Bone to Pick with the NMC!

Ok guys I just wanted some fellow mariner input here to see if my frustration is warranted or if I should just relax. I sent my Application for Renewal to Coastguard REC Boston on 15 Jan 2015 via Email. I never Received a confirmation that they had in fact received it which forced me to call them a few days later to see if they actually got it.

After searching through the Emails for a while they were able to locate my application. I hung up the phone happy that the process had begun. I started checking the NMC website daily to see that the REC had sent the package along to the NMC. Unfortunately this wasn’t going to happen for quite some time. I actually had to end up calling Boston again to see why they were sitting on the application for so long. when I called them again they hadn’t even looked at my application. They said there was only 6 of them there so it took some time. All said and done it took 2 weeks just for my application to get from the REC to the NMC.

Once it finally got to the NMC I thought I was in business and things were going to roll along smoothly. They actually processed my medical credential very quickly. but my MMC got stuck for 2 weeks just waiting to be assigned an Evaluator. Once it got assigned an evaluator I was so excited. I had spent a very long time preparing my application package and was sure that I had not left anything out which might slow the process.

This morning I woke up and checked my status and I got the dreaded awaiting information! I quickly got on the phone to the NMC to figure out what was going on and what I could do to fix it. Apparently they didn’t see any proof of recency for my Tankerman PIC endorsement which they needed inorder to renew the endorsement. I told them that I no longer worked on tankers and therefor had no recency or loads/Discharges so I purposely left it out of the application. Unfortunately telling them isn’t enough so I had to write an E-mail to the Iasknmc.com informing them I did not wish to renew this endorsement. Shouldn’t the fact that I provided no supporting documentation for the renewal of this endorsement be proof enough that I don’t meet the qualifications to renew it?

Now my entire license renewal is on hold until the evaluator gets this message that I don’t wish to renew the tankerman endorsement which has absolutely nothing to do with my present job. I mean seriously just renew the damn license without the endorsement. If this was going to be an issue why wasn’t it caught by the REC. Where does it say on the application that they need written consent to omit a specific endorsement?

I’ll leave you with these questions for discussion.

Why do we need to send the Package to an REC and not just directly to the NMC?
What does the REC even do with the Package and why does it take 2 weeks to do it?
Why does it take so long for the application to be assigned an Evaluator?
Once the Evaluator has been assigned why can’t we communicate with them directly if they need info instead of having to go through a middleman?

I really seems like 90 % of this whole process your application is just waiting around for someone to look at it. I see no reason why it has to take so long.

One word pretty much sums up why the whole process is like it is: GOVERNMENT!

The biggest issue I have is lack of direct communication with evaluator. I’d love to hear the reasons why; rather than wait 3 weeks for a letter and reply, in many cases one phone call could solve the issue in a day or two.

The process for us would be way easier if it didn’t take at least three days for the evaluator to get an email. Why can’t we email directly? Worried about harassment? lol.
Luckily, the last evaluator I had would always return a phone call.

To the original poster, when you emailed back to request taking the tankerman endorsement off, did you send them that in PDF format? One time I was doing a similair thing as you, I didn’t send in PDF format so I lost almost a week having to resend what I sent previously in jpeg format.

The applications should go directly to NMC. No one would like this better than the RECs.

All evaluators should be required to provide direct emails.

NMC should have an expedited process, for anyone willing to go in person to NMC, that must be completed in the same day. I don’t care if they charge $500 for it.

[QUOTE=DPO Mark;155004]Shouldn’t the fact that I provided no supporting documentation for the renewal of this endorsement be proof enough that I don’t meet the qualifications to renew it?[/QUOTE]

In this scenario, NMC has two options. Assume that the applicant doesn’t want to renew, or ask whether they do or not. The better option is to consider the possibility that the applicant wants to renew and neglected to include the information needed to renew the tankerman endorsement and contact them to make sure you don’t want to renew before they take something away from the applicant. Had you intended to renew and they assumed you didn’t, you’d probably be eqyually if not more upset.

[QUOTE=DPO Mark;155004]Where does it say on the application that they need written consent to omit a specific endorsement?[/QUOTE]

Did you indicate that you did NOT want to renew on the application? If not, see above on what is the beetter and more approriate response.

Weird. I always thought Boston was one of the best REC’s around. Always had great luck with them and the people were really cool when dealing with unprepared 20 something’s like myself.

I could be forgetting but i think i sent my application for license upgrade directly to the NMC this september. The process was real smooth. I think i was approved in a little over a month which is pretty quick in my experience.

Not being able to speak with the evaluator can be very frustrating.

I have had good luck with boston too. No complaints at all, electronically filing for upgrades/renewals.

Went through the same thing when I dropped my tankerman PIC too. Mine went a lot faster though, course I use the Memphis REC where a blue water license is a little more rare and they fight each other to be the one to process it on to NMC.

“Why do we need to send the Package to an REC and not just directly to the NMC?
What does the REC even do with the Package and why does it take 2 weeks to do it?”

I’m curious about that myself. I haven’t heard anyone say that their application was at a REC awaiting info. Maybe that does happen but I’ve never heard it before. Do they do any type of evaluation at the REC? It was my understanding the the REC was where they processed your medical, but I know people who got their medical through the REC and then have some issue with their medical at the NMC.

You said you sent it on Jan 15.

To be fair, by that time, Boston had already logged some serious snowfall. If they told you they were shorthanded, they weren’t blowing smoke. They were probably seriously backed up.

Why send to RECs first? I was told that they screen the application for completeness before forwarding on- supposedly this streamlines the process. I don’t know that it does, but if you talk to the old timers many of them will tell you it often took months to get an application reviewed before the days of scanning in and emailing documents. Of course, that’s anecdotal, I don’t have any proof one way or another.

I agree with some of the suggestions- I would love to know who my evaluator(s) were and would like to be able to contact same. I imagine this has been curtailed, once again, to avoid time spent on the phone that could be used to process paperwork. Taking even just five or six phone calls can chew up a pretty good chunk of time.

I’ve learned that patience (and kindness!) goes a long way sometimes. It’s good to follow up and check, but it’s also prudent to send your application in with sufficient time before your expiration date just in case “stuff happens.”

Honestly, I don’t feel that before the NMC came to be transactions were any faster. This probably varied by REC. LA/LB always had a reputation for taking a long time. However, it was nice to be able to go to the REC and talk face to face, and as soon as your license was ready you could just go pick it up if you wanted to.

[QUOTE=Ctony;155013]The process for us would be way easier if it didn’t take at least three days for the evaluator to get an email. Why can’t we email directly? Worried about harassment? lol.
Luckily, the last evaluator I had would always return a phone call.

To the original poster, when you emailed back to request taking the tankerman endorsement off, did you send them that in PDF format? One time I was doing a similair thing as you, I didn’t send in PDF format so I lost almost a week having to resend what I sent previously in jpeg format.[/QUOTE]

I will second the direct email suggestion. The last upgrade I applied for was kicked back to me saying that I needed an additional 1283 sea days to qualify for the license. Really? 1283 days? I think some of the evaluators send out more info needed letters just to clear off their desk sometimes. Then to buy some time they make it almost impossible to communicate with them. If the NMC needs more money to fix this, then just go ahead and say it. If it cost an extra $100, I would pay it to not be so frustrated.

In fairness, running the NMC is challenging. I understand they have a lot on their plate with all of the new regulations. On the other hand, my career advancement depends on timely communication and follow up from the NMC.

I miss the days of driving to the Tidewater building in down town New Orleans Where the REC was and walking to the back and sitting face to face with my evaluator. That was a lot more efficient than the 2-4 months it is taking now.

[QUOTE=Ctony;155066]Honestly, I don’t feel that before the NMC came to be transactions were any faster. This probably varied by REC. LA/LB always had a reputation for taking a long time. However, it was nice to be able to go to the REC and talk face to face, and as soon as your license was ready you could just go pick it up if you wanted to.[/QUOTE]

Did you ever get a license or renew a MMD before the NMC? You walk in at 0900 for a renewal and walk back out at 1000 with a new license and MMD. For original or upgrade you walk in at 0800 and test until 1100 or so. Girl tells you to go to lunch. Come back at 1300 and pick up new license and MMD.

Bring back the REC I say and get rid of the bottleneck that is the NMC.

Why do we even have to “renew” it anyway? Why not do it like aircraft pilots licences… keep a log of your recent experience and a medical card. Issued for life.

The only reasons that I can guess is that they keep making the money from us every time we submit for anything. They keep adding useless classes developed by the people in the rule makers pockets that own schools. Also, they like to change everything every 15 minutes.

[QUOTE=txwooley;155091]Did you ever get a license or renew a MMD before the NMC? You walk in at 0900 for a renewal and walk back out at 1000 with a new license and MMD. For original or upgrade you walk in at 0800 and test until 1100 or so. Girl tells you to go to lunch. Come back at 1300 and pick up new license and MMD.

Bring back the REC I say and get rid of the bottleneck that is the NMC.[/QUOTE]

Coincidentally, I never had to test at the REC for anything before the NMC came to be. I did renew a couple times when the REC was active. There usually wasn’t same day service at my local REC, at least for me.
I do remember though, I turned everything in for my 100 ton about three months shy of my 19th birthday. Walked in there on my 19th birthday and after waiting for only an hour I was sworn in and my license was printed. Caught them on a slow day that day.

Actually, if you talk to us old timers we tell you about the days when you walked into the REC, took the test and walked out with the license or Z Card on the same day. Without a user’s fee. Central planning and control is what doomed the soviet union to the compost pile of history.

[QUOTE=Ctony;155013]The process for us would be way easier if it didn’t take at least three days for the evaluator to get an email. Why can’t we email directly? Worried about harassment? lol.
Luckily, the last evaluator I had would always return a phone call.

To the original poster, when you emailed back to request taking the tankerman endorsement off, did you send them that in PDF format? One time I was doing a similair thing as you, I didn’t send in PDF format so I lost almost a week having to resend what I sent previously in jpeg format.[/QUOTE]

Actually I just wrote an Email to IASK.NMC with my mariner reference number and application ID. the contents of the email explained that I did not wish to renew this endorsement. I hope this is enough. Thats what they told me to do when I called.

Why can’t I just talk to the bloody evaluator!!! just send me an email with your phone number so I can call and speak to you. we could have this fixed in no time! so frustrated right now!