Deck Officer Training/Nautical Studies

To become a Deck Officer, you have to study Nautical Science. It consists of three main elements, namely:

  • Navigation and ship handling,
  • Safe operation of a ship and
  • Shipboard administration and handling of cargoes

Candidate wishing to follow the path of Deck Officer training must have a Grade 12 certificate with good grades in English, Mathematics and Science. Deck Officers are responsible for the safe navigation of a ship between ports. The following subjects are covered at different levels:

  • Terrestrial and Celestial Navigation
  • Ship Stability & Naval Architecture
  • Electronic Navigation Systems
  • Collision Regulations and Ship Master’s Business
  • Meteorology and Oceanography
  • Maritime Law
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS)/Communications
  • Seamanship
  • Engine Theory
  • Mathematics
  • Maritime English
  • Fishing Technology

Below is the typical structure followed in order to become a Deck Officer on a Fishing Vessel:

  • Mandatory Safety Courses: Basic Safety and Familiarisation
  • Sea-time
  • Pre-seaman course: Basic Seamanship, General Ship Knowledge, etc.
  • Sea-time
  • Qualified Deck Rating Course
  • Sea-time (Structured training program onboard – record book)
  • Deck Officer Class 6 Course
  • Sea-time as a Deck Officer onboard fishing vessels according to Namibian Manning Regulations
  • Deck Officer Class 5 Course

Persons wishing to become Deck Officers onboard vessels other than Fishing Vessels can follow a structured training program leading to a qualification as holder of certificate of competence at Operational Level (Class 4/3) and Management Level (Deck Officer Class 2/1).

Courses leading to qualification as Deck Officer are approved by the Namibian Directorate of Maritime Affairs (DMA). The courses are offered by NAMFI following the agreed minimum standards of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Conventions on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for seafarers of 1978, as amended (STCW ’78/’95) and Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel of 1995 (STCW-F ’95). Upon satisfying all the requirements of the Directorate of Maritime Affairs, candidates may be issued (by the DMA) certificates of competence for the level that they qualify for.


  • Candidates who wish to follow a maritime course must compoly with the following requirements:
  • Grade 12 certificate with a pass mark in English, Mathematics and Physical Science
  • Undergo a medical and an eye sight test.