RFA Limitations With Colour Blindness

jasondoe

Newbie
I have been thinking about joining the RFA for a couple of months now, and I was thinking about joining as a Steward Apprentice. But when I looked at the requirements for the actual steward role (https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/rfa/how-to-join/steward-rfa) it says you need a "ENG1 Unrestricted for Worldwide Sea-Service medical certificate". So I was just wondering if anyone knows if being colour blind would prevent me from joining as a Steward apprentice? As from what I read being colour blind would mean I would have a restricted ENG1.

If anyone could give me any help or advice it would be a great help, as I cant find much info about this anywhere online.
 
Last edited:

Fazza

Newbie
I don’t think that colour blindness would stop you working in the catering dept. I am colour blind (red/green & other) the only comment on my ENG1 cert was “not allowed look out duties” and latterly “not to work with colour coded cables” I was in the Engine room.
Always best to confirm with recruitment as things do change
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
I've served with a couple of chefs who had that problem, all tasted the same though.

Just as well for the class of Nigerians that came through Mercury in the '60's, we has the metal tray things that had indentations for you soup, main course and sweet, some of the mixtures that they ended up with were interesting to say the least.
 

jasondoe

Newbie
I don’t think that colour blindness would stop you working in the catering dept. I am colour blind (red/green & other) the only comment on my ENG1 cert was “not allowed look out duties” and latterly “not to work with colour coded cables” I was in the Engine room.
Always best to confirm with recruitment as things do change

Thanks for the info, reading about the ENG1 confused me a bit. I'll probably give them a call and see what they say.
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
So I was just wondering if anyone knows if being colour blind would prevent me from joining as a Steward apprentice? As from what I read being colour blind would mean I would have a restricted ENG1.

There is a difference between restricted in the duties you can carry out and restricted ENG1 which normally means to coastal waters (where you can easily reach a Dr), rather than offshore (where often you cannot).

So in short no being colour blind should not stop you gaining an ENG1 and becoming a Steward. However are you sure you are colour blind? and if so serious enough to warrant a restriction of duties on your ENG1?

Most of us get tested using the Ishihara Book Test (the book with the numbers and wiggly lines hidden in the coloured dots). Now a Dr or Optician saying you are colour blind using just this is like someone saying you are obese based on your Body Mass Index, you certainly may be, but there may be other factors and until further examination is done they cannot be sure.

I spent years being told I was colour blind by people using the book test (which I cannot pass), then when I joined the RFA I decided to get tested properly at the Institute of Optometry in London (it was about £100 out of my own pocket but worth it). Strangely I 100% passed every single proper test given, the explanation they gave was a lot of people have problems with pattern recognition and so fail the Ishihara, also most of the time it is conducted in poor lighting conditions and so it can give out false positives.

If you are interested in ENG1 standards its all on the Gov website:

Seafarers medical certification guidance: How to get an ENG1 or ML5 medical certificate

MCA Approved Doctors Manual

MSN 1886: Appointment of Approved Doctors and Medical and Eyesight Standards
 

jasondoe

Newbie
There is a difference between restricted in the duties you can carry out and restricted ENG1 which normally means to coastal waters (where you can easily reach a Dr), rather than offshore (where often you cannot).

So in short no being colour blind should not stop you gaining an ENG1 and becoming a Steward. However are you sure you are colour blind? and if so serious enough to warrant a restriction of duties on your ENG1?

Most of us get tested using the Ishihara Book Test (the book with the numbers and wiggly lines hidden in the coloured dots). Now a Dr or Optician saying you are colour blind using just this is like someone saying you are obese based on your Body Mass Index, you certainly may be, but there may be other factors and until further examination is done they cannot be sure.

I spent years being told I was colour blind by people using the book test (which I cannot pass), then when I joined the RFA I decided to get tested properly at the Institute of Optometry in London (it was about £100 out of my own pocket but worth it). Strangely I 100% passed every single proper test given, the explanation they gave was a lot of people have problems with pattern recognition and so fail the Ishihara, also most of the time it is conducted in poor lighting conditions and so it can give out false positives.

If you are interested in ENG1 standards its all on the Gov website:

Seafarers medical certification guidance: How to get an ENG1 or ML5 medical certificate

MCA Approved Doctors Manual

MSN 1886: Appointment of Approved Doctors and Medical and Eyesight Standards

Thanks for the very detailed response, Random. I did not realise the differences with the ENG1 restrictions, so thanks a lot for clarifying that.

I am similar to you I think with the colour blindness, I was just told at the opticians when I was younger that I was colour blind based on the Ishihara Book Test. So I have always just assumed that I was colour blind based off that one test a long time ago.
 

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