UK COC holder Officer of the watch (OOW) navigating from the deck department


 Officer of the Watch (OOW) is a position of an officer sailing on merchant vessels who bears the responsibility of watchkeeping, navigation, communication, log-keeping and Emergency responses. In-order to apply for OOW  Role there are various Eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled, in addition to all the required certifications and the courses. This blog covers all the essential information needed for the aspiring “Officer of the Watch (OOW)” candidates.       

The pathway to becoming an officer of the watch involves clearing an OOW Examination. The exam enables seafarers to achieve STCW Officer of the Watch (OOW) certificate by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) written examination route and oral exams by MCA.

You could become a OOW license holder if you are sailing as a deck rating or if you have sailed as deck cadet. However, the qualification criteria for both is  same. Hence, students need to complete a minimum of 36 months sea service including 6 months of watch-keeping  sea service on merchant ships before they can appear for OOW exams in UK. However, a good knowledge of Math and Science is considered essential to clear the written OOW examination in UK.

 To obtain a UK Certificate of Competency (COC), one must meet the eligibility requirements which also involves 36 months of sea-service. After becoming eligible and applying for the Certificate of Competency (COC), the individual must attend an 8-month program in the UK that incorporates both training and examinations.

*Prior academic qualification for example - Class XII Science, Class X, Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) and BSc Nautical Science, pre-sea courses from India are not approved by the MCA, UK. Hence, one needs to do a complete 36 months sea time before applying for OOW COC