Certificate of competency
From ‘Certificate of Knowledge’ and ‘Certificate of Proficiency’ to ‘Certificate of Competency’
There is a difference between the Certificate of Knowledge (KZV/GZV) which you can obtain at the Enkhuizen Nautical College, and the STCW Certificate of Competency which you need to sail as a sailor or officer.
After obtaining your Certificate of Knowledge, you are not there yet. In order to qualify for a Certificate of Competency, you first have to obtain a Certificate of Proficiency.
To get this, you must be at sea for a total of at least 180 days (KZV), or 360 days (GZV), and complete a Training Record Book. You can download it here (free of charge), or you can buy a paper version of the book from the school for € 20,-. We will issue you with a Certificate of Proficiency after you have fulfilled the applicable ‘sailing days’ requirements and the tasks in the Training Record Book have been signed off (the captain or mate signs off the tasks you performed during your time at sea).
Important points related to the Training Record Book are as follows:
We will check all the information provided and will verify the sailing time/experience (including contacting the officer(s) or captain(s) who signed off on the tasks) and can then issue your Certificate of Proficiency. In 2022 the cost for processing and issuing the Certificate of Proficiency is € 175.00.
Please note: it takes at least two weeks to process your application for a Certificate of Proficiency. During the holiday periods (July, August, December) and around the exam period, it often takes a little longer.
Make sure you also keep track of all your sailing time in a Seaman’s Book (available from KIWA).
With your Certificate of Proficiency, your medical examination, your Radio Operators Certificate*, your Basic Safety, Medical First Aid and Medical Care
certificates, you can go to the KIWA (www.kiwaregister.nl --> note: do this WITHIN 4 years of issue of the Certificate of Proficiency!) and apply for your Certificate of Competency. KIWA will charge a fee for processing your application.
* The General Operators Certificate (G.O.C.) given out by these countries is equivalent to the Dutch 'Marcom-A'. This Operators Certificate will however not be registered on your Dutch Certificate of Competency, so you should carry it with you when joining a new ship.
Flowcharts: click to enlarge
Note! All sailors on sea-going vessels must have a valid licence ('rating' or 'rating deck').
Rating deck sailing vessels
For the general 'rating deck' licence (qualified rating deck - all ships), all sailing time must have been at sea.
Link to KIWA declaration of demands of ability
Certificates of Competency for the Dutch inland waters are issued by the CBR (www.cbr.nl). You are eligible to apply for a sailing licence ('Schipper Zeilvaart') once you have obtained your KZV 'Proof of Knowledge' and can demonstrate two seasons of sailing time on these waters. This licence allows you to skipper inland waters-based sailing vessels in the Netherlands.
what to do when your certificate of competencY has expired
The regulations make a distinction between Certificates of Competency that expired less than five years ago and those that expired more than five years ago.
Expiry less than five years ago
In these circumstances there are three options for seafarers to obtain a new Certificate of Competency:
1. obtaining a new Proof of Knowledge from the EZS;
2. gaining three months of experience in the six months preceding the date of the application for renewal in a position that can be considered relevant for the renewal of the Certificate of Competency. This position must be over and above the manning levels indicated in the Minimum Safe Manning Certificate;
3. gaining three months of experience in the six months preceding the date of the application for renewal in a position that can be considered relevant for the renewal of the Certificate of Competency. This position can be within the required manning levels, but must be at a lower level than that for which the expired Certificate of Competency was valid. In practice, this last option means that a seafarer with an expired Certificate of Competency as Master may sail for three months as officer-in-charge of a navigational watch based on an ex-officio certificate.
The ex-officio certificate is valid for 12 months but has the same appearance as a regular Certificate of Competency. After this time, the seafarer may be considered once again eligible for obtaining a certificate as Master. The option of fulfilling the three-month requirement in the position of Chief Mate is not available to this seafarer, because a Chief Mate acts as the Master's substitute.
The latter provision does not apply to seafarers with an expired Certificate of Competency as officer-in-charge of a navigational watch , because there is no relevant lower qualification for this position.
Expiry more than five years ago
In these cases, the only option is to obtain a new Certificate of Proficiency from the EZS......
On seagoing vessels with a limited sailing area, the Captain, together with the person normally in charge of medical care on board must hold the 'Medical First Aid' certificate. For seagoing vessels with an unlimited sailing area this needs to be a 'Medical Care' certificate. The Medical First Aid and Medical Care certificates must be renewed every 5 years through taking a refresher course.
For the issue of a 'Certificate of Competency' to serve on board sailing vessels up to 500 tonnes, the STCW courses 'Ships Management', 'Radar Navigator' and 'Advanced Fire Fighting' are not mandatory.