Study towards your Skipper Coastal and Offshore (SCO) certificate of competency
QualificationNew Zealand Certificate in Domestic Maritime Operations (Coastal and Offshore) (Level 5) also known as Skipper Coastal and OffshoreProgramme code: NZ2892
New Zealand Maritime School
International feesNZD$17,708 (approx.)
Take your career as a skipper to the next level.
If you hold a Skipper Restricted Limits (SRL) certificate of competency (endorsed to 24 metres), then this is your next step to progress your career.
Learn the skills to work as a skipper on a working, passenger, or fishing vessel (less than 24 metres in length) operating within the coastal and offshore limits.
Open entry for domestic students
There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.
International students: English language entry requirements
For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers-partners/qa-system-for-teos/english-international-students/
International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 is required. Equivalent acceptable evidence can be seen at the following NZQA link: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/the-table/
Entry to this qualification is open but completion does not guarantee the award of a Maritime New Zealand licence.
All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer licence must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that licence. Also: Seafarers Framework which outlines medical fitness requirements https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/default.asp and Maritime New Zealand Part 34:Medical Standards https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/Part34-maritime-rule.pdf.
You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 3-5 days.
Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?
Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.
You will need to complete the below nine courses (85 credits):
723.221 STCW basic safety training basic first aid (5 credits)
Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to first aid onboard a vessel.
942.210 STCW basic safety training basic sea survival (5 credits)
Apply safe and sustainable work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response on board a vessel.
942.450 STCW basic safety training basic fire fighting (5 credits)
Apply safe work practices and contribute to effective communication and emergency response to a fire on board a vessel.
943.441 Meteorology – SCO (5 credits)
By the end of the course you will be able to: Obtain and interpret coastal and offshore meteorological information to assist in safe passage making.
943.443 MGROC radio (2 credits)
By the end of the course, you will be able to utilise MF, HF and VHF radios in the maritime radio telecommunications network to obtain and broadcast Maritime Safety Information, including the sending and response to distress messages.
943.554 Coastal Navigation and Passage Planning (25 credits)
By the end of the course, you will be able to plan and conduct a coastal and/or offshore passage and determine position.
943.555 Electronic navigation aids (10 credits)
To plan and conduct a coastal and/or offshore passage and determine position and utilise Electronic Navigation Aids and demonstrate an ability to operate safely and determine the ship’s position by use of all navigational aids and equipment commonly fitted on board the ships.
943.556 General knowledge – orals prep SCO (13 credits)
By the end of the course, you will be able to manage safety aboard a coastal and offshore vessel.
943.557 Stability SCO (15 credits)
By the end of the course, you will be able to maintain vessel stability.
Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?
Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.
Further training or study
Qualifications recognised internationally under the Standards for Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW):
- New Zealand Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 4) with strands in Fishing, and Watchkeeping
- New Zealand Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 5)
- New Zealand Certificate in Marine Engineering (Level 4) (MEC 6 and MEC 5)
- New Zealand Diploma in Yacht Operations (Level 6)
- New Zealand Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6)
Skipper on a working ferry or fishing vessel less than 24 metres in length, operating within the coastal and offshore limits.
"I’ve always been interested in fishing and diving and doing a bit of sailing when I was growing up. I thought it would be a cool way to extend that hobby into a career. All the instructors are A grade. Top of the line.
A lot of the practical learning is done in the simulator. There’s fairly realistic situations the lecturers can put you into. They can turn up the sea, they can reduce the visibility. They can put you in quite a hectic situation which really makes you think on your feet. Much like the real world could be.
My ideal job would be working on a boat, going cool places, preferably warm, and being able to see some pretty cool places around the country and around the world eventually.
Studying at NZMS is definitely worth it. It’s a good way to progress and it can lead to some pretty cool opportunities in the marine industry."
"I’ve spent most of my life growing up, on and around water. My old man worked in the fishing industry and is a skipper.
I was living on Stewart Island so for me I wasn’t able to come here for three months with work, so the distance learning, doing it all online played a huge role in me actually being able to do this course.
Having a career at sea means you get to experience things you can’t experience because there are no roads. Seeing whales, seeing dolphins, penguins are not uncommon. Every year we’d see a few whales as we travel up the coast. You get to experience a lot of what NZ is meant to be like. Getting away from all these big cities. Experiencing the nature and peacefulness of it all.
Most of maritime is hands-on experience. You always learn under a particular skipper. So you learn their way of doing things. But by coming here you’re learning the standard of the industry. It gives you that theoretical knowledge of why you’re doing something.
There are 7 simulators with one that is practically a boat. So that’s great hands-on because you can operate in low visibility with targets. It’s the most realistic way of learning how to do a lot of these things without actually being on a boat.
There’s quite a lot of work out there if you’re able to get experience."
"I’ve never been a student, I was a little bit on the fence about it but once I got here everything just worked out perfectly. I’ve just learnt so much more from being here.
There’s about 20 plus of us most of the time on the course. It is a good number. There’s also people from different backgrounds and other courses incorporated into the modules which is really good because you get people who have been in completely different circumstances. We have fishermen, we have sailors, and we have people doing their Skipper Coastal Offshore.
The thing I love about the course here at the NZMS is they do put a lot of theory into practice. We spent two weeks in the computer laboratory room learning the programmes, especially the electronic chart display and GPS, all of our navigational aids, and radar set up. Then we come into the bridge and put it all into practice which has been really helpful.
We also get put into emergency situations which obviously day to day in our jobs, you hope you don’t really come across. For example, a full search and rescue where each boat had a full search pattern and we had to follow that, follow the instructions, and search for a life raft with a person who we did ultimately find. Something like that is really helpful because in the real world if that does happen, we will have this hands-on training to refer back to."
"My old man has been in the merchant navy for most of his life and his father before him so it was a natural progression for me. I went into the fishing industry and haven’t looked back.
I enjoy the simulator the most at NZMS. The hands-on approach. Building up confidence for real-life scenarios. It’s hard being away from the family, but when you are home you’ve got a comfortable lifestyle and your family is able to see you. Get amongst it. It's good fun. It’s definitely a good career path. It pays good."
"We’ve got a really wide variety of domestic maritime programmes. We have a couple of programmes like the super yacht certificate that are really good for people entering the industry who don’t have any industry experience. The rest of our programmes are really geared towards people who are already in industry and are actually doing at-work learning and workplace learning. So they could be for people who are working for ferry companies, tug operators, coastal research vessels, all the way through to the inshore fishing fleet, offshore fleet and we do have programmes for super yacht, chief mate and master.
Everything that we are talking about in the theoretical aspect has a practical application on the vessel. So even though we talk about theory it’s actually put into practice. One of the things we’re talking about is in the simulator here. We can talk about theoretical collision, prevention regulations, all sorts of things like that, but it’s actually doing it in something like the simulator that makes the difference. So where it can be, it’s always reinforced in a practical sense.
One of the things about working on-board a vessel is that you do have a routine but your routine is punctuated by difference every day. So even though you have a solid routine that runs through your ship when you’re navigating from A to B, things change all the time. So it’s always quite exciting. You never quite know what’s happening or coming up. When you look out your window you’re in an amazing environment that changes all the time."
NZ Maritime School Senior Lecturer
Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.
Information is correct as at 29 November 2023. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.