How To Get a ENG1 Medical Certificate

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
How To Get a ENG1 Medical Certificate - Article Image

What is an ENG1 Certificate?

The ENG1 certificate is a medical examination to establish whether you are fit to work at sea. The MLC (Maritime Labour Convention) states that every seafarer must hold a valid ENG1 certificate or ML5 medical certificate if you are planning to work on a yacht. ENG1 Certificates must be recognized by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) and carried out by an approved MCA certified Doctor.

How long does the ENG1 Medical take?

Most MCA approved Doctors will carry out the ENG1 medical examination slightly different and at a different pace, so most yacht crew experiences of the medical exam vary. During your ENG1 medical examination you will be asked about your previous medical history, including your drinking and smoking habits and more. The MCA approved Doctor will ensure your hearing and sight (distance, colour and near vision) meet the requirements to work on a yacht. First, you will be required to provide a urine sample (so save the bathroom break until your appointment), which will be used to test kidney functions and blood sugar levels. Your height and weight will be checked, usually asked to undress to your underclothes to be given a general physical examination checkup to see if you have any conditions that could be aggravated at sea or potentially endanger crew members onboard, and are overall suitable to perform and work on a yacht. If you pass the ENG1 you will be issued with a certificate valid for two years on the day of the ENG1 examination.

A full breakdown of the ENG1 process can be found under Seafarers Medical Certification Guidance

ENG1 Medical Exam

Why do I need an ENG1 Medical Certificate?

According to the MCA, ‘Every Seafarer must have an ENG1 or ML5 seafarer medical fitness certificate to work at sea’. The medical examination is to establish whether you have any medical conditions that may arise which will interfere with your responsibilities at sea. Safety at sea is the key here and the ENG1 is a prerequisite for any seafarer wishing to obtain the STCW Basic Saftey certificate. All seafarers must have copies of their original STCW 2010 onboard at all times. Your first step to work on a yacht will be to obtain your ENG1 certificate followed by your STCW 2010.

Insurance companies such as Lloyds are there to ensure the safe manning requirements are met under the STCW in order to ensure the yacht's safety. For example, an ENG1 certificate will not be issued to a seafarer who fails the UK eyesight standards as they need to ensure in an emergency they have adequate vision to carry out emergency procedures safely. A Deck Officer may fail the ENG1 medical examination if they don't meet the colour vision criteria as they may not stand a navigation watch onboard due to vision restrictions. The ENG1 medical certificate may only be issued with a restriction precluding lookout duties.

For full details of what is required to get an ENG1 certificate, it can be found in MSN 1839 or by reaching out to an MCA Approved Doctor (ADs) whose certification meet the MLC requirements.

What do I need to take to my ENG1 medical exam?

  • Photo ID (Passport)
  • Your previous ENG1 medical certificate, if you have one
  • The name, address and contact information of your local Doctor
  • Medications, if you are taking any
  • Glasses or contact lens, if you wear any
  • The maximum fee for an ENG1 certificate is £80 according to

Where to get an ENG1 Certificate?

To work on a yacht, you must undertake the medical examination from one of the MCA Approved Doctors, all of which are able to issue a valid ENG1 Medical Certificate. The MCA keep an up to date record of Approved Doctors certified under MLC who will be able to provide you with a valid MCA approved ENG1, required by law for all seafarers working on yachts.

ENG1 MCA Approved Doctors 2019

A list of updated MCA approved doctors can be found on the MCA website, the have separate lists for UK based doctors and also doctors that have been approved overseas by the MCA.
Updated MCA approved doctors:

MCA ENG1 Approved Doctors UK based

MCA ENG1 Approved Doctors outside of the UK

ENG1 CertificateENG1 Medical Certificate MCA approved

How long is the ENG1 certificate valid for?

If the seafarer is over 18 years old, the ML5 and ENG1 are valid for up to two years and must be renewed to remain compliant under the STCW code.

ML5 or ENG1 - What's the difference?

If you are looking to work on a yacht, wanting to be in charge of a yacht, or a merchant ship, the ENG1 certificate is mandatory. The Master of a commercial or passenger ship that doesn't go to sea, a commercial vessel less than 60 miles from safe haven or a domestic passenger ship that does go to sea, is required to take the ML5 medical certificate.

Here's a few helpful guides on how to get a job on a yacht:

How to get a job on a superyacht