During this challenging time we’re aware that seafarers have concerns about accessing colleges and training centres to sit written exams and complete training. However, training providers must ensure that the health and safety of those attending is a priority.
Training providers and colleges must refer to the requirements from Public Health England or the equivalent devolved body and the Department of Education before they consider re-opening as an educational setting. MCA approved colleges and training Centres based outside of the UK must refer to guidance issued by their own administrations.
They must also follow the regulations set out by the MCA and ensure they meet the requirements of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) guides on safety training courses.
If there are any changes to training venues, or changes to the courses outside of existing MCA/MNTB guidelines, providers must get in touch with the MCA to obtain approval before making any such changes.
Chief Examiner Ajit Jacob said: “We know how important it is that seafarers are able to access colleges and training centres in order to complete MCA written exams and mandatory training.”
“But it’s vital that training providers are offering these examinations and training courses in a way that doesn’t put the health and safety of those attending at risk.”
“We remind all seafarers that the MCA can extend the validity of their training certificates by six months, to allow them to keep working during this difficult period”
Course approvals can be suspended by the MCA in cases where a training centre has breached health and safety rules or made changes that affect the delivery of a course without the approval of the MCA.
To contact the MCA to advise of changes outside existing guidelines or MCA approvals within the UK, please contact your local marine office, copying in the Seafarer Training and Certification branch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Outside of the UK, please email email@example.com.
Colleges and training centres should refer to the published guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-seafarer-careers-training-provision-and-information#coronavirus-covid-19-contingency-plan-and-guidelines-for-seafarers
For guidance for seafarers about extending the validity of training certificates, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/min-611-mf-guidance-and-information-to-follow-in-the-event-of-covid-19-outbreak-impacting-uk-seafarer-services