An overview of AMC Search training for the Defence sector, including all relevant courses

Personnel from Australian and international defence organisations have undertaken training delivered by AMC Search for over 30 years.

A range of AMC Search training courses are designed for modern defence forces including autonomous systems and rescue boat training.

AMC Search is a trusted training provider to the Australian Department of Defence; as a Key Divisional Supplier to the Maritime Systems Division, we exceeded their Supplier Quality and Safety Assurance program benchmark, scoring over 91%.

Bespoke training

As well as short courses, over 50% of our training is bespoke and put together to meet the specific training needs of organisations. We can carry out gap and skills analysis and design and deliver training that works for your organisation. Most of our training can be delivered in Tasmania, with accommodation provided, or at your location.

Bespoke training we’ve provided to the defence sector includes:

  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) operator training
  • Long Navigation Ship and Tug-handling and Magnetic Compass Adjustment for the Australian Navy
  • Pacific Patrol Boat Program – Vessel Operation and Maintenance Training; Post-Refit Vessel and Crew Workups and Sea Safety Audits
  • High-Speed Craft Training for HMAS Jervis Bay and USA Forces INCAT Vessels
  • Lifeboat training for large naval auxiliary vessels
Find out more about our bespoke training

Simulated Training

Our state-of-the-art maritime simulation facilities include a Full Mission Bridge: a full-scale mock-up of a ship and its surroundings. Rather than off-the-shelf solutions, we are experts in putting together bespoke simulated training that meets your organisation’s needs.

Simulated training we’ve delivered to defence organisations includes Azipod vessel handling simulation and advanced navigation for the Australian Navy.

Find out about our maritime simulation facilities

FAQs for Defence Personnel Seeking Civilian Qualifications

What is the difference between an International and Domestic Marine Qualification?

Domestic qualifications are issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for use on Australian commercial vessels in Australian waters. International qualifications are issued by AMSA and are recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for crew working on international seagoing vessels.

The sea time of RAN personnel may count towards their sea service requirements of a domestic and international commercial qualification.

Domestic qualifications usually require the applicant to undertake a course between 5 weeks to 11 months long (depending on the level of qualification). Some RAN qualifications may allow you to apply for credit transfer or RPL towards some elements of a domestic qualification, so the course attendance requirements may be reduced. Unfortunately, there are some missing components of RAN training which must be obtained from an AMC training course to apply for commercial qualifications. These usually include elements which are specific to commercial vessels which are not taught in RAN courses.

International marine qualifications allow the holder to work on international seagoing vessels. They are internationally recognised qualifications that adhere to the IMO’s requirements (this is enforced in Australia by AMSA). International qualifications usually require more in-depth study and training, as well as ongoing revalidation training.

Domestic qualifications are best suited for RAN personnel who intend to seek civilian domestic maritime industry employment. International qualifications are suited for personnel seeking cadetships or employment on offshore rigs, international seagoing commercial vessels or maritime industry jobs internationally.

What jobs can I apply for with domestic qualifications?

With a civilian domestic qualification, you are qualified to apply for jobs on Australian domestic commercial vessels operating within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (referred to as the ‘EEZ’ and usually means out to 200 nautical miles from the mainland coast).

These include tenders, port tugs, passenger ferries, fishing vessels, barges, water taxis and tourism or recreation vessels.

Other employers may include vessel maintenance yards and contractors, commercial fleet owners/operators, shore support organisations, maritime training organisations and government maritime authorities such as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Australian Border Force (ABF) and State Water Police.

The RAN also seeks out personnel with civilian marine qualifications to fulfill reservist officer roles such as Maritime Trade Operations officers.

Do I need both a Master and Engineer qualification?

No, but you will be a more competitive candidate with an entry level engineering qualification. This makes you more versatile and knowledgeable when operating on a vessel with a small crew. It also assists with fulfilling crew requirements of the company or owner of the vessel.

Entry level domestic Marine Engine Driver (MED) courses take about 4 weeks to complete and some RAN personnel may be able to use their sea service time to count towards this qualification.

Engineers are not expected to achieve Master qualifications; however, their engineering qualifications and experience are above the entry level qualifications.

What do I need to do to apply for a domestic Certificate of Competency?

AMSA requires all applicants for a domestic Certificate of Competency (CoC) to have completed the following:

  • Medical and eyesight requirements (Not covered by RAN)
  • Evidence of sea service (RAN sea service can count towards this)
  • Complete a training course (RAN courses may allow RPL or credit transfer for most)
  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate (RAN training can count, however it must be completed within the previous 5 years of the application. Revalidation courses are available)
  • Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (radio operation certification)
    • RAN does not provide this. Can be obtained with a 2 day course at AMC with no prior experience.
  • Final Assessment
    • Depending on the certificate you are applying for, this may be conducted by a registered training organisation, or by an AMSA assessor. This is either a practical assessment conducted by AMC staff or an oral examination for mhigh complexity Certificates of Competency. All applications (regardless of qualifications or experience) must conduct a final assessment. These are organised by AMC and are typically conducted at the conclusion of the training course.
  • Submit a Certificate of Competency application
    • AMC will assist you with this.

Many of these requirements can be fulfilled over the period of the training course at AMC. AMC assists with most of these requirements, however you will need to provide evidence of sea service and have a doctor sign you off on the medical and eyesight requirements (a form from AMSA is required to be filled out by the doctor).

Can I get RPL or credit transfer for my RAN training with AMC courses?

Any student who enrols to undertake a vocational education and training qualification is provided the opportunity to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and/or credit transfer. Previous training history, experience and sea service may support an application for RPL.

If you are interested in progressing you’re training and undertaking a vocational qualification, please feel free to contact us to discuss your options further.

How can I provide evidence of sea service?

We can help you with preparing and submitting your sea service to AMSA. You can use your service history and/or posting history to provide the following details in an evidence of sea service submission:

  • The periods (in days) you were at sea
  • The roles you personally conducted (generalised and unclassified is fine)
  • The specifications of the vessels you served on (unclassified)
  • The dates you served on those vessels
  • The activities of the ship (generalised and unclassified is fine)
  • The general operating location of the ship (generalised and unclassified is fine)

A Sea Service Log Book (signed by each Captain) can be used as evidence of sea service in your application. An official letter signed by your Captain which details your sea service can also be accepted (although it must have the official RAN letterhead).

Copies of your service and/or posting history (PMKeys printout) will help tabulate your sea service but are not considered evidence of sea service by itself. Evidence of sea service can also include statutory declarations made by you.

Unfortunately, simulator time or training establishment postings are not considered sea service.

Can I attend a domestic training course at AMC before I have completed my sea service?

Yes. There are no sea service prerequisites to attend domestic qualification courses. However, your sea going experience will greatly assist you throughout the course.

On successful completion of any training course, you will receive a certificate.

For Low Complexity Certificates of Competency, you will also be issued with AMSA Mandated Practical Assessment (AMPA). This is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

For High Complexity Certificates of Competency, your Certificate should be valid for at least 5 years or until such time as AMSA issue new regulations.

Evidence of course completion and AMPA (for Low Complexity Certificates of Competency) are required prior to s applying for a CoC.

Small Vessel Master Course conversion to Master less than 24m NC.

If you have completed the Small Vessel Master Course with AMC Search, you are able to enrol in MAR30918 Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres near coastal) and undertake additional training and assessment.

You will also have to successfully complete an AMSA Mandated Practical Assessment (AMPA) conducted at AMC by AMC assessors before applying for a Master less than 24m Certificate of Competency. AMC instructors can assist you with your preparations.

How can I start the RPL assessment with AMC?

Contact us here and we can guide you through the process.

Defence sector questions?