Coxswain NC1 Certificate of Competency

In accordance with the National Law 2012 and the National Standards for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part D (Crew Competencies), there are 3 grades of Coxswain Certificates of Competency. These grades are known as Coxswain NC3, Coxswain NC2 and Coxswain NC1.  (NC = Near Coastal – NC3 is the lower grade and NC1 the higher grade).

Coxswain NC1 Certificate of Competency

The Coxswain NC1 course is for all persons who wish to be command a commercial vessel (Fishing Charter vessel – Water Taxi – Passenger Ferry/Cruise Boat etc) up to 12 metres in length, operating 15 nautical miles to sea, with an inboard engine capacity of <500 kW (670hp), or unlimited outboard engine capacity, and carrying passengers.

The current regulations include one of the most important conditions and that is evidence of boating experience CAN include 100% of recreational boating experience. The amount of boating experience varies depending on whether a task book is completed or not.

For example for a Coxswain NC1 certificate one hundred and fifty (150) days of boating experience is required which can be on a commercial and/or recreational vessel without a task book. This can be reduced to thirty (30) days sea service on commercial vessels with a completed AMSA task book. to obtain a Coxswain NC1 task Book please Click Here. Sea Service is also recorded on AMSA Form 771 Record of Sea Service.

Coxswain course initial enrolment

Knowledge required to be a Coxswain in command of a Domestic Commercial Vessel

The Coxswain NC1 marine qualification require a demonstration of competency in 13 units. The areas of knowledge required of a Coxswain include:

  • Vessel Survey Categories and areas of operation
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Manoeuvering a vessel
  • Anchoring
  • Fight & Extinguish Fires
  • Survival at Sea
  • Splicing, Knots, Hitches and Seamanship Skills
  • Marine Radio operation
  • Basic Meteorology and Tidal knowledge
  • Basic Vessel Stability
  • Basic Coastal Navigation
  • International Collision Regulations including IALA Buoyage systems
  • Operating Deck Equipment (Lifting Gear and Anchor winches)
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Knowledge of Marine Engines
  • Fuel, Cooling, Fire, Bilge and Deck Wash Pumping Systems
  • Knowledge of Engine Start Up & Shut Down procedures
  • Knowledge of Low Voltage Electrical systems

To understand the depth of knowledge required of a Coxswain (NC2) and Coxswain (NC1) please download this document.


How to enrol in a Coxswain Course

How do I obtain a Coxswain’s Ticket?

This is probably one of the most common questions we receive. If you found us on the internet then you most likely have that ability to use a computer. That being the case obtaining your Coxswain’s Ticket is an easy 5 step process.

  1. Complete the Coxswain course initial enrolment and complete online activities and assignments based of the level of knowledge required for the Coxswain certificate that is being applied for. (including the Marine Radio and Coastal navigation components if required). We estimate this component will take approximately 30-35 hours of self study for NC1 and NC2 and approximately 15 hours for NC3. This stage can be completed anywhere online. (We currently have students studying overseas)
  2. Complete a pre course project based on what you have learnt from the online assignments. We estimate this can be completed in aproximately 5 hours.
  3. Complete a final course online assessment – 1 hour allowed
  4. Attend the Coxswain 2 day practical training and assessment for Fire, Survival, Boat Handling and Seamanship activities. On successful completion receive your course certificate and AMPA – (AMSA Mandated Practical Assessment)
  5. On successful completion of the Coxswain course submit your application to AMSA. Providing evidence of sea service (this can include up to 100% of recreational boating experience). Sea service (boating experience) can be stated in a letter format (click here for a sample template) or on a Statutory Declaration and accompanied by AMSA Form 771 Record of Sea Service.    Submit your application (including your 1st Aid Certificate if required)

Our courses are designed for candidates who wish to complete the course in a reasonable time frame suited to individual work and personal situations rather than taking months of part time college attendance. We use the internet for initial training and in addition we have our own training vessel, in commercial 2C survey for up to 30 nautical miles to sea, and therefore we conduct the Coxswain Course in 2 parts:

  1. The Initial Enrolment – this involves downloading training resources and completing a number of online assignments. The hours of study can vary and is dependent on your current individual level of knowledge of the maritime environment. No face to face attendance is required at this time however our trainers are available 7 days a week for assistance and questions. 
  2. The Final Practical Session (Practical Sessions are held every month all year round). The 2 practical training days are Friday, Saturday each month and are currently designed to minimise the time required to be away from home or work. If you have already completed the Fire, Survival, W H &S, and Seamanship (Anchoring, Splicing, Knots, Hitches etc) components from the General Purpose Hand (GPH) course then the practical course may be reduced by 1 day. 

Coxswain course initial enrolment

Sea Time – Boating Experience

Prior to submitting a Coxswain application to AMSA candidates need to provide evidence of boating experience. This CAN include 100% of recreational and yachting boating experience and will be assessed on an individual basis depending on where the experience was obtained and on what size and type of vessel. Sea Service time can also be reduced by completing an AMSA coxswain NC1 Task Book. to obtain a Coxswain NC1 Task Book please Click Here. Sea Service should also be recorded on  AMSA Form 771 Record of Sea Service as well as on a Statutory Declaration.

First Aid Certificate

1st Aid Certificate (HLTAID011 Provide First Aid)

Candidates must be in possession of a current 1st Aid Certificate. It is not necessary to have a 1st Aid Certificate prior to commencing the course however a copy must be provided as soon as possible after the completion of the course before the Coxswain Course Certificate can be issued. The current 1st Aid Certificate to obtain is: HLTAID011 Provide First Aid