Watchkeeping & Sea Servicve Testimonials


It is a requirement of your training that all sea service is supported by watch keeping and sea service testimonials. These must be filled out by your DSTO or other senior officer while you’re on board and cannot be filled out at a later date after you’ve left the ship. Any sea service undertaken that is not supported by a corresponding testimonial and an appropriate entry in your discharge book will not count towards your training.

You will find a few combined forms inside your Training Record Book, although some companies may issue their own form for this purpose. Generic versions of the form can also be downloaded from the SSTG website should further copies be required.

If you do not hold a CoC, any watch keeping service must be performed in a supernumerary capacity as you’re not qualified to take charge of a watch until you have an Officer of the Watch CoC as a minimum. It is your responsibility to ensure it is completed as accurately as possible before you leave the ship as errors are very difficult to correct at a later date.

Watch keeping service is usually recorded in multiples of days, with 8 hours being counted as one day, but the MCA will allow other variations. For example, if you do 4 hours watch keeping a day for 10 days, your watch keeping certificate will say that you completed 5 full days watch keeping service by adding up all your hours over the 10 day period.

While most deck officers follow the traditional watch keeping pattern, the engineering departments are often slightly different, with lots of ships running with unmanned machinery spaces for some periods. In this case, `watch keeping’ will involve you shadowing the duty engineer for 24 hours. This could include carrying out rounds, responding to any alarms or completing any check lists or tasks that you’ve been given.

Updated:   January 2016.