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What you should know about the Eng1

What you should know about the Eng1

If you’re considering a career in Yachting, then you are most likely to have come across the requirement to hold an Eng1.  This is not a prerequisite for taking your STCW Basic Training course, but you will need to obtain one at some stage if you’re planning a long term Career at Sea.

The MLC (Maritime Labour Convention) stipulates that every seafarer holds a valid medical certificate before they can start work at sea on a commercial vessel.  The ENG1 is a UK flag-state medical examination, performed by an MCA recognised Doctor.  It’s purpose is to ensure that anyone employed or engaged in activities on any sea-going ships, meets a minimum standard of health.

Being new to the yachting industry, this is likely to be your first time to take the test, so it’s reassuring to know that most people in overall good health do not have a problem and receive their certificate valid for 2 years.

When it becomes really important…
Chances are if you join a vessel and work within the Deck or Engineering departments, you will find yourself wanting to further your training at some stage, and move up the ranks to a higher position.  In order to progress through the MCA Certification & Training route, you will need to hold a valid Eng1.

Make sure you’re not Colourblind then if you’re hoping to become Captain…
The main obstacle for 8% of the male population can be the Colour Vision test, as failure to pass disqualifies you from any Bridge Watchkeeping & Navigational duties.
Anyone wishing to progress within the industry and acquire a COC (Certificate of Competency), from the MCA must pass the Colour Vision test with 100% accuracy.  There is zero margin for error.

Colour Vision Deficiency or Colour Blindness is a deficiency in the way in which one perceives colours.  Affected individuals have difficulty in distinguishing between various shades of colour.  This is a genetic condition that affects men more than women.  It affects 8% of men in comparison to only 0.04% of women!   Never fear however, there is a simple test called Isihara Plates, which will give you an indication of whether or not you might be affected by this condition.
Check out the image above and see if you can read the numbers okay.  (They should read 7, 13, 16,8, 12 and 9).

Should you hold a Seafarers Medical from your own country and wish to work on a UK flagged vessel, you can contact the MCA to see if it is acceptable.  If not, and you wish to do your Eng1 Medical, there are several Doctors in the area that are approved by the MCA.  You can find the full list by clicking here.  The price in France is a standard rate of 120euros and in the UK it costs 80gbp.

So once you’ve decided to book your appointment you might ask:

What do I need to bring with me to the Eng1?

  • A form of photo ID (passport or discharge book)
  • Your current ENG1 (if applicable)
  • A list of any medication(s) you are taking
  • Glasses or contact lenses that you need to wear

What does the ENG1 exam involve?

  • Measurement of your height & weight
  • An eyesight test
  • A colour blindness test
  • A hearing test
  • Ear and throat evaluations
  • Teeth/gums inspection
  • Questions on your medical history and lifestyle habits
  • A urine sample (to test kidney functionality and blood sugar)
  • Reflex testing
  • Blood pressure check
  • Doctor will listen to heart and lungs to ensure all is normal
  • Gentle overall physical to check for any anomalies


So just to recap:

  • It’s not crucial to hold your ENG1 prior to taking your STCW Basic Training but it’s a good idea to do so, or at least take an appointment for the same week as your STCW course.
  • You can find work without holding your ENG1 but in order to work on a commercial vessel and qualify for further progression within the Industry, you will need a valid Eng1 Medical without colour vision restrictions to prove fit for Watchkeeping duties.
  • Take a quick Colour vision test now to ensure you don’t waste time and money working towards a career that you may not be able to progress in as much as you’d like to.


Seascope run STCW Basic Training courses  almost every other week.  Our training is of the highest quality with professional and friendly Instructors.   The fireground we use is within a 40 minute drive so no need for long commutes anymore.  Certificates are MCA approved and issued immediately on completion of the course.


MCA Approved Doctors in France

Dr Bruno Lavagne
“Le Vendome” C
4 Chemin du Tanit
06160 Antibes Juan les Pins
Tel: +33 493 67 03 07

Dr P Ireland / Dr C Besse
Le Forum
1913 Route de Cannes
06560 Valbonne
Tel: +33 493 12 95 66

Dr C Trim-Cauchois
Yacht – Club de Monaco
Espace Calypso
Belle Classe Academy
Quai Louis II Monte-Carlo 98000
Tel: +33 6 43 91 75 79
Email: [email protected]


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and found it helpful.  Feel free to share it with your friends and we look forward to hearing any comments or feedback you can give us.

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