NSW Maritime has cut red tape and improved employment opportunities in the commercial vessel industry.
NSW Maritime Deputy Chief Executive Tony Middleton said the boating safety regulator has reduced the amount of time required for Coxswain and Masters qualifications.
'The crew on most commercial vessels require a Certificate of Competency which requires a certain number of hours to be served before a certificate can be issued,' Mr Middleton said.
'For example a Coxswain’s ticket is required to operate a vessel up to 12m in length and up to 15 nautical miles from the coast; and a Master 5 ticket is required to operate a vessel up to 24m in length and up to 100 nautical miles from the coast.'
'Under the old system all sea time for these certificates could be obtained on recreational vessels that provided limited opportunities for quality training.'
Mr Middleton said under the new arrangements, less sea time is required but it must be time spent actually operating a commercial vessel under the supervision of the master.
'For a coxswain, the sea time required will be reduced from 1800 hours to 200 hours of structured training,' Mr Middleton said.
'For a Master 5 or Skipper 3, sea time will be reduced from 4,500 hours to 900 hours of structured training.'
Applicants must have experience navigating in a range of weather conditions and must complete a minimum number of trips, with strict requirements applying to ensure applicants have the required skills. A record of service book listing all the required competencies must be completed and certified, and an independent assessment and examination occurs at the end of the training, before certification.
Mr Middleton said commercial vessel incidents were down 25 per cent in 2010/ 11 compared to 2009/10.
NSW Maritime website