On the 15th December 2020 the MCA published MIN 620 (M) Amendment 1 which is an “Update on Online Oral Exams and the Future Issue of Notice of Eligibilities During the COVID-19 Lockdown Period.” This replaces MIN 620 (M) and is to be read with MGN 69, MSN 1856, MSN 1857, MSN 1858, MSN 1859 and MSN1860.
This new MIN provides links to the relevant application forms and associated M-Notice for NOE applications.
It also outlines the Oral Exam process via Microsoft Teams, equipment and technology requirements, how to book an exam, and the physical documentation which needs to be submitted before the exam.
The full document can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/min-620-m-amendment-1-update-on-online-oral-exams-and-future-issue-of-noes-during-covid-19-lockdown?fbclid=IwAR2e3tCWa05RxMetqo0OuBaved4-sKTuXAADpvjnNpUe0BCA8I5YLwEfkPs
Yesterday the MCA published the long awaited timeline for MCA Oral Exams and NOE applications, this can be viewed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/898910/Timeline_for_Oral_Exams_and_NOEs.pdf
The MCA have today released MIN 620(M) Update on Online Oral Exams and the Future Issue of Notice of Eligibilities During the COVID-19 Lockdown Period. This M Notice formalises previous communications from the MCA regarding the booking of Oral Examinations and issue of NOEs. They outline that the new process and their priority candidates. They will be continuously monitoring these and set out that a new document “Latest Update on Oral Examination and NOE Issue” will be published in around two weeks’ time and updated as required (once all candidates whose exams were cancelled have rebooked).
You can read the full MIN here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890272/MIN_620.pdf
Online oral exams:
- Online oral exams are now being conducted through the Microsoft Teams platform – clear guidance is provided in terms of facility and equipment requirements
- Engineering exams have started, Deck exams are due to start later this month (June)
- Candidates are still being asked not to contact Marine Offices
- Priority to OOW(& EOOW) applicants to allow them to start working – every effort will also be made to expedite applications for those who have been offered employment and are only required to pass an oral exam to be issued with a CoC
- The next priority will be to those of you who had your NOE issued prior to the postponement of orals email a scanned copy to [email protected] or [email protected] as appropriate
- Following on from those, priority will then be given to those who had an NOE issued after the postponement of the oral examinations
- Once these priorities are complete the process will return to normal
New NOE applications
- Candidates can currently apply for a NOE using the appropriate application form and scanning and sending the required documentation to the email address listed on the form.
- The MCA will not issue any new NOEs until we have allowed those with cancelled oral exams and those who were issued NOEs prior to lockdown have had chance to book exams
Expediting a NOE or an Oral Exam or the Issue of a CoC
If you have a job opportunity and have completed all other requirements for the issue of your CoC, then we may be able to expedite your application – you should ask your employer to email a request to us ([email protected] or [email protected] or reval[email protected] ) confirming the job offer and the date you are required onboard.
As soon as we are notified of the publication of the “Latest Update on Oral Examination and NOE Issue” we will let you know!
Harry Deans, Head of Policy for Seafarer Training and Certification at the MCA, has contacted all Yacht Training Providers with a further update on online MCA Oral Exams.
“Seafarers who have had yacht Oral Exams cancelled at Marine Offices will be contacted to re-arrange their exam. Engineering Oral Exams are currently underway and Deck Exams should start early June. Candidates must not contact Marine Offices.
… if any yacht candidate has a job opportunity and they have completed all other requirements for the CoC, then we may be able to expedite the application. Candidates should ask their employer to email a request to us [[email protected] or [email protected]] confirming the job offer and the date they are required onboard.
We will not accept any new oral exam bookings until we have cleared the backlog. Therefore, we ask candidates to wait patiently while we deal with those who were initially denied an oral exam due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We plan to publish a MIN within the next 7 days to provide further guidance on this online process (we will include guidance for yachts candidates). The MIN will also provide timelines for the future booking of exams; for those who hold Notice of Eligibilities (NOEs), those who have applied for NOEs, and those who are about to apply.
Please note: We are still committed to supporting the yachting industry and we will provide further updates on providing oral exams once we have assessed the response to backlog and our surveyor/examiner availability.”
The MCA has confirmed to UKSA (5/5/2020) that Oral Exams will commence online for Engineering the week of the 11th May, and Deck in early June.
The MCA will initially be contacting candidates who had their oral exams cancelled – they will not accept any new oral exam bookings until they have cleared the backlog: “we would ask candidates to wait patiently while we deal with those who were initially denied an oral exam due to the COVID-19 outbreak”
A MIN will be published in due course to provide further guidance on the online process. It will also cover the future booking of exams for those who hold a NOE, those who have applied for a NOE, and those who wish to apply for a NOE.
New NOE applications are now being accepted by EMAIL, however, they will not be issued until those who had exams cancelled have had the opportunity to rebook.
New exam bookings will target merchant sponsored cadets, after this they will be looking at arranging Merchant Management level and Yacht Exams.
HOWEVER, if you have a job opportunity and you have completed ALL other requirements for the COC, then they may be able to speed up this process. You will need to get your employer to email the MCA ([email protected] or [email protected]) confirming the job offer and the date you are required onboard.
The initial update released on the 23rd March stated:
Due to the uncertainty of the situation the MCA has extended the oral exam pass validity period by a further 6 months.
- MCA has also extended the written exam pass validity period by a further 6 months, provided there is proof that COVID-19 affected the time taken to achieve the pass result.
- Anyone who is not able to attend an exam due to the potential spread of Coronavirus will not be treated as a fail and will be allowed to move their exam to the next date.
- Please also be aware that during this time, releasing results may be delayed.
For the full details of the revisions please click here