The Coast Guard has published change four to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 19-14, Policy on Qualified Assessors.  

The big change is an extension of the period during which mariners may use assessments of competence completed by a qualified mariner who is not a Coast Guard-approved Qualified Assessor (QA).

Assessments of competence for STCW endorsements must be signed by a Coast Guard-approved QA. QAs must be approved by the Coast Guard either individually or as part of a Coast Guard-approved or accepted course or training program.

Current policy allows for the acceptance of STCW assessments, performed for and signed by an assessor not approved by the Coast Guard until Dec. 31, 2023. Such an assessor must meet the professional requirements in 46 CFR 10.405(a)(3) to determine competence for the specific endorsement.

The Coast Guard is aware of the limited number of approved QAs that causes hardship for mariners trying to complete STCW assessments after Dec. 31, 2023. In consideration of this, the Coast Guard will continue to allow STCW assessments that are signed by an assessor who meets the requirements specified in NVIC 19-14 until Dec. 31, 2028.  These assessments must be submitted to the Coast Guard as part of a complete application no later than June 30, 2029. Qualified military personnel need not be approved QAs and may continue to sign assessments after Dec. 31, 2028.

The revised NVIC is available on the Coast Guard NVIC website.

Mariners and other interested parties should contact the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division at [email protected] or (202) 372-2357 with any questions or feedback.