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Certificate of Proficiency or COP is vital for seafarers’ employment. This is mandatory as per the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments. As our governing authority, MARINA established circular guidelines on the proper issuance and revalidation of our certificates.

 

There have been many changes with our training requirements since the Manila 2010 Amendments. Like you, I was also confused about the updates since there is no proper information dissemination. I made a careful research with this topic by going as far as tracking down MARINA’s Facebook Page, their website, the STCW Code and the STCW Convention.

 

MARINA recently introduced an online verification and appointment system. They aim to make the COP and COC (Certificate of Competency) filing simpler. Lately, they encouraged seafarers to conduct online appointments to minimize the lines of walk in applicants. Releasing schedules are also much quicker and more organized than before.

 

Before going any further, you must also take note of MARINA’s Six-Month Rule and Justification Letters on some certificates. You can read that in the sections below.

 

Rules in the Issuance and Revalidation of Certificate of Proficiency for Basic Training New Circular Explained

MARINA STCW Circular 2018-05.

 

COP with Revalidation

Though all STCW mandatory certificates require an issuance of COP, not all of them are subject for renewal. Here are the list of COPs requiring revalidation. I did not include the training for TANKER courses since it will be posted in a different article.

 

Basic Training (BT)

This is simply the “familiarization training” for seafarers or those who want to work on ships. It comprises four modules each having 16 training hours. BT Refresher is only 16 hours for the whole course.

 

Documentary Requirements for Issuance

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page or any government issued ID.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

For Revalidation

Take note of the “AND and “OR.

  • Approved seagoing service for a period of at least 12 months in total within 5 years OR, 3 months total within 6 months prior to the date of revalidation; AND
  • Completed an approved Refresher Course in Basic Training within 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP; OR
  • If the applicant for revalidation does not meet the required seagoing service, he must complete an approved course in Basic Training within 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP.
  • Last issued COP.
  • Certificate of Completion (BT Refresher Course).
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Proficiency in Survival Crafts and Rescue Boats other than fast rescue boats (PSCRB)

This course is for crew members of rescue boats. It gives training and education to seafarers who are required to take charge of a survival craft or rescue boat (other than fast rescue boat).

 

The course is 32 training hours long (4 days). PSCRB Refresher Course is only 8 training hours long.

 

Documentary Requirements for Issuance

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.
  • Has approved seagoing service for at least (6) six months.

“Note: ATFF/ PSCRB/ PFRB are for Managements and Operational Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in one of these certificates, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

For Revalidation

Take note of the “AND and “OR

  • Approved seagoing service for a period of at least 12 months in total within 5 years OR, 3 months total within 6 months prior to the date of revalidation; AND
  • Completed an approved Refresher Course in Proficiency in Survival Crafts and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boatswithin 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP; OR
  • If the applicant for revalidation does not meet the required seagoing service, he must complete an approved course inProficiency in Survival Crafts and Rescue Boats other than fast rescue boats within 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP.
  • Last issued COP.
  • Training Certificate for Refresher Course on PSCRB.
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Certificate requirements From the book STCW: A Guide For Seafarers

 

Fast Rescue Boat (PFRB)

Seafarers are trained in acquiring the skills for manning, handling and taking charge of a fast rescue boat. Focus skills include safety precautions, starting engines, launching, procedures for righting a capsized rescue boat, search patterns, recovery of casualty in the water and many more.

 

Regular course is 28 training hours long (3.5 days). PFRB Refresher course is only 8 hours.

 

Documentary Requirements for Issuance

  • COP in PSCRB.
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.
  • Has approved seagoing service of not less than twelve (12) months.

 

Note: ATFF/ PSCRB/ PFRB are for Managements and Operational Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in one of these certificates, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

For Revalidation

Take note of the “AND and “OR

  • Valid COP in PSCRB.
  • Approved seagoing service for a period of at least 12 months in total within 5 years OR, 3 months total within 6 months prior to the date of revalidation on board ship fitted with fast rescue boat; AND
  • Completed an approved Refresher Course in Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boatswithin 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP; OR
  • If the applicant for revalidation does not meet the required seagoing service, he must complete an approved course inProficiency in Fast Rescue Boats within 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP.
  • Last issued COP.
  • Training Certificate for Refresher Course on PSCRB.
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Advanced Fire Fighting (AFF)

Seafarers are trained to conduct advanced firefighting techniques with particular emphasis on organization, tactics and command. The training will be as realistic as possible. Furthermore, scenarios include fire fighting involving dangerous goods, ventilation control, control of fuel and electrical systems, communication and coordination during fire-fighting operations, etc.

 

The regular course is 36 training hours long or 4.5 days. ATFF Refresher is 12 only hours.

 

Documentary Requirements for Issuance

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Note: ATFF/ PSCRB/ PFRB are for Management and Operational Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in one of these certificates, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

For Revalidation

Take note of the “AND and “OR”.

  • Approved seagoing service for a period of at least 12 months in total within 5 years OR, 3 months total within 6 months prior to the date of revalidation; AND
  • Completed an approved Refresher Course in Advanced Fire Fightingwithin 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP; OR
  • If the applicant for revalidation does not meet the required seagoing service, he must complete an approved course inAdvanced Fire Fighting within 6 months before application for revalidation of the COP.
  • Last issued COP.
  • Training Certificate for Refresher Course on AFF.
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

COP without Revalidation

Please be guided accordingly. Here is a list of Certificate of Proficiency requiring no revalidation. The requirements are for issuance only.

 

Regulation II/4: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFP-NW)

  • Certificate of Completion (RFPNW) OR TOR for BSMT OR Enhanced Support Level Program for Maritime Senior High School or ESLPME (for sea service not less than two months).
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Seaman on the bridge for Navigational watch and lookout duties.

Seaman on the bridge for Navigational watch and lookout duties.

Regulation III/4: Ratings Forming Part of an Engineering Watch (RFP-EW)

  • Certificate of Completion (RFP-EW) OR TOR for BSMarE OR Enhanced Support Level Program for Maritime Senior High School or ESLPME (for sea service not less than two months).
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Regulation II/5: Ratings as Able Seafarer Deck

  • COP for Reg. II/4
  • Certificate of Completion Able Seafarer Deck (ASD) OR TOR for BSMT OR ESLPME (with 18 months sea service but not less than 12 months)
  • Practical Assessment
  • Sea Service Certificate from Manning Agency
  • SIRB Photocopy 1stPage and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Regulation III/5: Ratings as Able Seafarer Engine

  • COP for Reg. III/4
  • Certificate of CompletionAble Seafarer Engine (ASE) OR TOR for BSMarE OR ESLPME (with 12 months sea service but not less than 6 months)
  • Practical Assessment
  • Sea Service Certificate from Manning Agency
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Medical First Aid (MEFA)

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

“Note: MEFA is for Operational Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in this certificate, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

Medical Care (MECA)

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • COP of MEFA.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and relevant entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.
  • Has approved seagoing service of not less than twelve (12) months.

 

“Note: MECA is for Management Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in this certificate, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

Security Awareness Training and Seafarers with Designated Security Duties (SAT-SDSD)

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page or any government issued ID.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.

 

Ship Security Officer (SSO)

  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Training Completion Records of Assessment (TCROA).
  • CTC Enrolment Report.
  • CTC Training Certificate.
  • Sea Service Certificate from the Company or Manning Agency
  • SIRB Photocopy 1st Page and entries.
  • Valid Medical Certificate in PEME Format.
  • Has approved seagoing service of not less than twelve (12) months.

 

“Note: SSO is for Management Level only. If not, and your company requires you to file for a COP in this certificate, ask them for an Attestation/ Justification Letter stating why the seafarer is required to have one.”

 

Additional Requirements

Aside from the regular requirements listed above, there are also extra documents needed for special purposes. Check the details below to find out if you need some of these.

 

Additional Requirements for expedite, domestic seafarers, re-issuance of lost or damaged COP and Certificate of good standing.

 

Expedite Processing

Aside from the requirements of each COP listed above, the applicant who wishes to expedite the release of his COP shall also bring the following.

 

Original and Certified True Copy of:

  • POEA Contract and Flight Details
  • Overseas Employment Certificate
  • Letter of request from the company for expedite processing

 

Seafarers with Domestic Sea Service

Additional Requirements for Seafarers with domestic Sea Service are as follows:

  • Crew list duly signed by the Master of the ship and validated by the Philippine Coast Guard.

 

Re-printing or Re-Issuance

  • Letter Request
  • For Correction/ Rectification – Original certificate issued
  • In case of loss, Affidavit of Loss

 

Certified True Copy/ Certificate of Good Standing

  • Original and Photocopy of Certificate issued

 

The 6-Month Rule

This rule is about the application of your COP which requires seagoing service. Moreover, it also covers revalidation wherein your training is valid for COP within six months. See the details below.

 

The application for Issuance of COP shall be filed as follows:

  • Within 6 (six) months after completion of the corresponding training OR
  • For purposes of COPs requiring seagoing service, within 6 months AFTER disembarkation.

 

Important: This is ONLY applicable to training certificates taken AFTER October 08, 2018.

 

The application for Revalidation of COP shall be filed as follows:

  • Training courses must be taken within 6 months before application for revalidation..

 

How to Apply for an Issuance or Revalidation of Your COP

 

A few months ago, MARINA implemented a “Paperless” or online application system to speed up the processing. However, there have been reports lately from our fellow seafarers that the issuance and/ or renewal of our COP takes weeks or months to get a schedule.

 

This is quite ironic. Before the online system, we can show up as a walk in applicant and wait for two to four hours to file our COPs. We are hoping that this issue will be fixed as soon as possible.

 

Training and drill on board a ship can be fun.

Training and drill on board a ship can be fun.

 

Going back, here are the steps for your COP application.

 

  1. Register in the Seafarer Certification System (SCS).
  2. Upload the required documents supporting the issuance or revalidation of the COP being applied for.
  3. Secure an Application Form from the designated Form Distributor of the Certification Division, STCW Office;
  4. Fill up the Application Form.
  5. Present the original documents in support of the COP being applied for verification.
  6. Pay the corresponding fee to the Cashier.
  7. Provide information for encoding and undergo photo capturing.
  8. Claim the COPs per scheduled release date stated in the claim stub.

 

May the winds be on your favor.

 

 

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