All You Need to Know About the ENG1 Seafarer Medical Certificate

Everyone, whether they are applying for a yacht job as a captain or as a stewardess, for example, will have to show that they have passed an extensive medical check proving that they are fit to carry out their duties onboard before setting sail. So, if you are looking for the perfect job on a yacht, you need to make sure that you have the correct paperwork, which, as well as your STCW Basic Safety Training includes a seafarer’s medical certificate.

What is an ENG1 seafarer medical certificate?

An ENG1 is a seafarer medical certificate given to people who have successfully undergone a medical examination by doctors approved by the UK flag state – the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). This UK crew medical certificate proves that the individual meets a minimum standard of health and is fit to work on a yacht or ship. 

Do I need an ENG1 certificate?

All individuals looking to work on a large yacht or superyacht will need a valid crew medical certificate. And, while the ENG1 is not the only medical certificate accepted in the yachting industry, it is one of the most widely recognised. However, it is important to note that it is not the only route to gaining employment on a yacht. Alternative medical certificates from any one of 40 countries across the world are also often accepted. The only proviso is that the doctors who carry out the medical examination are approved by the Maritime Authority of that particular flag state.
If you do choose to undergo a medical examination with the MCA, you will likely need to opt for the ENG1, unless you are working on a small vessel operating no more than 60 miles from shore. Under 60 miles from shore and an ML5 will suffice. 

How do I book an ENG1 medical examination

As previously mentioned, only MCA-approved doctors can carry out an ENG1 medical examination. ENG1 doctors qualified to carry out the examination can be easily found in locations across the UK, while there are fewer approved doctors overseas. Contact details for approved doctors can be found on the MCA website at the following links:

MCA-approved UK doctors 
MCA-approved overseas doctors

In the UK, the maximum cost for an ENG1 certificate is currently £105 (correct as of June 2020). Examinations in other countries will vary. 

What will happen at an ENG1 medical examination?

An ENG1 course is nothing to worry about. It is nothing more than a routine medical examination taking around 45 minutes, during which your height and weight will be measured, your eyes and hearing tested, and questions asked about your medical history. You will also have a colour blindness test and failure to pass this will disqualify you from any bridge watchkeeping and navigational duties. Other tests will include a urine sample to test kidney functionality and blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rate, and a hernia examination. 
You will be given one of three outcomes at the end of the examination. You will either be told you are: 

  1. Fit without restrictions
  2. You are fit with restrictions and can therefore only apply for specific jobs
  3. Or that you are temporarily or permanently unfit

The ENG1 seafarer medical certificate is valid for two years, after which it will need to be renewed or an alternative certificate applied for.

What happens if I fail the ENG1 medical examination?

If you are told that you are temporarily unfit, the ENG1 doctor might look to gain additional information from your family doctor. If, however, you are found to be permanently unfit you will receive an ENG3 Notice of Failure/Restriction which will last at least five years. 

While one of the most widely recognised seafarer medical certificates, the ENG1 might not be the best option for everyone. Discover alternative seafarer medical certificates valid for jobs on a yacht. 

You might also want to learn more about the STCW Basic Safety Training course, which is required before getting a job on a yacht.