Yacht crew: How and where to get your ENG1 medical certificate
Written by Simon Osborne
Last updated: 19/07/2016
If you are crew planning on working on a yacht, you will need to obtain an ENG1 medical certificate or equivalent before you start your job.
A quick summary of the ENG1
The ENG1 is a relatively quick and unobtrusive examination, compulsory for anyone wishing to work on board a yacht. The certificate is valid for two years, takes about 30 minutes and shouldn’t cost more than about £80/€100.
What is a Eng1 medical certificate?
The MLC states that every seafarer must have a valid medical certificate recognised by the administration before they can start work at sea. The ENG1 is a basic medical examination, carried out by an MCA certified doctor, confirming that you are in a fit condition to work on board.
Why do I need one?
The ENG1’s purpose is to establish whether you have any medical conditions that might cause you to be unable to perform certain duties at sea. It will ensure that your sight, hearing, etc… are satisfactory and that you are suitably fit to perform your duties on board and don’t suffer from any condition, which could be aggravated by time at sea, or endanger the health of other people on board.
What to take with you to your ENG1 examination.
Prices can vary depending on the crew training school, however they tend to vary from £375 to £625. A reasonable price to pay is around £440 to £450.
- A form of photo ID
- Your previous ENG1 (if you have one)
- Local doctor’s name, address and contact details
- Any medication you are taking
- Glasses/contact lenses if you have them
What does it involve?
If you’re worried about the examination, don’t be! It’s a painless examination, which is done relatively quickly and with minimal fuss, by professional experts. The ENG1 will usually include:
- Measuring your height and weight
- A typical eye test
- A hearing test (Listening for beeps with headphones on for example)
- A test for seeing colour
- Ear/throat examination
- Teeth/gums inspection
- Questions on your medical conditions and drinking habits etc…
- A urine sample (to test kidney functionality and blood sugar)
- Testing your reflexes (By tapping your joints as usual)
- Listening to your heart and lungs, testing blood pressure and heart rate
- Hernia testing (Asking you to cough when gently pressing your abdomen)
Though the speed of the exam can depend on the doctor and location, it will probably take approximately 30 minutes (an hour maximum and 20 minutes minimum).
If you pass (which you probably will), the doctor will issue you with an ENG1 certificate straight away and you can be on your way.
Where can I get my ENG1?
Only MCA-approved doctors will be able to issue the ENG1 certificate upon passing the medical. There are many MCA approved doctors in the UK and a handful in most countries where you will be looking for work on a yacht (Antibes, Palma, Fort Lauderdale etc...) or training to work on board.
See below for a complete list of where to get your ENG1 as published by Gov.uk:
You can contact any of the doctors above to carry out your ENG1 medical, receiving a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
When to get your ENG1
You will have to have your ENG1 before you start work on a yacht, so it is a good idea to get your certificate as early as possible. It’s also recommended because the earlier the better would be the best time to discover any reasons why you are unable to work in the yachting industry or any restrictions you have when it comes to job roles or tasks. You will also find that the ENG1 can also be a prerequisite of an STCW course with many crew training companies, which is also mandatory before you start work on board.
Once your ENG1 is sorted, there are still many other things to think about and organise. You should also think about:
- Completing the STCW course
- How to get a job
- Arranging accommodation
- Any other qualifications you may need
For more information read this ultimate guide on becoming yacht crew.