NMC issues changes to requirements for designated examiner

(MARTINSBURG, W.Va.) — This bulletin from the National Maritime Center (NMC) provides clarifications for meeting the regulatory requirements for certification as a designated examiner, which will be implemented immediately. The guidance in NVIC 03-16, “Guidelines for Credentialing Officers of Towing Vessels,” will be updated in the near future.

1. Experience, training or instruction in assessment techniques on towing vessels (46 CFR 10.405(b)(1)):

a. Experience:
i. Documentary evidence of work as an instructor or assessor, in any field;
ii. Documentary evidence of supervising onboard training or drills;
iii. Documentation showing experience assessing apprentice mates or mate pilots in a company training program or safety management system; or
iv. Documentation showing experience conducting STCW assessments.

Documentation may include company letters, evidence of instructor employment, qualified assessor certification, or completed records of assessment. This is not an exclusive list and other evidence may be accepted.

b. Training or instruction must include some form of education in evaluating competence. Training may be formal or informal:
i. Documentary evidence from company training in assessment techniques;
ii. Training course completion certificate from an assessor or train the trainer course.

2. Qualification on towing vessels in the task for which the assessment is being conducted (46 CFR 10.405(b)(2)):

a. Hold a master of towing vessel endorsement for each route requested;
b. Hold a mate (pilot) of towing vessel endorsement with at least 12 months of service as mate (pilot) on towing vessels for each route requested; or
c. Hold a master of self-propelled vessels of more than 200 GRT and a completed towing officer assessment record (TOAR) with at least 12 months of services as master of towing vessels for each route requested.
d. Hold a mate of self-propelled vessels of more than 200 GRT and a completed TOAR with at least 12 months of services as mate (pilot) of towing vessels for each route requested.

Mariners meeting one of the requirements listed above will be considered qualified if their merchant mariner credential (MMC) has been expired no more than five years. Towing vessel endorsements with limitations or restrictions would not qualify unless the applicant can demonstrate that the task being assessed is not related or impacted by the limitation or restriction.

3. Possess the level of endorsement on towing vessels or other professional credential which provides proof of attaining a level of qualification equal or superior to that described in the training objective (46 CFR 10.405(b)(3)). This requirement is met by meeting the credential requirements described in paragraph 2.

4. Renewals require experience, training or evidence of instruction in effective assessment techniques within the last five years (46 CFR 10.405(d)). This requirement is satisfied by meeting the requirement in paragraph 1 within the last five years.

5. Certification to assess the limited TOAR in Enclosure (5) to NVIC 03-16 will be granted to designated examiners certified for Western rivers and Great Lakes and inland.

Mariners with current open applications, including requests for additional information that have not timed out, will be processed using the standards above. Mariners previously denied should resubmit their requests if they meet the standards described above.

For additional information on completing TOAR assessments, review NVIC 03-16. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

– National Maritime Center

By Rich Miller