating Certificate has to be applied for by a UK MCA approved company and can only be obtained onboard a vessel. To obtain this certificate, candidates must have the 4 basic STCW certificates and have completed either or at least 6 months approved sea going sea service in Deck department, or special training and at least 2 months approved sea going service.

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