It appears that the RFA are short of home grown engineer officers with senior Certificates of Competency, colloquially called 'tickets'. They are, according to this agency advert and an anecdotal account from a serving engineer officer, recruiting directly at Second Officer ( two stripes ) for Merchant Navy Officers with Unlimited Second Engineer's CoC and directly at First Officer ( two and a half ) for those with an Unlimited Chief Engineer's CoC. Qualified Systems Engineer Officers are also sought. Until now every direct entry was expected to join at 3/O, regardless of CoC and the RFA's own site within the RN still identifies this as the route. This move puts the RFA more in line with commercial outfits, particularly cruise companies who award additional status, not just pay to those with Class 2 and Class 1 ( to use their old handles ) CoCs. On the other hand, in a leaner manned environment a Second's Ticket will get you a Second's appointment and a Chief's a Chief's ( in the RFA the 1/OE is 3 i/c in the Department ). Whether the AIB and BRNC will be a requirement isnt clear - there is a mention of an induction course. Of course, not everyone will welcome the arrival of 'outsiders'. The irony is it'll be those who describe the RFA and themselves as 'Merchant Navy' who will be spitting teeth at the adoption of a MN practice, especially if it blocks their 'entitlement' to promotion for being patient, not qualified.