News & Updates

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Cooks! Don’t Leave It Too Late!

Jan 28 2019

Cooks, Your Time is Running Out – Update Your Certificates Now!

We cannot stress how important it is that you have updated your Ship’s Cooks Certificate BEFORE August 2019 or you will no longer be able to work as a Ships Cook.

Those working as Cooks on Merchant Navy Vessels were given 5 years from 2014 when MSN 1846 came into effect. It is worth noting that the 5-year period was aimed at assisting ship owners with large numbers of Cooks to stagger their certificate updates. It was not intended to allow existing cooks to delay updating their certificates. We are now fast approaching the deadline which many of you are not ready for!

The MCA have recommended that, holders of the UK Ship’s Cook Certificate should update them as soon as possible.  If you leave it to the last minute you may not get a place on a course and will not be able to renew in time! Be aware that the MCA have said that this will not be accepted as a valid reason for extending the validity of existing certificates, so it really is time to think seriously about this!

Read the full Merchant Shipping notice here.

How to update an existing UK Ship’s Cooks Certificate

UK Ship’s Cooks Certificates issued under the Merchant Shipping (Certificate of Ships Cooks) Regulations 1981 (and any equivalent certificates under the same regulations, issued by UK establishments) may be issued with a UK (MLC 2006) Ship’s Cooks Certificate on completion of the following:

  • Food Safety in Catering (Annex 1*)
  • Cultural and Religious Catering Requirements (Annex 2*)
  • Dietary Requirements of Shift Workers (Annex 2*)
  • STCW Safety Training as listed under the  MSN 1846

Candidates upgrading their certificate to UK (MLC 2006) Ship’s Cook Certificate who have documents that demonstrate they have already completed any of the training courses above will not be asked to repeat the training.

A testimonial from the Master of the vessel that you are serving on confirming the learning outcomes have been met will be accepted in lieu of completing training courses. If you are requesting a testimonial please ensure the Master of the vessel is aware that the testimonial should be in the form of the pro-forma in Annex 3a or 3b to MSN 1846.

For your information MIN 559 (and subsequent revisions) contains a list of qualifications and awarding bodies that are recognised and accepted as fulfilling the learning outcomes and assessment criteria set out in Annex 1 of MSN 1846.

Applying for UK Ship’s Cook Certificate

The application form for a UK Ship’s Cook Certificate can be found here and guidance is provided on the documents that should be submitted along with the application form.

What Happens After August?

Following the August 2019 deadline, we will no longer be able to accept City & Guild Cookery Certificate as an equivalent to a Ship’s Cook Certificate of Competency. Without a valid Ship’s Cook Certificate, you will only be able to work as an Assistant Cook onboard if you can satisfy ALL the following requirements:

  • Food Hygiene
  • STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  • STCW Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • STCW Elementary First Aid
  • STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Security Awareness Training
  • ENG1 or equivalent medical