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  • Exemptions cutoff date

    Hello,

    I've heard word that the exemption for foundation degree students from sitting chief mates exams will cease to exist soon. Has anyone an idea of the cutoff date for qualifying to still be exempt from Chief mates writtens?

    Cheers,

    Robert Taylor

  • #2
    I received an email regarding this situation a few months back...

    "The MCA will be introducing Chief Mate written SQA examinations for 2017, following a review of the current Chief Mate/Master syllabus which will be undertaken with the assistance of the MNTB Technical Committee. Therefore current officer cadets who would not expect to undertake SQA exams for the Chief Mate certification will not be affected until 2017 at the earliest."

    I recently qualified in the summer and think I'll struggle to get the 18 months sea time required to be able to go to college and sit my Mates before 2017. I think if you're still a cadet just now then I would prepare to accept that you will more than likely sit the Mates Writtens.

    In all honestly I don't think the PD/FD cadets should have been given an exemption anyway.
    The bird is the word

    Comment


    • #3
      Totally agree no exemption should be given and I worry about the state of play in a few years when these people who got exemptions reach senior officer level!
      Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

      Comment


      • #4
        Us lowly HND guys wern't exempt Chris, so we'll save the day without our degree

        Comment


        • #5
          I know a lot of people don't like the FD/PD system but from friends I understood they take an extra graded exam and study stability/ nav up to chief Mate level? I have no problem taking the writtens but why the heavy focus on the theory rather than the practical side? We expect our cadets/ mates to be British trained, are heavy on the exams side (not always a bad thing) then send them to train with every other nationality under the sun, crews get suspicious when you can reel off regulations but can't rig a pilot ladder (I hope I'm exaggerating here, but hopefully you get the point).

          All I know is that I work for a foreign company who have a large amount of IoM flagged ships and whose mates get British CeCs based on seatime and no orals exam whatsoever at any level. Then I'm expected to go back for 3/4 months to college. I'm competing for jobs with guys who don't have to do that having COCs from elsewhere in the world. I know my company has to find a replacement for two/ three trips with AHTS/ Construction experience at a very high level and willing to work in West Africa for most of the coming year. It's not exactly looking good at the moment and I wonder how it will affect they're decision to employ the few UK officers they have when they start coming up the ranks and they expect months of work paid- we're still flagging out, so while we argue about the ins/ outs of an exam I'm worried about losing my job- carry on the old boys who are high enough up the ranks to be in a secure enough position to comment once again what is wrong with those below and how easy we have it because times have changed. I don't want a fight that's just how it seems both onboard and elsewhere at times.

          I've always enjoyed college and studying but why does everything in the UK seem so dated? Not once as a cadet was anything about the offshore industry covered, and yes it's a 'general' ticket so I do think covering other sectors is important but really when you look at the industries in which UK mates are still employed you wonder what the problem is? Other 'foreign' cadets in my company took their DP tickets through college- while we examine ours on general cargo. I expect pretty much the same when I go back to take my mates ticket and the thought is depressing.

          Why isn't there an option to study part time/ distance learning/ smaller blocks/ modules? The market doesn't leave much leeway for continued study.

          I'm just saying- as a British Officer I feel in a very bad situation, I know this FD/PD exemption is a bit of a contentious issue, but honestly I have nothing against it, I'm far more interested in British seafarers continued future at sea, including my own with or without a written exam in their pocket.

          Comment


          • #6
            As one of the few who have "benefitted" from this decision by the MCA I would like to highlight a small point that many people (other than laura above) seem to miss when throwing their toys out the pram (for lack of a better statement)...

            Foundation Degree students were examined to the Mates level in Stability as part of their OOW course, whether this examination is done in house by the college (as for my group - I assume it still is for the present FD) or externally by the SQA is a mute point, they are both being done on behalf of and with the full approval of the MCA.

            Now, I will fully admit & I am sure those other FD students returning will feel the same, that when I came to do my Chief Mates (2.5 years later) I had pretty much forgotten most of the stability that was taught - however after a few weeks in a classroom it quickly came back, mainly due to an excellent teacher at WMA.

            From speaking to the others from my original FD class that have so far sat their Orals, most of them like myself were quizzed in detail on stability as part of the Orals examination, something that we were all told to expect as the examiners are aware that you have the exemptions.

            Given everything else that's wrong with the industry is bitching about a handful of people being exempted from an examination (which was advertised from the very start of the Foundation Degree - it's not like it was suddenly decided) really that important?
            ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

            ? Mark Twain
            myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Laura,

              You can do your mates distance learning from Banff and Buchan college. One of the guys I work with is having to do it that way as his HND time has expired (7 years I think) so is having to do the lot again.

              If your HND is still in date then its back to college for 12 weeks however that could be cut down to 4 weeks if you just wanted the written prep; you could do NRAS, Captains Medical, Signals all at your leisure.

              Just to touch on your point Alistair - I appreciate you got examined to Mates level doing your degree however the SQA written are two exams - Nav and Stability done back to back. If you get a low pass in one and then fail the other you have to re-sit both papers, I am sure you can appreciate why people are disgruntled with the exemptions. I think the fact that the MCA have realised they have made a massive balls up and are retracting it speaks volumes.

              Now this might come across a little crusty however the reason the British MN Officer has been regarded as the best in the world is due to our high standards. We have always demanded a higher competency and standard hence the lower premiums for hull / machinery etc and the reason that reputable companies seek British Officers. I realise that Johnny Foreigner can apply for a CEC but remember it’s a CEC not a COC, personally I don’t think we should be going down the same route as Poland, Latvia or wherever else. Being from a proud naval country we should be setting the standard not eroding it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by IFHP View Post
                Hi Laura,

                You can do your mates distance learning from Banff and Buchan college. One of the guys I work with is having to do it that way as his HND time has expired (7 years I think) so is having to do the lot again.

                If your HND is still in date then its back to college for 12 weeks however that could be cut down to 4 weeks if you just wanted the written prep; you could do NRAS, Captains Medical, Signals all at your leisure.
                I sailed with a guy who was in a similar situation, his problem was the flag changed and he has a limited ticket so was doing the distance learning thing. We will all need to go back for HELM at some pint now too!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was under the impression that Banff and Buchan was more for conversion tickets- but that's good info, thanks I'll check it out for definite.

                  I wasn't trying to have a rant- just fed up with the system- we're flagging out a few vessels at the moment the Captain had a 'manning meeting' today with the company. He's refused to have Filippino mates but we'll see how long that lasts- the company are pushing everyone and a lot of ratings/ junior officers in other vessels are about to lose their jobs. Not nice. I'm really keen to take my mates ticket- but it's a bit of a double edged sword.

                  Not sure if I'll ever do signals at leisure right enough

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We got our stability textbook today. Contains Master/Chief Mates stuff which we're told we will be examined on at the end of phase 3.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alistairuk View Post

                      Foundation Degree students were examined to the Mates level in Stability as part of their OOW course, whether this examination is done in house by the college (as for my group - I assume it still is for the present FD) or externally by the SQA is a mute point, they are both being done on behalf of and with the full approval of the MCA.

                      Given everything else that's wrong with the industry is bitching about a handful of people being exempted from an examination (which was advertised from the very start of the Foundation Degree - it's not like it was suddenly decided) really that important?
                      That was my impression too... very well put, completely agree with your sentiments!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The bizarre thing about the exemptions is the inconsistency. Basically there are three routes that people can take as far as I can see:

                        HNC: Taught everything only to OOW level. When going back for chief mates have to go to college for 9 months or so, learn all the chief mate syllabus then take writtens and orals

                        HND: Taught everything to chief mates level. When going back for chief mates only go back for around 3 months, have to do both writtens and orals.

                        FD/PD: I did the PD and this is from my experience so might be different for FD but I would've thought it is broadly similar: Taught everything to chief mates level. Also do PD modules on leadership, communication and project management which have absolutely nothing to do with chief mate level stability or anything else. It is these which give you the exemptions from chief mate writtens. Why, when they don't cover any part of the chief mate theory? Again, when going back for chief mates only go back for around 3 months but are exempt from writtens and only have to do orals.

                        So as far as I know the HND and PD (would assume FD is the same) courses are very similar with only the leadership, communication & project management modules added on. Why on earth do these give you an exemption? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And I say that as someone who recently went through this course and will benefit from the exemptions. Unless of course I'm getting my wires crossed and the HND course doesn't examine to the same level or does offer exemptions? All I know is that we were explicitly told that it was the 3 PD modules that gave you the exemptions, none of which had anything to do with navigation, stability etc.

                        Would agree with what Laura said about the course needing to be modernised to better reflect the reality of 21st century shipping but wouldn't want us to go down the road of other countries where higher tickets are awarded based solely on seatime. There should still be examinations to make sure you know what you are doing as you move up the ranks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EH75 View Post
                          So as far as I know the HND and PD (would assume FD is the same) courses are very similar with only the leadership, communication & project management modules added on. Why on earth do these give you an exemption? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And I say that as someone who recently went through this course and will benefit from the exemptions. Unless of course I'm getting my wires crossed and the HND course doesn't examine to the same level or does offer exemptions? All I know is that we were explicitly told that it was the 3 PD modules that gave you the exemptions, none of which had anything to do with navigation, stability etc.

                          Would agree with what Laura said about the course needing to be modernised to better reflect the reality of 21st century shipping but wouldn't want us to go down the road of other countries where higher tickets are awarded based solely on seatime. There should still be examinations to make sure you know what you are doing as you move up the ranks.
                          While the HND is taught to Chief Mates level the SQA OOW examinations are at OOW level. Presumably on the PD course (like the FD route) you are examined at Chief Mates level in stability & navigation - although what the actual differences are I have no idea.
                          ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                          ? Mark Twain
                          myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EH75 View Post
                            The bizarre thing about the exemptions is the inconsistency. Basically there are three routes that people can take as far as I can see:

                            HNC: Taught everything only to OOW level. When going back for chief mates have to go to college for 9 months or so, learn all the chief mate syllabus then take writtens and orals

                            HND: Taught everything to chief mates level. When going back for chief mates only go back for around 3 months, have to do both writtens and orals.

                            FD/PD: I did the PD and this is from my experience so might be different for FD but I would've thought it is broadly similar: Taught everything to chief mates level. Also do PD modules on leadership, communication and project management which have absolutely nothing to do with chief mate level stability or anything else. It is these which give you the exemptions from chief mate writtens. Why, when they don't cover any part of the chief mate theory? Again, when going back for chief mates only go back for around 3 months but are exempt from writtens and only have to do orals.

                            So as far as I know the HND and PD (would assume FD is the same) courses are very similar with only the leadership, communication & project management modules added on. Why on earth do these give you an exemption? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And I say that as someone who recently went through this course and will benefit from the exemptions. Unless of course I'm getting my wires crossed and the HND course doesn't examine to the same level or does offer exemptions? All I know is that we were explicitly told that it was the 3 PD modules that gave you the exemptions, none of which had anything to do with navigation, stability etc.

                            Would agree with what Laura said about the course needing to be modernised to better reflect the reality of 21st century shipping but wouldn't want us to go down the road of other countries where higher tickets are awarded based solely on seatime. There should still be examinations to make sure you know what you are doing as you move up the ranks.
                            On my HND I do 3 hours of Stability, Nav, Ship op's and Mar Op's a week, 4 and a half hours of Law and Nav and then some random Gyro classes for an hour and a half a week. Then later in the near we will be doing 4 and a half ours of Marine engineering a week too! All of this is apparently to mates and masters level.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              EH75 , Im sure the HND are not taught the Chief Mates/Masters level Stability and Navigation? Unlike the PD/FD

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