Skip to main content

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Maritime and Coastguard Agency takes to evaluate the communication levels among mixed nationality crews on UK ships. (117627)

Under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978 as amended in 1995 (STCW), foreign officers working on UK ships must obtain a Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). One of the criteria for issuing a UK CEC is that the applicant must demonstrate their command of the English language.

In addition the MCA audits all UK registered ships for compliance with the International Safety Management Code. As part of this audit process the MCA Marine Surveyor requires the ship’s crew to conduct physical operational drills to demonstrate their familiarity with equipment and their ability to communicate and cooperate with each other.