MCA Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Course, Certification & Requirements

Working towards Officer of the Watch (OOW)

To work as an Officer on watch for vessels up to 3000gt, you’ll need to hold an Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) Certificate of Competency.

Why Officer of the Watch (Yachts <3000gt)?

About the course

Before you can sit the oral exam to obtain the MCA Officer of the Watch (Yachts <3000gt) Certificate of Competency, you must complete a number of OOW (Yacht) and MCA Ancillary courses.

Modules and certification

Courses required for certification:
  • General Ships Knowledge (OOW Yachts)
  • Navigation and Radar (OOW Yachts)
The following Ancillary courses are also required:
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat Other than Fast Rescue Boats (restricted)
  • GMDSS General Operators Certificate (GOC)
  • Human Element, Leadership and Management (Operational Level)
  • Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
It is recommended that you complete 
  • Orals Preparation course.

To qualify for the Officer of the Watch (Yachts <3000gt) Certificate of Competency Oral examination you will be required to hold the pass certificates from the training courses above and also meet the entry requirements.

Entry requirements

Before taking your oral exam, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
  • Be at least 19 years of age
  • Hold either, an RYA Yachtmaster certificate and a certificate of successful completion of a Shorebased Yachtmaster course or IYT Master of Yachts Limited
  • Hold a STCW Basic Safety Training certificate
  • Hold a valid ENG1 or accepted equivalent
  • Since the age of 16 have obtained a minimum of 36 months’ onboard yacht service. This must include 365 days of seagoing service on vessels of 15 metres or over in load line length, made up of:
  • A minimum of 250 days’ ACTUAL sea going service and 115 days of any combination of the following:
    • Actual sea service
    • Stand-by service – A maximum of 14 consecutive days may be counted at one time, but on no occasion may a period of standby service exceed that of the previous voyage;
    • Yard service – up to a maximum of 90 days continuously or in separate periods;
  • Have completed a Yacht Training Record Book (Note: Not required if the candidate can provide evidence of 36 months actual sea service in vessels of at least 24 metres in load line length)

Please Note: The above entry requirements are not required to attend the training courses for Officer of the Watch (Yachts<3000gt), however are required to apply for your Notice of Eligibility (NoE) and sit the final CoC Oral Examination. Full details can be found on the MCA Oral Examination Form MSF 4343.

For full Training and Certification Guidance of the UK requirements of Deck Officers on Large Yachts (>24m) please refer to MSN 1858.


“I like the location, being able to study in the classroom if you need to (when I was doing my OOW modules, that was a huge bonus) and meeting the other students there for officer training.” – UKSA Professional student

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