Medical Certificate (ENG 1)
Seafarer's employed on ships must have a seafarer medical fitness certificate, which in the UK is an ENG 1. The certificate confirms that they are medically fit to work on sea-going ships and they do not have a medical condition which could be a danger to other crew and or passengers.
A seafarer who is considering a career at sea should check the medical standards before starting their training, to avoid wasted time and expense, if they are found to have a medical condition which will make them unfit to work at sea. The medical standards are published in MSN 1839 (M).
ENG 1 certificates are issued by the network of MCA Approved Doctors in the UK and overseas. They are issued for a maximum of two years if you are medically fit. An unfit seafarer may put themselves at risk if they are not medically fit to perform their duties. Regulations require the seafarer to notify the MCA of any changes to their medical fitness during the validity of the ENG 1.
The Approved Doctor will charge a fee to the seafarer (or their company) for carrying out the medical assessment. The fee for an ENG 1 is currently £80.
A seafarer will need to bring to the assessment:
- Photographic ID such as passport, driving licence, discharge book
- Previous medical fitness certificate
- Name and contact details for own GP
- Any medicines that have been prescribed
- Glasses or contact lenses (including spare sets)
- Any medical reports and letters
Additional tests, for example physical fitness, blood tests, colour vision and audiometry are included as part of the assessment.
The seafarer must inform the Approved Doctor if they have been issued with a Notice of Failure/Restriction or a final failure certificate or if, for any reason they have failed to complete the medical assessment.
At the end of the assessment the Approved Doctor will issue a certificate of fitness, which will certify the seafarer is:
- fit without restriction i.e. an unrestricted certificate, or
- fit with restrictions i.e a certificate limiting work to certain jobs or localities; or
- temporarily unfit
- permanently unfit
Requesting an Independent Medical Review
If the seafarer is found to be unfit a restricted certificate is issued, the Approved Doctor will give a Notice of Failure/Restriction (ENG 3). The ENG 3 advises the seafarer how to seek a review of the decision.
If the seafarer is aggrieved by the decision and would like an independent medical review, they need to post their ENG 3 to the Medical Assessment Team to ask for a referral to one of the MCA's Independent Medical Referees within one month of the original decision. The medical referee will assess the original decision to decide if it was made in sound terms of the application of the medical standards and the diagnosis. The referee may issue a revised medical certificate. The Independent Referee will assess the medical fitness certificate in relation to the legal standards and their decision on the fitness of the seafarer is final.
The cost of the Independent Medical Review, including any additional reports will be met by the MCA, however, travel costs to the Independent Medical Referee will be at the seafarer's or their company's expense.