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STCW II/1 Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (OICNW)

License Description

Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch is a STCW endorsed operational level officer of the deck department on an ocean going merchant ship. The OICNW duties consist of but are not limited to the duties of a National Mate’s credential.

OICNW is an STCW endorsement that applies to MMC Officer Endorsements with tonnage limitations greater than 200 tons (500 tons) or more and either a near coastal or ocean route.


The following National credentials would be II/1 OICNW endorsed:

2nd Mate, Unlimited
3rd Mate, Unlimited
Mate 1600 GRT, Oceans or Near Coastal
Mate 500 GRT, Oceans or Near Coastal
Mate OSV, Oceans or Near Coastal
Mate (Pilot) Towing Ocean or Near Coastal


STCW regulations apply to seagoing vessels greater than 200 gross registered tons (500 gross tons) and higher; these regulations do not apply to:

•Vessels operating exclusively on the Inland waters of the US.

•Seagoing vessels of less than 200 tons.

•Uninspected passenger vessels.

•Uninspected fishing industry vessels.


Required Examinations

None. STCW endorsements do not have assosiated Exams.

STCW Endorsements are based on Required Training, Seatime and Assessments

General Requirements

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The applicant for an officer endorsement, whether original, renewal, duplicate, or raise of grade, must establish to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard that he or she possesses all the qualifications necessary (including but not limited to age, experience, character, physical health, citizenship, approved training, professional competence, and a test for dangerous drugs) before the Coast Guard will issue to him or her a merchant mariner credential (MMC).

An applicant for any STCW endorsement must hold the appropriate national endorsement unless otherwise specified.


Until December 31, 2016, the training specified in the training section is not required for mariners who began their service or training for the OICNW endorsement before March 24, 2014, other than Bridge Resource Management.

In addition, ARPA or GMDSS training is required to be valid for vessels with this equipment.

A mariner will be considered to have started service on the first day of their service that meets the requirements for the OICNW endorsement.

Training is considered to have started on the first day of a period of training used to qualify for an OICNW endorsement.

Mariners may continue to qualify for OICNW using the previous model assessments (PL 11-07), until December 31, 2016. After December 31, 2016 only assessments located in enclosure (1) of NVIC 12-14 will be accepted.


To be valid on or after January 1, 2017, in addition to the general qualification requirements for a National renewal, each candidate for a renewal of an STCW endorsement as II/1 OICNW of vessels of 500 GT or more must provide evidence of the following:

1) Meeting the standard of competence in Leadership and Teamworking Skills;

2) Completion of approved or accepted training in ECDIS, to be valid on a vessel with this equipment as specified; and

3) Maintaining the standard of competence in the following areas:

  • Basic Training A-VI/1-1 of the STCW Code
  • Advanced Firefighting A-VI/3 of the STCW Code.

Assessments are not required for renewal of this endorsement.

Mariners renewing their STCW endorsement as OICNW of vessels of 500 GT or more before January 1, 2017, who do not provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence in Leadership and Teamworking Skills will receive a limitation on their endorsement indicating that it is not valid after December 31, 2016.

Sea Service Requirements

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1080 days of seagoing service in the deck department on vessels operating in oceans, near-coastal and/or Great Lakes; AND

Provide evidence of having performed, during the required seagoing service, bridge watch keeping duties, under the supervision of an officer holding the STCW endorsement as master, chief mate, second mate, or OICNW, for a period of not less than 180 days.


360 days of seagoing service as part of an approved training program, which includes onboard training that meets the requirements of Section A-II/1 of STCW Code


• Service on inland waters, bays, or sounds that are navigable waters of the United States may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total required service

• Experience gained in the engine department on vessels may be creditable for up to 90 days service requirements.

Seafarers with National Officer endorsements are eligible to apply for the II/1 OICNW endorsement upon completion of:

  • any OICNW Assessments not previously satisfied.
  • any OICNW Required Training not previously satisfied, and
  • Any additional Sea Service as listed.

Additional required Sea Service with holding the National Credential

3rd Mate ocean or near-coastal, unlimited tonnage             None

Mate ocean or near-coastal, less than 1,600 GRT               None

Master ocean or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT             6 months

Mate (Pilot) towing vessel ocean or near-coastal              6 months

Mate ocean or near-coastal, less than 500 GRT               12 months

Mate OSV                                                                    12 months

Training Requirements

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Provide evidence of meeting the standard of competence specified in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code; and

Provide evidence of having satisfactorily completed approved training in the following subject areas:

- Medical first-aid provider, Course #153 (or MPIC #154)

- Radar observer, Course #148

- Search and rescue, Course #209

- Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting, Course #145within 5 years of application date.

- Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC) or proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats other than lifeboats and fast rescue boats (PSC-limited). Course #146

- Visual signaling, Course #207

- Bridge resource management (BRM), Course #151

- Terrestrial and celestial navigation, and electronic navigation systems, Course #200

- Watchkeeping, including International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and IMO standard marine communication phrases (SMCP), Course #205

- Cargo handling and stowage, Course #204

- Ship handling, Course #211

- Stability and ship construction, Course #203

- Meteorology, Course #202

- ARPA, Course #150 if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

- GMDSS, Course #152 if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

- ECDIS, Course #601 if serving on a vessel with this equipment.

- Leadership and Teamworking Skills (optional) – though not required until January 1, 2017, to avoid having a limitation on the endorsement “not valid after December 31, 2016” mariners need to provide

- Current Basic Training, Course #104 (After January 1, 2017 must provide evidence maintaining standard of competence, Course #164)

Practical Assessments

STCW II/1 OICNW Assessments NVIC 12-14 (or PL 11-07, until 2017)

  • OICNW Assessment Session (course #212) (Assessments Only)
  • Bridge Resource Management “BRM” (course #151) (Prereq for 212)
  • Watchkeeping (course #205) (Prereq for 212)

Assessments are not required if the mariner holds or has previously held an STCW endorsement as Master STCW II/2 valid on vessels of 500 GT or more, other than Offshore Supply Vessels issued after 1997. This will apply regardless of when or how the mariner obtained their endorsement.

The Coast Guard may exempt an applicant from meeting any individual knowledge, understanding, and proficiency required in Section A-II/1 of the STCW Code. These exemptions must be approved by the Coast Guard based upon vessel type. Under these circumstances, the credential may include a corresponding limitation.