MNTB Training Record Book


Your Training Record Book (TRB) is an integral part of your training and its satisfactory completion is compulsory. It is your responsibility to:

• Complete designated sections.

• Identify opportunities on the vessels that you serve on and discuss and agree with your Designated Shipboard Training Officer (DSTO) which tasks you should undertake and when.

• Agree with the DSTO a regular plan of review sessions.

Loss of TRB:

Your TRB is irreplaceable and if lost can only be replaced with a blank copy which would mean starting from scratch again. If this happens towards the end of your final sea phase, an inevitable result will be the postponement of your final college phase and substantial additional sea service being undertaken.

MNTB On Board Training DVD:

Later versions of the TRB have an On Board Training DVD included inside the front cover. Take the time to view this before joining your first vessel. This production can by its very nature only be very general and presents an ‘idealistic’ position; you will not necessarily come across all the ’good practice’ demonstrated on the DVD on all vessels. Many have some limitations due to the ship type, trading area and for all sorts of other reasons. But it should provide some useful background and it is worth watching two or three times so as not to miss any points. If your copy is missing, contact your Training Officer for advice on how to obtain a replacement.

Contact Details, Personal Details & Company Details:

You must complete all the details in these sections as neatly and accurately as possible. Make sure that they are up to date before joining every vessel and before returning to college for any phase. Your Training Officer, College staff and MCA examiners will all review your TRB from time to time and all these sections must be up to date each time such an official asks to look at it.

Making Amendments In The TRB:

From time to time you will find you need to amend certain information. e.g. your telephone number, in the Contact Details section. If you need to change any entry in the TRB, put a neat line through the old information so that it is clearly visible and can still be read. Add the new information neatly and as close to the original information as possible.

Ancillary or Additional Training Certificates Achieved:

Most of the qualifications or awards listed will be issued after the completion of certain training ashore. You must complete all the details in this section neatly and accurately as soon as possible after receiving the certificate. Make sure this section is up to date before joining every vessel and before returning to college for any phase.

You will notice additional blank lines are included in this section. This is for recording any additional or specialist training that you complete which is not already listed. Make use of this space to record details of any other relevant marine training undertaken. Your Training Officer, College staff and MCA examiners will all review your TRB from time to time and this section must be up to date each time such an official asks to look at it.

Sea Service Record:

You must complete all the details in this section neatly and accurately and ensure that the last column is signed by the DSTO before you leave the vessel. Before making any entry, read the accompanying notes and carefully follow all the instructions provided. Your Training Officer, College staff and MCA examiners will all review your TRB from time to time and this section must be up to date each time such an official asks to look at it.

Task Summary Sheet:

You must complete all the required details in this section neatly and accurately and you must keep it up to date at all times. This should provide at a glance some idea as to the quantity of tasks completed and the percentage of tasks still to be undertaken.

Note that you should fill in the date in the appropriate box on the Task Summary Chart that each task is signed off by the DSTO as progressing/proficient. The DSTO should not enter his initials in this section as it is for entry of dates only. DSTO signatures should be entered in Section 4.

International Regulations For the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended (Deck Officer Trainees Only):

This section lists all the ‘rules of the road’ as they are sometimes referred to. Once learnt, your DSTO or other deck officer should test you on these and then the officer will added his initials and date the table. You should remember that these will need constant revision and the MCA oral examiner will often spend considerable time during the oral exam testing your knowledge in this area. It will not be sufficient for you to get this page completed and then forget the ‘rules’.

Ship and Voyage Details, Requirement and Records:

You must complete all the details in these sections neatly and accurately. Make sure that they are completed as soon as possible after joining each vessel. The Priority, Familiarisation and Safety Tasks are just that, and should be some of the first to be completed. However, remember many companies have their own systems for each crew member to undertake Ship Familiarisation training which will have preference over the completion of this section of the TRB. Despite what might appear to be duplication, these tasks must still be completed as soon as possible after joining each vessel. In some cases, the TRB tasks may be signed off after the completion of the company specific training, without you having to undertake the tasks twice. Do not forget to obtain the Master’s / Chief Engineer Officers signature at the bottom of the page. If this is not fully complete it will prevent your NOE from being issued.

Some of the Ship Particulars may not apply to every vessel type and it might be appropriate to complete some fields of information requested as ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘N/A’. This will usually be the exception rather than the rule. Remember the MCA examiner is a highly experienced and professional examiner and even though it is unlikely he will have served on your vessel, he will have a good idea regarding the accuracy of the information recorded.

Finally, it is important to realise that it will be your responsibility to seek out much of this information. Do not expect someone else to do this for you. It will all be readily available somewhere on the vessel.

DSTO’s, Masters & Training Officers Review:

These sections will be completed at regular intervals. Whilst on board, this will usually be co-ordinated by your DSTO on a monthly basis. Seek advice from him at an appropriate time and ask him when he would like to see you. Remember ships are busy places and your DSTO will not be a full time dedicated Training Officer. Make his life simpler by providing a polite reminder that this needs looking at. Do not leave this until half an hour before you walk down the gangway. At best he will be unhappy, at worst he will not have the time to make the necessary entries.

Sea Phase & Watch Keeping Testimonials:

These are a vital part of the documentation required for your NOE application and must be obtained on each voyage. You should use the blank testimonials provided in the TRB (although some companies like to use their own company headed documentation). Either approach is acceptable but they must be completed in respect of all sea service undertaken. If the Master / Chief Engineer Officer changes during your time on board, the two are likely to produce a testimonial for the time they were each overseeing your training.

Specimen Signatures:

Your DSTO, Company Training Officer and any authorised offical should enter their details on this page before signing off any tasks or sections in your TRB.

Additional Vessels:

If you need to photocopy the last set of ships details pages for use on additional vessels, this is quite acceptable. With some companies, it may be that you sail on several vessels whilst with other companies, you may sail on only one ship.

Training Tasks:

The aim is to complete 100 % of the tasks within the total sea service undertaken. This may lead you to believe that completing 50 % of the tasks within the first half would indicate you are on target to complete the entire TRB. However, this is unlikely to be the case, with much of the final sea phase being devoted to watch keeping duties. So you should aim to get ahead of the game if possible.

It is your responsibility to keep your eyes open and to try and identify opportunities to undertake tasks that are required to be recorded in your TRB. Some DSTO’s will want to give more direction than others and it is important that you work with the officer to agree a plan that is acceptable to him. Don’t be put off if he says ‘no’ to you undertaking a specific task at any particular time. He will have more background than you and there may be a very good reason why you can’t undertake any task at a particular time. There is always a balance to be struck between being proactive and being seen as ‘cocky’.

Some tasks are more difficult to get recorded than others. This may be due to the vessel type or the infrequency with which some tasks occur at sea. In these cases, it is important to undertake them when the opportunity arises as it may not occur again for some time. It is important to try and understand where this might be the case on the particular ship you are on and take this into account when discussing with the DSTO any future training plan.

Every task should be completed prior to your applying for entry to the MCA oral exam. If you have blank tasks when you leave your last vessel, you may need to return to sea before being able to continue onto the next phase of your training, irrespective of the duration of sea service already competed. This can be time consuming and expensive for the company, frustrating for you and lead to considerable delays in the completion of training with some phases only occurring once every year.

Most tasks have the provision to be signed off twice; once to indicate making progress and again when it is considered you have completed the task to a proficient standard. Usually both should be signed off with a reasonable period of time between the two entries. Occasionally for some straightforward tasks, an authorised officer may consider you proficient the first time you undertake a task and only sign the proficient column, but this should not be the norm.

The signed off tasks should be dated on the day you undertake the task, not all on the same day that the DSTO reviews your TRB. It may be helpful for you to record the day in pencil against each task at the time you do it to assist the DSTO. Different officers work in different ways so find out if they would find this helpful.

Some tasks may be indicated for completion during the first sea phase whilst others are designated for completion during the final sea phase. This is a guide only and any task may actually be undertaken during either sea phase. However, once again the norm would usually for the majority of tasks to be completed in the indicated sea phase.

Additional Evidence:

The TRB only provides a framework for recording the experience gained and every opportunity to record additional tasks undertaken should be taken. Regular day to day tasks are likely to be included already but a specialist vessel or unusual occurrence is likely to provide additional opportunities to enhance your TRB. Adding additional evidence to the TRB to record relevant marine experience that might enhance your future role is likely to be acceptable. This could take the form of you drafting your own task, writing a brief report or including other documentation produced by you during your sea service. Enhancing reports with photographs can be useful to add interest but don’t just include pages of photocopies taken from manuals or instruction books.

Your Training Record Book, Your Record of Experience Gained:

Remember the guiding principle that the framework of the TRB provides a starting point and the experience gained throughout the sea service completed during your training will be unique to you. On successful completion of the programme, you will be qualified to take on the responsibility of a watch and the lives of the crew, the ship and its cargo will be in your hands. Taking on the responsibility of completing the TRB is one step in the training process which leads to that outcome. Whilst you can expect some assistance from the Master / Chief Engineer Officer, Officers and crew who you sail with, the onus is firmly on you to take the lead in this process and be responsible for the completion of your own Training Record Book.

Updated:   01 January 2014.