How to become a nautical cadet
You can choose to be above or below deck; Deck officer or Engineering officer
(as an ETO you would be part of the engineering department on ship).
There are 2 courses which lead you to your OOW Certificate of Competency (CoC) ‘Higher National Certificate/HNC’ and ‘Foundation Degree/FD’.
You learn exactly the same subjects by different methods:
- The HNC route runs closer to how you were taught in high school and has a greater emphasis on tutor lead classes. The minimum age requirement for this route is 16 years old.
- The FD route runs closer to a college/university lecture; you are the person pushing yourself forward with greater independent study. The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
If you are aged 18 + your sponsoring company or agency that you go through will decide what will suit you best based on your CV from school/college/university/work experience, your personality, how many UCAS points you have, age, etc. There are many factors they take into account in deciding what route will suit you best and give you the greatest chance of success in your cadetship.
Very, very, occasionally they do get it wrong but the college you attend will recognise this quickly and reassign you to the correct route. This is exactly what happened to myself. I was 33yrs old when I started college and my Training Management Company/Sponsoring Company thought the HNC route was best as I had been out of the academic world for many years.
(If I worked at the agency and saw myself on paper I would have placed myself in the HNC class as well).
The college I attended quickly noticed that I was bored and continually asking for extra work each evening. After a discussion with lectures to see if I was interested they moved me into the FD group and I never looked back.
The MCA (who are always a good place to start when looking for seafaring information) have produced a list of who they have certified as Approved Nautical Colleges. If you do not attend one of these colleges then there is no guarantee that the qualification you receive at the end will be valid. To help you choose which college go on to the forums and ask.
You need to be sponsored by a company before going to college. The link below will give you all the information about the companies in the UK that will take you on as a cadet. You need a sponsorship as you must complete 12 months at sea (not continuous) to qualify as an Engineer/Officer Of the Watch (E/OOW).
Merchant Shipping Notice 1856 (Merchant +Fishing) will give you Training and Certification Guidance for UK Requirements for Master & Deck Officers. The 2 Annex’s show on a flow chart how your career will progress at sea.
Active Marine Guidance Note 69 (Merchant) lays out the syllabus of what your final exam will be. Every nautical student must complete an orals examination which can cover any part of any subject you have studied or experienced at sea over your cadetship.
Welcome to the World of seafaring.
The Eazy Cadet
We aim to be the premiere revision site for the Merchant Navy Cadets and Officers all over the world looking to attain British Certificates of Competency.