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Ship's Cook Certificate: UPDATE

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MSN 1846 Food and Catering Ship's Cooks and Catering Staff

Food and Catering MIN 479 (M)

The Ship's Cook Certificate (SCC) is required for all cooks who cook for crew and work onboard MCL compliant yachts with 10 or more crew. 

These yachts must have a qualified person (SCC) onboard at all times (unless exemption has been given from Flag).

Cooks who already hold recognized formal cooks qualifications, including Food Safety or Food Hygiene, can apply with the criteria of 5 elements of basic STCW, a seafarer's medical certificate and one month of sea service. PYA SRB is accepted (please find the required testimonial at 

The learning outcomes in Annex 1 and 2 are equivalent to a Level 2 qualification (therefore the minimum standard required) issued in England and Northern Ireland, which is not expected to be higher than a Level 3 EQF, Level 2 CQFW, Level 5 SCQF and Level 4 NFQIE. 

For those who hold equivalent qualifications to the above; the MCA will accept Ship's Cooks certificates issued by EU Member states and other Administrations after the date on which they ratify the MLC.  Other arrangements for non EU and non MLC signatories will be made in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding.  Certificates of Equivalent Competency are referred to in section 5 of MSN 1846.

Those without recognized formal cook’s qualifications need to complete an assessment and/or training to the required level in Annex 1 and 2 in MGN 1846.

Service experience for those applying via the assessment route: They will need to provide evidence of at least 12 months experience cooking in a kitchen/restaurant business or establishment, plus at least 1 month of sea service. PYA SRB is accepted (please find the required testimonial at

All crew who are involved with processing food in the galley, including those who assist in food preparation (this might include interior crew), are required to be qualified with food hygiene and food safety (as per Annex 1 in MGN 1846) . 

For the Food Hygiene and Food Safety qualifications (Annex 1) please refer to MIN 479 for recognized courses. Please ensure the correct relevant qualification number is on the certificate issued. 

Please note that following a recent revision of the Virtual College Food Safety online courses, the MCA has now confirmed that this certification will be accepted. However, it’s worth noting that this course is an accredited training programme only; should you require a full qualification you will be required to undertake an additional assessment by visiting an accredited test centre. It is recommended that you complete a formal Food Safety or Food Hygiene module by a recognized awarding body.

See OnboardOnline's article (updated January 2017) on the Ship's Cook Certificate and clarification on the Assessment in Marine Cookery.

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