OICNW Assessments

Ok, this one is probably mostly for @jdcavo, but anyone that can quote some regs that I can’t seem to find mention of would be appreciated.

Got a crewmember on board that’s looking to work on his OICNW assessments for upgrading his AB ticket to Mate 1600. My question is, he’s sailing as a QMED on board, does that make it a non-starter for him to get deck assessments signed off in his time off watch?

Don’t want him to have to redo them all if NMC looks at his seatime and raises a red flag about deck assessments signed off during that period as QMED.


There is no linkage between the sea service, and assessments. Indeed, the assessments can be done ashore in a simulator.

So he should be fine working on deck assessments, but will still need sea service as follows:

  1. Seagoing service as follows: i) Thirty-six months of seagoing service in the deck department on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal waters and/or Great Lakes. Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service; or ii) Twelve months of seagoing service as part of an approved training program, which includes onboard training that meets the requirements of Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code;
  2. Having performed during the required seagoing service bridge watchkeeping duties, under the supervision of an officer holding an STCW endorsement as Master, Chief Mate, Second Mate, or OICNW, for a period of not less than 6 months;

c. Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 3 months of the service requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section.


Yeah, he’s got the deck sea time already. I just wasn’t sure if getting deck assessments done as a QMED was going to raise issues for him during the PQEB stage of his application.

I would think it wouldn’t matter since the same assessments can be done in a simulator, especially if he’s doing them “off watch”.

The person signing him off

It shouldn’t matter what is position was on the vessel at the time, especially if he already had deck time. What would be a red flag is if he wasn’t part of the crew in any capaciity at all, or if he didn’t get any of his deck time until after he’d been in the engine department. For the latter, it’s not so much that he can;t have them done, it’s how anyone with no deck experience can successfully perform the tasks of a Mate. As others have noted, what is more important, other than being on the vessel in some capacity, is the qualifications of the person signing.

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This is done all the time in the classrooms. I can’t see how it would be any different aboard a ship. If the QMED spends every off-hour reading Bowditch or some other tome, then he should have no problem walking onto the bridge and translating his new knowledge into practical demonstrations for the purpose of assessments.

I said it’s a red flag, not that it’s unacceptable. Wouldn’t you be a little suspicious or just curious of a QMED with no deck time being signed off for having competently performed duties of a Mate? I’d want to find out some more, but that’s just me.

Ok, that’s what I needed. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something that would cause problems for him at application time.

I’ve heard it all now. You have an engine room team member trying to get the position of our sworn enemy “the mate”? That’s similar to a junior engineer at Boeing trying to get a job as the receptionist. Send the guy ashore to get his head examined before you sign anything.


Do you know what kind of evidence the coast guard is looking for to prove 180 days of bridge watchkeeping duties. There very vague on this.

(a) Documenting sea service. (1) Sea service may be documented in various forms such as certificates of discharge, pilotage service and billing forms, and service letters or other official documents from marine companies signed by the owner, operator, master, or chief engineer of the vessel. The Coast Guard must be satisfied as to the authenticity and acceptability of all evidence of experience or training presented.

(2) Documentary evidence produced by the applicant, unless in the form of a Certificate of Discharge conforming to §14.307 of this subchapter, must contain all of the following information:

(i) Vessel name(s) and official numbers listed on the registration, certificate, or document issued.

(ii) Gross tonnage of the vessel.

(iii) Propulsion power and mode of propulsion of the vessel.

(iv) The amount and nature (e.g. chief mate, assistant engineer, etc.) of the applicant’s experience.

(v) Applicable dates of service for each vessel, and the ports or terminals if applicable.

(vi) The routes upon which the experience was acquired.

(vii) For those seeking to renew a radar observer endorsement, whether the vessel is equipped with radar and if the mariner served in a position that routinely uses radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes.

(viii) For those seeking service credit on towing vessels in accordance with §11.211(e) of this subchapter, the aggregate tonnage of the tug and barges during the mariner’s service.

(ix) Any other information necessary to determine the applicability of STCW to the vessel.

(x) Whether the vessel is manned and equipped in accordance with SOLAS.

(xi) Where required for an officer endorsement, time served as bridge watchkeeping or engine watchkeeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer.

Right, but how exactly do I prove my time spent watch keeping on the bridge with an officer?

I would do it via a separate sentence in your sea service letter that states: “The above-named mariner’s service routinely included bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer.”

It probably won’t say that on your discharge letter. So make sure you ask the company for the sealetter that says that. Be patient but insistent. If you’ve done the watchkeeping there’s no reason the company should not give it to you. For whatever reason, crewing coordinators have sent me sealetters that had the wrong dates, wording, position, etc. You may have to send it back for revision. Its sucks but don’t accept anything that has the wrong info on it.