Watchkeeping Certificate


Hey all, I'm new here - thanks for a pretty entertaining forum.

I've looked at all of the 'should I join or shouldn't I' posts, but they don't really address what I'm interested in. That is, what does an 'afloat ops' (hey, is that what the branch is really called?) junior officer in the RNR's initial career path look like? Specifically:

1. do you work up to a normal RN bridge watchkeeping certificate?
2. is that STCW95?
3. is the aim to be capable of being slotted in when the regulars need watchkeepers?
4. does this actually happen much and do people in the branch feel like they're making a valued contribution where it counts?

Or basically: what's life like as a seaman s/lt or two-ringer in the RNR?

I know there's feelings about direct officer entry on this site (!), but I'm ex-Commonwealth (no misplaced plums or sticks, don't worry) maybe interested to try for my old rank and job in the RNR. BTW, do you see that much?
Unless you are a STCW qualified watchkeeper, and remain in-date, then there is v little chance of becoming an ab initio RNR OOW. The requirements of STCW mean that you must have a years supervised watchkeeping before being assessed. This will result in your ticket, which in the RN is called a NWC (Navigational Watch Certificate). From a RN specific POV, you must also prove yourself to be safe in a specific ship, a Platform Endorsement and then prove you are competent in handling the ship in a multi-threat warfare environment - -the Bridge Warfare Qualification. To get to this point with the RN takes approximately 18 months (full-time), so as you can see there is v little chance in doing it in your 30 days ORT.

If you do hold a ticket, then you'll have to ask some-one else as I don't have a clue how it works then!!


Lantern Swinger
Firstly, welcome to RumRation & (I hope) the RNR
Have you looked at the Navy Website?
Afloat Ops

AW is really for Merchant Navy or ex RN.
Mine Warfare, I'm now out of date. Hopefully someone from that specialisation will be able to give you all the details.

However, there is almost no chance of gaining or keeping a BWC due to STCW i.e. unless you spend at least a year FTRS or mobilised with the full time RN.

:twisted: Edited to add: Damn, beaten to it. Even if you did manage to gat a BWC, keeping current under STCW rules is also nigh impossible as RNR.


Thanks for the answers - that gives me a much clearer idea how things work.

I'd still be very interested to hear from someone in the mine warfare branch as to what junior officers in that branch do as far as training goes and what their role is like once on trained strength.

Besides that option, can I then conclude that there isn't really much of a sea-going role for RNR JO's? Or is there still something I'm missing?

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