Enhancement of Seafarer Certification System

The enhanced Seafarer Certification System (SCS) was put into operation on 29 December 2014. The enhancements include introducing online applications for various types of seafarer certification, and the issuing of certificates in compliance with the requirements of the 2010 Manila Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention). The e-applications have instructions on filling up form and certificates and documents that need to be attached to the application form.

Certificates Issued to Ratings

MPA will issue the following types of certificates to ratings.

  • Certificate of Proficiency (COP) as Able-seafarer Deck;

  • COP as Able-seafarer Engine;

  • COP as Electro-technical rating;

  • COP for ratings forming part of Navigational watch;

  • COP for ratings forming part of Engine room watch;

  • COP as Ships Cook;

Singaporean seafarers who have completed training in the then TS Singapura, or have served as an able-bodied seaman in the deck or engine department for 12 months within the preceding 5 years would qualify for a COP as Able-seafarer Deck, a COP as Able-seafarer Engine, or a COP as Electro-technical rating. Such seafarers are requested to apply online through their companys Marinet account or individually for the certificate. They will be required to provide scanned copies of their passports, ICs, proofs of completion of ancillary courses (e.g. basic safety and security familiarisation) and medical fitness certificates to qualify for COPs.

Seafarers who have completed ships cook training in Singapore and have at least 6 months of sea service as an assistant cook/cook on board a ship and have completed basic safety training are eligible for the COP as Ships Cook. Seafarers who qualify are requested to apply online through their companys Marinet account or individually for the COP.

The cost for application is $25. The fee can be paid via Marinet, cheque or NETS at MPAs Shipping Division office.

Applications for Certificates of Competency (COC)

The current online application has been enhanced. If a candidate is found eligible to take a COC examination, he will be issued with a letter of eligibility through e-mail to enable the applicant to join a COC preparatory course.

The format of the COC has been changed and will include the applicants coloured photograph printed on the certificate, a page depicting function, level and limitations of the COC holder and a map depicting Singapore’s Home Trade and Special Limit.

Shipping companies employing Taiwanese officers who have completed training at approved institutes in Taiwan could apply online for COC restricted to serve on Singapore ships. MPA has made provisions for issuing Electro-technical Officer (ETO) COC. ETO COC will be issued when courses are conducted for such officers in Singapore.

Changes to Tanker Endorsements

Tanker endorsements will be issued at two levels as follows:

  1. COC holders at management level and specialists having immediate responsibility for loading, discharging, care in transit, tank cleaning and other cargo related operations on tankers.

  2. Officers and ratings who are assigned specific duties and responsibilities related to cargo or cargo equipment on tankers.

The requirements for the qualifying for tanker endorsements have not changed. The tanker endorsements will have printed photographs, electronic images of Director of Marines signature and embossed stamps of MPA.

Revalidation of COC

The system will enable COC holders to apply online and submit scanned copies of COC, sea service, ancillary courses attended and medical certificates. MPA will issue a separate certificate of revalidation to those who meet the revalidation requirements. Under this arrangement, it will not be necessary for applicants to send original COCs via post. Hence, seafarers will not be required to sign off from ships to revalidate their COC.

Do You Know the MPA Staff?

The Flag State Control (FSC) Department plays a key role in safeguarding the quality flag status of the Singapore Registry of Ships though rigorous FSC inspections, ship surveys, and other enforcement activities. It also actively monitors the fleet performance and quality of statutory services provided by Recognised Organisations, and deals with technical applications and queries from shipowners and companies. We would like to introduce the following staff in the FSC Department:

Mr Wang Jiangtao is a marine surveyor with FSC. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture and a Master’s degree in Offshore Technology. Prior to joining MPA in 2014, he worked in the shipbuilding and conversion industry for over 10 years, specialising in FPSO and drill ship conversion and upgrading projects, and the construction of special purpose ships. With his knowledge of the offshore industry, he is well placed to help the department improve its capacity to provide efficient services to owners and operators of offshore vessels in the SRS.

Mr Wang finds the work of a marine surveyor both challenging and fulfilling. Here is what he has to say: The marine surveyors work in MPA is very dynamic and diverse. We have to conduct ship surveys, FSC inspections and audits, investigate ship detentions, handle applications for exemption, dispensation and technical enquiries, mitigate risks, monitor the performance of Singapore ships and companies, etc. The learning curve is very steep. However, it gives me great satisfaction to be able to engage shipowners and their crews to promote high standards in the SRS.

Ms Yang Soo Ling is a Senior Management Support Officer with the FSC Department. She joined MPA in 1998 and is a familiar face to many in the shipping industry.

Ms Yang provides administrative support for the effective and efficient functioning of the department. She attends to all incoming emails and phone calls from the shipping community regarding applications for exemption, dispensation and queries, incident notifications for Singapore ships and makes sure that they are promptly forwarded to the FSC surveyors for dealing with. She also processes statutory certificates, tracks FSC quality service standards and maintains the efficient e-filing of records.

Miss Yang values teamwork and service excellence, and is always willing to go the extra mile to help the customers especially for urgent cases. She has this to share: It was after office hours on a Friday evening when I received an urgent call about a Singapore ship being held up in port due to PSC problem. I immediately alerted one of our FSC surveyors who then handled the case swiftly. As a gesture of appreciation, the company dropped us a note of compliment and even personally delivered boxes of chocolates to our office (which were politely declined!). It was a very encouraging experience on how we were able to delight our customer while adhering to our ethics.