Before leaving for sea training, in addition to their coursework, apprentice officers’ personal preparation is supervised. Several meetings are held to prepare the students for this unique experience and to discuss subjects such as life at sea, isolation, hierarchy and the apprentice officer’s role on board ship.
Throughout the session preceding sea training, apprentice officers are responsible for preparing their sea training file. This file contains a personal information sheet and a copy of all documents and valid certificates required to go to sea.
Confirmation of Berths on Board by Partner Companies
A few weeks before the scheduled departure, a sea training eligibility list is produced to determine which students will go to sea. To be on the list, students must have completed their sea training file and passed the courses required under an in-house regulation governing sea training (Règlement relatif aux stages en mer).
Sea Training Assignment Meeting
Once the students have submitted the required documents and the sea training list has been confirmed, the Sea Training Coordinator meets each apprentice officer individually.
At this meeting, the students are guided in their sea training choices based on the berths available on board confirmed by the different companies, their interest with regard to voyage and cargo types, company-specific requests and student-specific constraints (allergies, limitations under the Transport Canada medical certificate).
The sea training confirmation documents and individual companies’ hiring contracts are completed in these meetings. If need be, meetings are scheduled for screening tests or medical examinations required by certain companies.
The Sea Training Coordinator also gives the students the documents to be brought on board:
- Information letter for the Captain/Chief Engineer;
- Apprentice officer’s evaluation form.
Once the sea training has been confirmed, the Sea Training Coordinator sends an e-version of the sea training file to the person in charge of boarding with the company
which contains the following:
- Sheet containing apprentice officer’s general information;
- Passport that is valid for the sea training’s duration (+ 6 months);
- Valid medical certificate issued by a Transport Canada-certified physician;
- Up-to-date vaccination record and proof of vaccination, in keeping with marine-sector requirements;
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination;
- Marine advanced first aid certificate (basic first aid accepted);
- STCW basic safety training certificate;
- Certificate of proficiency for vessel personnel with security responsibilities;
- Seaman’s book;
- Negative criminal record.
If required by the company’s in-house procedure, will also be forward:
- Specific medical examinations results required by the company;
- Screening test.
Supervision on Board Ship
As soon as the apprentice officers have boarded ship, a crew member must take charge of them and assign them to a supervising officer. Apprentice officers must be informed of their supervisor’s expectations regarding their tasks, responsibilities and attitude.
Throughout their sea training, apprentice officers must be supervised by an officer. They should be assigned to the supervising officer’s watch, but this must not prevent them from participating in other tasks as well.
In addition to taking part in different daily duties on board ship, apprentice officers must complete a training record book to be submitted, for correction, when they return to class. This training record book should be verified frequently by the supervising officer who is also responsible for validating and signing the practical tasks to be performed by the apprentice officer.
Apprentice Officer’s Evaluation
Halfway through the sea training, the apprentice officer and his supervising officer must complete the mid-term evaluation. The goal of this meeting is to discuss the performance of the apprentice on board and identify the aspects of his job that he must improve for the rest of his training. Before the apprentice officer signs off, he must meet with his supervising officer in
order to complete and sign the final evaluation of the apprentice officer.