Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Sea service and taskbooks

How to get a Certificate of Competency

Sea service and taskbooks are used to record time and skills needed to qualify for a Certificate of Competency.

What is sea service?

To gain a Certificate of Competency you need to complete a specified amount of service time on a vessel known as sea service. The amount required and how it is obtained is different for each type of certificate. A taskbook can be included in a sea service application and will reduce the required number of days of sea service.

A list of each certificate and how to gain the qualification is available on the Obtaining your qualification page.

What is a taskbook?

A task book is a means of ensuring seafarers gain practical training and experience on board and make the best use of time on vessels. The completion of a task book is not mandatory for the issue of a certificate of competency (CoC), however, Part D of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) provides for a reduction in the amount of qualifying sea service that is required when a task book is appropriately completed. Refer to AMSA 727 GUIDANCE NOTICE: Task Books for further information.

How much sea service do I need?

The amount of sea service required will depend on the level of qualification you are applying for and whether or not you are completing a taskbook.

How do I calculate my sea service?

Sea service is measured in days spent performing the tasks appropriate to the level of qualification you are applying for. A day is a minimum of 7.5 hours. The hours for calculating one day can be accumulated over more than one physical day. For example, if you have performed 3.5 hours on one day, these can be carried over to another day until you have a total of 7.5 hours to make one day of sea service.

At least half of your required sea service must be accrued within the last five years before your application.

Sea Time Calculator

The Sea Time Calculator is based on National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part D.

Use this calculator to check if you have enough qualifying sea time to apply for a Certificate of Competency. This is a guide only and does not replace a sea time assessment by a Marine Safety Agency assessor.

If you would like your sea service assessed before you submit your application, you can apply for a Qualifying Sea Service Assessment, which you can find on the Forms page.

How do I record my sea service?

Accrued sea service can be entered on a Record of Sea Service which you can find on the Forms page. You can also provide a statutory declaration or a letter from the operator, owner, master or chief engineer of a vessel detailing the amount of sea service you have accrued.

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