Can a AB Unlimited still get training and a certificate for DP?

I am working towards my 1600 ton mates license; I need about 100 more days of sea time and still need to take several more prep courses. I am planning to sit for my mates sometime this fall.

I was thinking that while working on the mates license, maybe I could get a start on getting my DP certificate! My understanding is that I will need to take the introductory class then I will need 30 days of onboard training. Once I have completed that, I then can go back to school and take the advanced DP course, then get another 180 days of onboard training, then send off for my DP certificate? It seems to me that by getting my DP training underway now I can make the most out of the next few months?

However my training cordinator has informed me that the school we were sending some of our AB’s to in NOLA is no longer offering the schooling for unlicensed mariners.

My question to any of you who might know is. Is it still possible for me to get the DP training and certification somewhere while working towards my mates license as an AB? Or do I have to have my mates before going to DP school? I am not sure if this is something new with the USCG or just a new policy within my company? Having to spend another 180 days on the deck while waiting to get the proper onboard training completed for my DP seems to be a huge loss of potential income. I am working down here in the GOM on OSV’s and MPSV’s with one of the larger boat companies. It is my understanding that getting hired as a mate without DP is not going to happen? Any tips or ideas on where or how I might be able to kill two birds with one stone would be appreciated.


It’s not a USCG requirement it’s the nautical institute requirement that went into effect jan 1st, you are required to have a minimum 200ton license to get your dp license.

Call other DP training companies… You will need a license to get the DP certification but you can’t get it for at least a half year… I really doubt a school will not teach the basic class to anyone who wants to learn it… I am sure you can take the basic class

Where I work, unlicensed personnel can take the basic class which is good for 5 years but you must be licensed for the advanced course. However, just because you have the class does not mean time on a DP vessel counts. A day now counts only if the vessel is on DP for a minimum of an hour and YOU have to be on the bridge running/interfacing with system.

Have your training coordinator clarify for himself that the school is not giving the BASIC class to unlicensed personnel. It may be he made an assumption and you know what happens when you ASS/U/ME.

From the NAutical Institute website FAQ:

I do not hold an OOW certificate. Can I still apply for a DP certificate?

Before 1 January 2012, it was not a statutory requirement for you to hold an OOW certificate to be able to become a certified DPO. The DP Operators training programme was open to all ranks, provided they could meet the required DP watchkeeping time.
However, from 1 January 2012, the OOW certificate has become a minimum requirement for DPOs taking the Basic course on or after this date.

Minimum Qualification Requirement
From 1st January 2012, The Nautical Institute implemented the following criteria for entry onto the DP Operators Training Scheme:

 The minimum qualification will be set at STCW Regulation II/1 - II/2 - II/3 Deck and Regulation III/1 - III/2 - III/3 Engine.
Alternative appropriate marine vocational qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

 Prospective DPOs, who are in the process of training for an STCW certificate can start the DP scheme and complete the Induction/Basic course and 30 days familiarisation only. The Simulator/Advanced course and watchkeeping training can only be completed after they hold an appropriate STCW certificate of competency.
Prospective DPOs, not meeting the above requirements will be able to apply for certification, if they commenced training prior to the implementation date (1 January 2012) and all elements have been completed within a 5 year period at the time of application.

Am I ready to apply for a certificate?
Please ensure all Sections of your logbook have been completed correctly by reading the DP Logbook Guide.