Question About Increase in Scope to Ocean Waters

Hello all,

Ive been studying my ass off to sit for the coast guard exam to increase my national license from Master 500 GRT near coastal to 500 GRT Oceans. I’m pretty excited about it; I even brought my sextant, almanac, and Pub 229’s out on my last hitch to gain some practical expirience and was nailing fixes to within four miles (not the best, but hey, it’s new skill). I’m beginning to feel pretty confident.

I had always assumed that my STCW endorsement of Master (management) 500/3000 NC would increase to Oceans along with my national license. But now I’m thinking that this may not be the case without additional assessments.

I got the STCW just before the grandfathering period closed so heretofore have not had to do any assessments. As per NVIC 11-14, I shouldn’t have to complete any assesments to retain my near coastal STCW now that I have it, but what about to upgrade to the Oceans STCW? Any chance I could slide by with a successful exam? If not, will I have to complete ALL assessments relevant to the 500/3000 endorsement, or only those relevant to celestial nav and the sailings?

My company isn’t paying for my upgrades and training nor do they have QA’s so does anyone know of a QA that I can see that will sign me off if I end up needing to complete assessments? Im not looking to take the 13/14 day class as I’ve basically taught myself everything I need to know with Bowditch and Duttons.

Any input or direction on this matter is greatly appreciated.


You don’t need a QA to sign off the assessments until December 31st. They extended the deadline due to the lack of assessors. I believe the person signing off your assessments just has to hold an oicnw endorsement in the capacity you’re applying for, for atleast one year.

You will need a course and assessments.Since ware well past the 12/31/2016 deadline, you need to meet the current requirements to increase a an STCW near coastal endorsement to oceans, when you obtained the near coastal endorsement no longer matters.

On the course, you likely need an OICNW course approved for celestial navigation. You need this as Master must also meet all requirements for OICNW. You might get lucky and NMC may not require this. Apply and be prepared to get the course.

On assessments, you’ll need all the assessments from NVIC 11-14 (Master_ and NVIC 12-14 (OICNW) that aren’t required for a near coastal endorsement. These will have a note indicating they aren’t required for a near coastal endorsement.

Master assessments have to be signed by a Master. See the first page of Enclosures (2) to each of the NVICs above.

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Not the answer I was hoping to hear but thanks for the promptness and candor, Mr Cavo!

I’ve been trying to understand the guidance provided in NVIC 02-14 that continues to allow an assessor to sign through December 31, 2019.

“assessors must be in possession of the level of endorsement, or other professional credential, which provides proof that he or she has attained a level of experience and qualification equal or superior to the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities to be assessed. [46 CFR 10.405(a)(3)]”

Does this mean that the assessor must have the STCW endorsement equal or superior or will an assessor that only holds a National endorsement work?

The NVIC is a general statement and refers to getting approved as a QA. More specific guidance follows in the enclosure which identifies what’s required to be approved as a QA for specific endorsements.

For the interim, when QAs are not required, specific guidance is in the NVIC for each endorsement. For Mater Less Than 3,000 GT, it says “In the interim, the Coast Guard will accept
assessments signed by mariners who hold an appropriate national endorsement and have at least 1 year of experience as Master on vessels at least 200 GRT or 500 GT.”

Generally we don’t require an STCW endorsement. But, STCW has been around for 20+ years, so apart from experience military vessels, for many assessments it’s unlikely the assessor can have the required experience if they have never held an STCW endorsement (e.g. the assessments a issue in this discussion. It’s unlikely someone can have experience on vessels over 500 GRT on oceans if they have never had an STCW endorsement).

Thanks. That’s perfect. The details aren’t in NVIC 02-14, but the follow-on NVICs.