UK MCA CeC Questions

(Bear with me, pulling together comments from different previous threads here so I don’t revive a 7 year old one that had no answers either…)

So I’m seeing differing comments online about the UKLAP requirement for a Red Duster CeC. Looking at the MCA CeC application, it looks like as a Master Unlimited, I’d still have to take a UKLAP test… am I reading it correctly? Anyone on here ever do that? If so, what all was involved with it? Doubtful I’d ever sail on it, but I’m really curious about the process anyone went through for it. That and it seems to be a lot more recognized internationally than a lot of others.

Mostly looking for responses from folks that are USCG licensed, but I know we’ve got some other nationalities that might have gotten an MCA CeC too that might have insight.

Everything you need to know is on the UK MCA website. The application itself provides even more information.

Yes, you have to take the UKLAP exam and the old thread here is still valid even if you don’t like the answers.

Unless you really really want to work on a UK flag ship, other Red Ensign group flags will sell you an endorsement for a small amount of money and very little labor.

It’s not that I didn’t like the answers, it’s that every thread only referenced limited tonnage tickets, but said that MCA accepted Level 1 equivalents (i.e. no direct reference made to Unlimited tickets and no clarification as to what “accepted” meant). I am perfectly capable of, and have read the MCA website, but personal experiences sometimes differ from how things are worded. Hence my asking.

If you had actually read my entire post, I asked what was involved with the UKLAP examination. I know it is open book, but where in the US does one go for it? (not on the MCA website smarty pants)

As for the UK flag ship, as I said, probably never gonna happen. However, a lot of job postings want relevant national COC’s, OR UK CEC’s.

“(not on the MCA website smarty pants)”

Why is it that engineers have to do so much hand holding for deckies?

“However, a lot of job postings want relevant national COC’s, OR UK CEC’s.”

An “endorsement” issued by a flag state based on your USCG license is considered a CoC for that flag state. If you want precise information based on your personal license level and status, contact the relevant flag state referenced on the job posting … it is kind of like reading a chart instead of posting to a website to ask if you turn left or right at some ATON. Knowing exactly what the flag state wants by direct contact is a lot more professional than relying on unknown internet “experts.”

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Ok… let me try this again… when I say relevant “national COC”… I mean the posting is NOT listing USA… i.e. asking for India/Ukr/etc OR UK CEC.

Yup, already had it dl’d where it said this:

“If it’s not possible for you to take the exam in the UK then contact SQA who’ll arrange for you to sit the exam in one of the British Council offices around the world.”

and that still doesn’t answer my question of:

So yeah, I read that already, and that’s why I’m asking here if any Americans have taken it and where they went for it and how they studied for it.

Will you please let someone that might actually have real world experience with actually getting a UK CEC answer now? Because the snark and “a simple web search will…” from a snipe who apparently had somebody shit in their Cheerios this morning isn’t what I was looking for in answers. Thanks… that’d be great.

Considering that I actually have one (an unlimited one) on the desk in front of me as I type this I guess I have done all the homework for you that I can … good luck in your quest.

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:facepalm: And that’s what I was asking for, personal experiences… Where did you have to go to take the UKLAP exam? How did you study for it? Appendix B of MSN1867 only lists the topics that are covered in it not what the regulations are that you have to answer for. Nor does it give any info about the exam… how many questions, minimum scores, multiple choice/essay, etc?

Honestly, at £76, it’s one of the cheapest truly internationally recognized CEC’s I’ve found… but if it’s so worthless, why did you get one?

Why did I get one? Because at the time I didn’t know any better. has the syllabus.

What may have changed since I got mine in 2004 I don’t know and it doesn’t matter, you have to deal with today.

If you are hell bent on getting a CeC then I suggest you take a mini holiday in Antibes and attend a class at one of the schools for yachties. It is a great little place to spend time anyway and well worth the few days it takes. If you are going to waste time and money you may as well have a South of France experience while doing it.

MPT and Bluewater in Fort Lauderdale offer some MCA approved courses, mostly geared toward yachts. They often have some MCA Unlimited Masters teaching. It might be worth giving them a call. \ is the email for Barry Sadler Maritime Training & Consultancy in the U.K. They do classroom and e-learning and skype prep courses for the MCA exams.

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Awesome… Thanks for the connect there, maybe he’ll be able to pull up where there might be testing centers in the US and have some guidance for studying for the exam. Just looking for info at this stage, but after the latest pay cut, even foreign flag shipping jobs might pay more, so looking at options since most of them want you to already have a usable CEC.

I’m not going to pursue an MCA CeC, but if I were going to, I’d just go to the U.K. to take the courses and exams. That is the cheapest and easiest way to do it. For me, it would take about six weeks with GDMSS.

I think someone with an unlimited Master could probably do it in three weeks, including GMDSS and the UKLAP exam.

Because Engineers know how to RTFM. :grinning:

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

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Does the UK require we redo GMDSS?

Yes. The MCA does not accept USCG approved GMDSS courses or certificates. The MCA website has a PDF of the countries they accept GDMSS from. Places like Panama, Philippines and Ukraine are accepted, but the US is not.

The USCG has screwed us again by failing to make sure that USCG approved GMDSS courses also meet STCW international standards. The USCG is unaware that shipping is an international business or that some Americans work on foreign flag vessels.

Also, I think that the MCA requires that the GMDSS course, along with several others, be repeated and refreshed every five years.

Apparently they don’t accept the US GMDSS: ?? I think?


It goes on to say on

“GMDSS that is accepted will be marked “yes”.” So what does it mean if it says ROC? It’s not “YES” and it’s not “NO”, but it isn’t “yes” so I’m assuming that means it’s not.

Nothing else… nada. So yeah, this is the sort of thing that initiated my OP, and why I’m spinning in circles trying to figure all this out. I’m thinking the British love for queueing is going to make this a much more frustrating thing to attempt from the US than I originally envisioned and I give up.

“ROC” is only valid in sea area A1. US courses for it are generally known as “GMDSS Restricted.”

So, that being the case… and having gone through a PSC inspection in Gibraltar where our GMDSS certs and MMC’s were accepted… how are they accepting GMDSS on “Oceans” voyages at all for US flag vessel officers then if they don’t meet IMO/their guidelines? (Going out on a limb here on the assumption that Gibraltar uses UK/MCA as their basis) It’s good enough for other flags to sail on them, but not for their own?

I can understand that ok, but still just seems a little strange… especially since Panama accepts US, and UK accepts Panama… but UK won’t accept US.

As I recall. ROC means restricted operator certificate and GOC means general operator certificate. GOC is what is needed beyond VHF range.