Upgrade: National Master 500 GRT, STCW Master

Hi, folks.

I’ve done quite a bit of searching, and hope I’m not replicating an old conversation here.

I’m getting ready to upgrade my license, and should qualify no problem for the national 500-ton near coastal. Obviously having the STCW version would also be good, but there seem to be quite a few hoops I haven’t cleared yet (Bridge Resource Management, Assessments, etc.).

My question: if I just get my national license for now, is it a relatively simple matter of adding those pieces later in order to get the STCW license? Or is this a situation where I should really get both sets of ducks in a row, in order to avoid heartache/headaches later?

I don’t specifically require either for my current work; it’s just time to upgrade, and I’d like to do it as wisely and efficiently as possible. Thanks in advance for your time and insights.


You can apply for the national endorsement (license) only.

You said you need Bridge Resource Management, that’s an “operational level” requirement. Does that mean you don’t currently have an STCW endorsement for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW) for 500 GT or More? If you don’t, it’s not going to be “simple” to add the STCW endorsement for Master. You are going to need to do all of the courses and all of the assessments for both OICNW and Master. See paragraph 2.d of Enclosure (1) to NVIC 11-14, and also page 16 of Enclosure (2) to NVIC 02-14:

Mariners who have not held an STCW endorsement as OICNW for 500 GT or More issued after 1997 must also meet the also requirements of 46 CFR 11.309 for qualification as OICNW.