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MAR30921 Certificate III in Maritime Operations
(Master < 24m Near Coastal)

The Australian passenger vessel fleet is as vibrant and varied as any around the world and has a role for you that will take you places; from work vessels, barges, small tugs and city ferries, to high speed catamarans.

Master <24 commands coastal trading vessels under 24 metres in length in designated near offshore waters. They co-ordinate the activities of crew members, and oversee the safe operation of the vessel at sea, at anchor and in port. With experience you could become a sought-after Master, transporting along the Australian coastline, carrying cargo or commanding a commercial fishing vessel.

This qualification is suitable for people working in the maritime industry as a Master on commercial vessels up to 24 metres in length within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). You will learn vessel operations and management, how to manoeuvre larger vessels, safety and seamanship as well as how to plan and navigate a passage at Master level. The course includes how to instruct the ship's crew on watch keeping, wheelhouse operations, environmental management, routine maintenance, keeping records and logbooks, communications and how to slip and dock a vessel.

This qualification is one component of the eligibility criteria to achieve the Master <24 NC Certificate of Competency which allows you to work in any state or territory in Australia.

Student Course Information

Who is this Certificate for?

This qualification is suitable for people who work in the maritime industry operating as :

  • Act as Chief Mate on a vessel <45m long in the EEZ
  • Act as deck watchkeeper on a vessel <100m long and <3000 GT in the EEZ
  • Act as chief mate on a vessel <100m and <3000 GT in inshore waters

Why choose us?

Our mission is to provide exceptional maritime training that creates real employment outcomes for our students.

  • We train on the water
    Our campuses are conveniently located close to waterways so you can walk out of the classroom and onto a vessel for practical, on-board training.
  • You can study full-time or part-time
    You have the choice to study your course all in one go or do it in blocks of time so it’s convenient for whenever you can get the time off work. Talk to us and we’ll make a plan that works for you.
  • Pay as you go with flexible payment plans
    You can pay your course fees in full or by instalments over the term of your course duration.
  • We have a Job Register
    When you graduate you’ll be automatically added to our Job Register and emailed when positions become vacant in the industry, providing you opportunities for part-time and full-time work.
  • Trainers are experienced seafarers
    Our professional maritime trainers and assessors are qualified and experienced seafarers aboard a variety of commercial vessels. Our students are guaranteed a high level of education that combines traditional classroom teaching with practical, on-board training.
  • Under new management since 2013
    Since taking over Sea School, we’ve had over 400 graduates successfully complete our courses. We are an AMSA compliant, quality-driven RTO that offers you the best training and career pathways.

Course Fees and Duration

  • $4290
  • Long Range Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP) carries an additional charge of the application fee of $295
  • Note our courses do not include HLTAID011 (Provide First Aid) - this must be completed externally at your own expense
  • Final assessment & CoC lodgement is an additional fee
  • Course duration is 4 weeks (20 days) full-time face to face PLUS a self-directed study component and sea service
  • The course runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm each day

For government funding and incentives, please refer to the New South Wales government funding page or the Queensland government funding page.

Fee Payment

A deposit of $500 is to be paid on enrolment to hold your place on the course. Course fees are due to be paid in full on course commencement. You will be invoiced upon enrolment.

You can pay by credit card, cash or by electronic funds transfer. Instalment payment plans are available upon application.

Flexible course delivery

A flexible approach to delivery is offered to students depending on their work/life experience and individual needs. Students may attend the course on consecutive days over 4 weeks or, there is an option to attend in 2 or more blocks over a period of time.

The block delivery option must be discussed and approved by the Director prior to course commencement.

How to Apply

Please complete our online commercial course enrolment form. After receiving your enrolment, we will then email you a booking confirmation with a request to pay a deposit to ensure your place on the course.

Please review the Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skill requirements for our courses. We will issue you with a LLN test that must be completed prior to course commencement. This test will reveal if you require any extra support through your training and a training plan will be drawn up for you. Please feel free to contact us if you feel you may need extra support.

If you need to cancel your course due to an emergency or work, be assured your course enrolment can be transferred to another date, course or person within a 12 month period or, you can apply for a refund in extenuating circumstances.

What to Bring


Australian Drivers Licence, current passport or birth certificate, Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Sea Service:

Please bring your evidence of qualifying sea service. See the Record of Sea Service Form

RPL (if applying):

Academic transcripts of previous qualifications, CV, letters from employers

Electronic Device:

Electronic device capable of doing assessments online e.g. phone, tablet or laptop


Work or casual clothes for both theory and practical days


Deck shoes, joggers, sandshoes or work boots (no thongs)

Radio day:

1 x Passport photo for Marine Radio course

Fight Fire day:
  • No synthetic outer clothing, socks or underwear
  • Long sleeve 'cotton' work shirt
  • Long 'cotton' pants or jeans
  • Hair is to be tied back, if applicable
Sea Survival day:
  • In-water sea survival clothing to include a t-shirt or shirt plus pants
  • Spare set of clothes to wear after sea survival in water practical
  • Lunch, a bottle of water, large towel, warm jacket, and strong large plastic bag for wet clothes

Course Text

  • The definitive reference book for the Maritime industry and professional crew is the Australian Boating Manual by Dick Gandy. This is the course text and your course fees include access to it for the course duration. New course texts are available for purchase.
  • A self-directed study regime during the course is required.


To receive the full qualification you must demonstrate competency in all units and meet all course requirements including qualification of the required sea service and evidence of completed HLTAID011.

If you don’t achieve competency in some of the units, Sea School’s Competency Not Achieved Assessment Policy allows you to return to attend specified classes to re-sit training and/or assessments at no cost within a 12 month period. Should you not complete the whole course then you will receive a statement of attainment for the units you’ve completed.

Final Assessment and Certificate of Competency (CoC) Application

Final Assessment

If you have elected to do the AMSA Mandated Practical Assessment (AMPA) with Sea School, we'll incorporate it into our course structure so when you’ve completed your course, you’ve completed your final assessment.

Please read the AMSA requirements for the Certificate of competency for this course.

Certificate of Competency (CoC) Application

You will need to submit an Application for a Certificate of Competency (industry licence) to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. This can be completed at any Registered Australia Post Retail Outlet. Please check you’ve met the requirements and complete a 426 application form.

Required Evidence - Sea Service and Elements of Shipboard Safety units

This course requires you to provide the following evidence prior to certification:

  • Sea service:*
    • 120 days of qualifying sea service working in a deck capacity onboard commercial vessels ≥7.5m long, AND completed an approved task book;
    • 360 days of qualifying sea service working in a deck capacity or working both in a deck capacity and engineering capacity, of which:
      • All must be accrued on vessels ≥7.5m long; AND
      • At least half must be accrued on commercial vessels
  • A transcript showing evidence of completion of the Shipboard Safety Skill Set (ESS) which is usually embedded in other maritime qualifications such as GPH, Coxswain and/or Marine Engine Driver.

*Please note that you are expected to gain this sea service independently.

Course Structure

The M<24 qualification is made up of 15 units of competency. Ten of the units are delivered in this course, 4 units (marked *) are a course requirement and are the MARSS00008 Shipboard Safety Skill Set (ESS) see below. 'Provide first aid' is not included in the course timetable and students need to provide evidence of attainment prior to certification.

MAR30921 Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres Near Coastal)
  • BSBFLM303
    Contribute to effective workplace relationships
  • MARB029
    Perform routine maintenance on a vessel up to 24 metres
  • MARB030
    Slip or dock a vessel and maintain hull on a vessel up to 80 metres
  • MARH015
    Manage and maintain a navigational watch on board vessels up to 80 metres
  • MARH016
    Plan and navigate a passage for a vessel up to 80 metres
  • MARH017
    Use wheelhouse equipment for safe navigation
  • MARI004
    Observe regulations to ensure safe operation of a vessel up to 80 metres
  • MARJ007
    Monitor environmental management on a vessel
  • MARK008
    Manoeuvre a vessel up to 24 metres within near coastal waters
  • MARN009
    Perform seamanship operations on board a vessel up to 24 metres
  • *MARF027
    Apply basic survival skills in the event of vessel abandonment
  • *MARF028
    Follow procedures to minimise and fight fires on board a vessel
  • *MARF029
    Meet work health and safety requirements
  • *MARF030
    Survive at sea using survival craft
  • *HLTAID011
    Provide first aid

*Course entry requirements are the 4 ESS units (MARSS00008 Shipboard Safety Skill Set) and HTLAID003 Provide First Aid. These units do not need to be completed prior to enrolling, however evidence of their completion is to be provided prior to certification. If you hold a GPH or Coxswain certificate, you will have already completed the ESS units.

All of our assessments are conducted through online software in class.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

  • Credit Transfers (CT) are granted if you have successfully completed a course that contains the same units as the Sea School course you've enrolled in. You may apply for a CT by providing evidence in the form of a transcript and if CT is granted, you may be exempted from some or all of the coursework.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is based on your work history, sea time and previous studies. You may apply for RPL if you can provide sufficient evidence with a minimum currency of 5 years. An assessor will make a judgement on the evidence provided and if RPL is granted, you may be exempted from some or all of the coursework. A competency conversation interview may be required as part of your portfolio of evidence.

Terms and Conditions

Signing your enrolment form acknowledges your understanding of your rights, obligations and acceptance of Sea School’s terms and conditions. Sea School course costs, timetable, course content, policies and procedures are subject to change without notice. You are required to read the detailed terms and conditions information on our website.

Make an Enquiry

We're sorry but due to a large number of spam submissions, our online enquiry form is not available to your location.

Please use the information on our contact page to phone or email us directly.

Just wanted to thank you and your staff at Sea School. I have over 20 years experience in the teaching profession and work closely with Macquarie Uni & UTS and I can certainly say that your methods of teaching coxswain ticket were spot on.

Craig Mitchell, Managing Director, Sydney Harbour Bookings

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Australian Qualifications Framework