Begin rant:

I received my AB unlimited recently and I can’t understand for the life of me why is it if I already hold a less than 500GT master NC and OICNW less than 500 gt NC, why the USCG wouldn’t issue the RFPNW with the AB cert.? Is there something in the assessments for RFPNW that supercedes the duties of an officer on the bridge which makes the requirement for the assessments or course necessary? I would think but I may be wrong in that that should be an automatic issuance.

Have you reviewed the qualifications and met everything for the RFPNW?

Did you request the STCW endorsement?

Did you supply the required items for the STCW request?

On the brighter side, if you meet the qualifications, a new application can be made for STCW only for no cost, so long as it is only requesting an STCW endorsement.

1)Do I meet the requirements? I think based on what I currently hold I exceed the requirements. This is just an opinion thread not meant to bash the system.

2)I didn’t specifically request the endorsement but the USCG didn’t skip a beat informing me that I fail to qualify for STCW Able seafarer when I submitted my AB initially.

  1. of course I didn’t, that’s why I started this topic.

Probably being on the helm of an unlimited tonnage ship is different than being an officer on a vessel less than 500GT, steering commands etc. That’s all I can think of.

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If you don’t put it on the application, they will not issue you the endorsement even if you send in the completed assessment.


Read the checklists for the endorsement you want. What you “think” may not agree with the regs. The checklists have references to the specific CFR’s. Read the CFR’s. The answer is there.

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When I applied for my credentials I barely beat the 01/01/2017 deadline for RFPEW. I got a letter denying my RFPEW. I had to call. The First Lady I got a hold of is apparently a contractor and told me that I do not qualify for RFPEW and said she would connect me to the evaluator but they’re just going to tell me the same thing after I wouldn’t give up. I got the evaluator on the phone (with all of the relevant CFRs, NVICs, and checklists in front of me) and politely explained to her the actual requirements for RFPEW. After disagreeing with me for about 5 minutes she gave up and said she would contact her boss. 3 minutes later she came back on the line and apologized to me and graciously admitted she was wrong. She was very nice to me after that which was appreciated.

Moral of the story: NMC personnel have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Don’t listen to a word they say and do your own research.


That is true. Most people at the NMC could not find their ass with both hands, especially the contractors that answer the phones. They have no idea how clueless they are. Nor do they care.

I think a mariner will almost always receive the best results by using a good license consultant that knows the CFRs, Nacvics and Marine Policy Manual backwards and forwards and speaks the USCG lingo. A good license consultant has a lot more experience than the staff at NMC.

Its 100% true, and now here’s a brief hijacking/rant.
I’m a bit perturbed right now with the nmc. I, like you preach licensing consultants. I haven’t upgraded in a couple years therefore I haven’t used one. My consultant died and I didn’t bother this go around using my own advice.
So out of random curiosity I checked my application status since a couple days had passed getting the email that I was being evaluated.
Lo and behold, the dreaded awaiting information message with of course no explanation. So I called and the reason was read to me. I still don’t understand why they can’t send an email with the additional info required in addition to snail mail…so anyway, my evaluator claims I am short six months of time. My math can’t be that far off. So the big question is, did I get the allotted credit of deck time towards my upgrade? (I have deck time too…upgrading my engine license.)
I left a voice mail for the evaluator wednesday and sent an email. I got cryptic responses by email that since there is record of leaving a voice mail, there is no need to fwd my email.
I called yesterday. I was told my evaluator has 48 hrs to respond.
Today I called, i mentioned the 48 hrs to respond are long and gone so I was told then they will inform his supervisor but please allow 2 business days for a response.

I find this ridiculous so much time needs to pass to get a straight answer. I know it can be worse. It has been worse for me on past upgrades…8 months one time from beginning to end, and I hope I don’t have to go through that again…but it can be an awfully lot better!.

So my advice to anyone is, which I decided to not follow myself, get a consultant!

Also, might as well make sure you have twice the time required for anything, because math is not a universal language.

Lastly, if you have a deck license and an engine license, even though you are allowed to use one time for the other and vice versa, don’t! It just convolutes an already fouled system.