Watchstanding QMED & RFPEW Clarification, non-assessment related

Hello, I have my QMED & RFPEW with STCW endorsement already. My question is about why & when RFPEW is actually required? A couple of us onboard were talking to a wiper about upgrading and we couldn’t come up with a clear answer about the RFPEW part. Hopefully, someone can help us out.

My understanding was that if he worked in US waters only he would be fine with just having a QMED, as it is a USCG rating only. But to work outside the Boundary Line he would need to have RFPEW as it is an IMO/STCW rating. Is my understanding of this correct so far?

I’m currently working as a watchstanding QMED on a US flagged vessel in the Southern Atlantic (well outside the Boundary Line) and I assumed that all the QMED’s onboard would need to have RFPEW as well. Is this correct? Does it matter if you are a day working QMED or a watchstanding QMED? Thanks for your help. :slight_smile:

Hi, this is my first post on the gcapt forum but having recently gotten my QMED hopefully I can help. Ive been working on land for a while and decided to permanently go back on the water so I enrolled and completed the basic safety training, proficiency in survival craft(lifeboatman), advanced firefighter, and QMED courses on my own(without having a maritime job). Afterwards I applied for my credential, my first, the Coast Guard would only credit me with the QMED-oiler domestic and lifeboatman ratings without having a licensed 3rd engineer or higher to sign my RFPEW. They said once I got my RFPEW signed off and sent in I would receive credit for my two other courses(STCW rating)and not be limited to domestic for my QMED.

I thought this would be fine because I was just looking to work in the GOM. However once I started looking for jobs I found out from different companies I’d have to start off as a wiper until I got my RFPEW. It took a few months and a lot of trying but I was just recently able to get a position as a wiper. Being so close to having my STCW and having already taken those classes definitely helped with getting a position, however if your friend can get his RFPEW before sending his paperwork in it will definitely help him out.

This is just my personal experience so I’m not sure what his specifics are, but hopefully this can be of some help. I did all this on my own without really having much guidance and it was pretty confusing sometimes but ultimately it worked out. Wish I’d have found gcapt sooner!

Hey, thanks for the response. I gave him the same advice about trying to get the RFPEW at the same time as his QMED. I just couldn’t come up with the exact reasoning of what it does for him.

Just FYI for you though, you need “a Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer,or Assistnat Engineer who holds a license of 2nd Assistant Engineer or higher (Chief Engineer, Limited is okay too)” to sign off on your RFPEW assessments. It is stated on the front of the “Requirements for Qualification as RFPEW” paper. A 3rd Assistant Engineer won’t work, unless he holds a 2nd A/E license. They need to have current STCW for their license as well from what I’ve been told. If ya have any questions let me know as I just went through getting my RFPEW not too long ago.

Thanks for the correction. Yeah it’s crazy I went through all those classes, including the QMED-oiler OSV, and neither the instructors or anyone I spoke to mentioned anything about needing the RFPEW. I’ve learned tons more about the credentialing and upgrading process reading through threads here since I found this forum, than I did by actually going through the process of getting my MMC!

It doesn’t surprise me, except for the QMED class, that none of the instructors mentioned RFPEW. I bet the make up of the lifeboatman and advanced fire classes were pretty diverse, so RFPEW probably only applied to you.

Anyone, have any answers to the original questions???

JDCavo do you have any wisdom regarding this? Thanks

Somebody somewhere has got to know the answer…maybe Confucius or Buddha. haha

Just found this: http://merchantmarinejobs.org/rfpew.pdf

Paragraphs 2 and 3 on pg 1 seem to explain when RFPEW is and is not required. Also a good source for printing the assessments.

Thanks, I read that when I was doing my RFPEW assessments. Not quite what I was looking for, but thanks again.

In general if you are working in the engineroom on a vessel outside the Boundary Line, over 1000 HP, and over 500 tons you need the RFPEW. The USCG has proposed changing the tonnage to over 200 GRT/500 GT in the future.