Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) & Non-Qualified Ratings

If you are working on a commercial U.S. Flagged vessel over 100GRT, you are required to carry a U.S. Coast Guard issued Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). There are several levels of ratings you can obtain on your Merchant Mariners Credential.

An MMC will be endorsed with all of your unlicensed ratings. Unlicensed ratings can be qualified or non-qualified. The non-qualified ratings include food handler (FH), wiper, ordinary seaman (OS), and steward’s department (SD). Non-qualified ratings do not necessarily require any formal training or examination at the USCG. There are exceptions to this rule though, for instance if you will be standing a watch as a lookout or if your duties include designated safety or pollution prevention duties, you will be required to satisfy certain parts of STCW as amended.

A Rating Forming part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW), i.e. lookout, is considered a “Specially Trained Ordinary Seaman” (STOS). which requires training to satisfy the requirements in Table A-II/4 of the STCW Code’s practical competency assessments, and Basic Safety Training (BST).  If you are an OS on the station bill with safety duties, you are required to complete BST.

The different ways to satisfy the RFPNW training and assessment requirements, but remember, completion of Basic Safety Training is required in all cases:

RFPNW “Lookout Duties Only”

A mariner who completes a RFPNW (Lookout Duties Only) training course may be issued an interim STCW; valid for 1 year from the date of issue & may not be renewed.

Ratings Forming Part of a Navigation Watch (RFPNW)

180 days of approved seagoing service; or An approved course, plus approved seagoing service specified by the course/program; AND Assessments 1-1A through 3 -2A;

Note1: RFPNW assessments must be signed by 2nd Mate or higher (Master 500/1600 – OK) employed on the vessel & holding an appropriate STCW; also, all steering & helm assessments occurred on a vessel of at least 100GRT or a full mission simulator of at least 200 GRT / 500 GT.

RFPNW Alternatives

Proof of one year of sea service in a relevant capacity within the deck department between 1 October 1986 and 30 September 1991; (PL 14-02 enclosure (1)) OR

Proof of completion of Navy PQS for both: Helmsman (No. 305) and Lookout (No. 302); AND maintained one year of sea service within every five years. (U.S. Navy course approval for Helm & Lookout)

RFPNW Limited to OSVs

Completion of an approved RFPNW Program (sea service may be required; check course approvals)    (PL 07-00 Section V)