Eligibility Criteria to Clear UK CoC

1. Overview

  • The UK Certificate of Competency (CoC) is a prestigious certificate of competency in the maritime industry; it is required for career development in the merchant navy.
  • UK CoC allows you to advance to higher-ranking posts such as 3rd officer or 4th Engineer, representing a huge step forward in your merchant navy career.
  • Engineers with the UK CoC earn higher incomes and receive better compensation packages, making them important assets to shipping businesses.
  • UK Coc is a stepping stone to senior positions like Chief Engineer/Captain, which supervises the whole engineering department and ship. 

Ready to become an Engineer/Officer from GP Rating? Check out the guide by Merchant Navy Decoded at

GP Rating to UK CoC Guidance Series

2. Eligibility for MEO Class IV UK CoC

How to Clear MEO Class 4
Requirement Details 
Sea ServiceComplete a minimum of 9 months of approved sea service in the engine room of vessels of 750 kW or more. 
This includes six months as the first assistant to the Engineer Officer in charge of the Watch while undertaking watch-keeping or UMS duties
Total Sea ServiceTotal sea service of at least 33 months (24 months + 9 months) and complete the MNTB TRB over a minimum period of 6 months during this 9-month sailing period.
Training Record Book (TRB)Under the training scheme, complete the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) TRB during the sea service. 
CertificationObtain a Watch Rating Certificate (STCW III/4) from Panama if you do not have one from the Indian MMD.
For FittersSea service up to 24 months before obtaining a Watch Rating Certificate will be acceptable under the new rules. 
However, before applying for the MNTB, TRB, you get a Watch Rating Certificate and complete another 9 months of sailing while completing the MNTB, TRB.
  • MNTB: Merchant Navy Training Board
  • TRB or TAR: Training Record Books 
  • STCW: International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
  • UMS: Unattended Machinery Space

3. Document required to apply for college for MEO Class 4 in UK

  • University Application Form
  • Passport – 1st and last page
  • CC – 1st page and sea service stamped pages
  • STCW basic courses (PST + PSSR + FPFF + EFA)
  • Chief Engineer testimonials of at least 24 months 
  • Watch Rating Certificate (STCW III/4)
  • A valid medical fitness certificate from any doctor recognized by DG Shipping in ANNEXURE IV format
  • Payment of 200 GBP in favor of the University (E-payment procedure)

Below are the samples of the Medical Fitness Certificate and Company Sea Time letter.

4. Eligibility for 2nd Mates UK CoC

Merchant Navy 2024
Sea ServiceMinimum of 36 months on merchant ships in an acceptable deck capacity (e.g., Trainee OS, OS, AB, Bosun, Deck Cadet, Junior Officer) with a valid medical fitness certificate recognised by the MCA, UK.
Bridge Watch-keeping Duties6 months of documented bridge watch-keeping duties.
It is required for a minimum of 36 months of sea service.Acceptable in the UK for taking the 2nd Mate’s exam.
Sea Service Stamps on CDCA minimum of 36 months of sea service stamps on your CDC (even non-Indian CDCs like Panama, Liberia, Bahamas, Thai, etc., are acceptable).
Company Sea-time Letter or Masters TestimonialsRequired for a minimum of 36 months of sea service.
Multiple Shipping CompaniesIf you sailed with different companies, you need sea-time letters from each to total at least 36 months.
Bridge Watch-keeping CertificateMust mention that you kept 8 hours of bridge watch-keeping duties every day as an assistant to the main watch-keeper while the vessel was at sea.
  • CDC: Continous Discharge Certificate 
  • OOW: Officer of the Watch

Important Note:- 

In the UK, if you have 36 months of sea experience, you do not need to sit the 2nd Mate’s exams if you have educational qualifications such as Class XII Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Math) or Class X. 

The only requirement for MCA and UK OOW certification is a document certifying thirty-six months of sea experience. However, passing the written exams in the UK requires a solid foundation in math and physics.

 You do not have to finish an MNTB Training Record Book on board the ship if you are following the 36-month path to become an OOW (2nd Mate).

Every year, the course is offered in three batches, beginning in January, April, and September. When holidays like Christmas, Easter, and summer vacations are not included, the course lasts for a total of seven months.

  • Students joining the January or September batch can obtain their CoC in about 8 months if they pass all exams on time.
  • Students joining the April batch will receive their CoC in about 9 months due to the 2-month summer break and 1-month Christmas break within the course duration, which extends the duration.

The visa granted to students is for approximately 10-11 months, ending 2 months after the course completion date. Students can start their visa a maximum of 2 weeks before the course commencement date.

Below are the samples of the Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate and Company Sea Time letter


5. Tips to Clear UK CoC Exams

UK CoC Merchant Navy Decoded
  • Grasp the syllabus: Get familiar with the examination syllabus and concentrate on key areas in your studies.
  • Study Often: Come up with a study plan that you can maintain. This will help you remember what you learn more easily.
  • Do Previous Exams: Familiarize yourself with past exams to see how questions are structured and their types
  • Utilize Resources Properly: Enhance your knowledge of various topics by referring to textbooks, web resources, as well as other study materials.
  • Get Clarifications: When you don’t understand something, feel free to ask your tutors or colleagues for assistance.
  • Stay Current: Be conversant with the most recent regulations and changes in the Shipping Industry.
  • Time Management Skills: Train yourself on time management during examinations so that all questions can be answered within the timeframe.
  • Try Out Mocks: Do mock examinations so that performance levels can be checked during these times when students have done lots of revision.
  • Remain Calm: Keep cool while taking an exam; do not panic since it may lead to wrong answers
  • Review Regularly: You should review constantly to strengthen your understanding and recall important facts.

6. Conclusion

Merchant Navy's latest

In conclusion, the eligibility criteria for becoming a 4th Engineer and 3rd Officer in the UK are structured around a combination of sea service, training, and certification requirements. For aspiring 4th Engineers, a minimum of 33 months of sea service, including specific duties in the engine room, is essential. 

Additionally, completion of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) Training Record Book and obtaining a Watch Rating Certificate are crucial steps. On the other hand, aspiring 3rd Officers need a minimum of 36 months of sea service in a deck capacity, along with documented bridge watch-keeping duties.

Moreover, educational qualifications such as Class XII Science or Class X are not mandatory for these positions if the sea service requirements are met. However, a strong understanding of Maths and Science is crucial for passing the written exams in the UK.

Furthermore, candidates should be aware of the course schedule and visa requirements for pursuing these certifications, as they play a significant role in the timeline of obtaining the Certificate of Competency (CoC). Finally, effective study habits, time management, and staying updated with industry regulations are key factors in successfully clearing the exams.

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