Special training for ratings and officers

Business: Maritime

    You may have to take special training if you work on certain types of ship.

    Both ratings and officers may need special training before working on:

    • tankers
    • high-speed craft (including hovercraft)
    • passenger ships


    If you’re a rating with cargo handling duties or an officer on a tanker, you must complete either:

    • at least 3 months sea-going service on tankers
    • a tanker familiarisation training programme
    • at least 30 days service on a tanker of less than 3,000 gross tonnes on voyages of not more than 72 hours

    Officers responsible for cargo operations need extra training and a tanker endorsement.

    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has information on the special training required for work on tankers.

    High-speed craft

    If you’re a master or officer on a high-speed craft, you must complete training in:

    • the craft’s propulsion and control systems
    • its handling characteristics
    • communication and navigation procedures
    • handling the craft in the event of severe weather conditions or damage

    You may also have to take specialist training if you’re a rating or an engineer on a high-speed craft, depending on the work you do.

    The MCA has information on the special training required for work on high-speed craft.

    Passenger ships

    If you are working on a passenger ship you must complete training in:

    • crowd management
    • awareness of life-saving appliances and control plans
    • how to help passengers to muster and embarkation station

    If you provide direct service to passengers, you must complete additional training in:

    • embarkation procedures and special assistance
    • how to communicate effectively with passengers
    • how to use personal life-saving appliances

    If you have responsibility for the safety of passengers in emergency situations and for cargo safety and hull integrity then you must complete training in:

    • crisis management and human behaviour
    • loading and embarkation procedures
    • carriage of dangerous goods and securing of cargo
    • stability trim and stress calculations

    The MCA has information on the special training required for work on passenger ships.

    Information about the special training required by ratings and officers who work on tankers, passenger ships and high-speed craft