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Maritime English Test for Senior Deck Officers

Fully Online, CPD Accredited Maritime English Test, Compliant with SMCP, STCW & IMO Model 3.17

Course Introduction

Senior Deck Officers must be decisive, cool-headed, and able to inspire confidence in others, as well as being a good team member with effective communication skills. Senior Deck Officers are responsible for the safety of the crew, vessel, cargo, passengers, and environment. They must oversee passage planning, safe navigation of the vessel, cargo loading and discharge, ship stability, communications and maintenance of the hull and deck equipment. The above duties demand the highest standard of English, and the VIRSEC Maritime English Test for Senior Deck Officers is designed to assist Ship Operators and employers make recruiting and training decisions by assessing the English language understanding and skills of crew in this role.

Course Features

  • VIRSEC Maritime English Tests are 100% Online
  • Questions Draw from a Randomised Pool
  • Includes STCW Maritime Functional Areas & IMO SMCPs
  • Assesses the Five Primary Language Skills
  • 40% of Questions Assess Spoken-Word Comprehension
  • Consistent with Internationally Recognised Standards
  • Rapid Turnaround on Official Test Certificate
  • Access to Test for 6 Months from Date of Purchase or Until Completion

  • The VIRSEC Maritime English Test for Senior Deck Officers is designed to assist Ship Operators and employers make recruiting and training decisions by assessing the English language understanding and skills of crew at a Senior Deck Officer position. The Test is also useful for any person wishing to pursue a career at sea to prove their English language competence to prospective employers. The Test is designed around the approved guidelines for Maritime English developed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and are combined with internationally recognised methods for English language testing to form a rigorous and accurate testing system for use in the maritime sector. Delegates will first receive an explanation of the Tests, then take part in a short sample test to demonstrate how it works. They will then take part in the actual timed Official Maritime English Test and receive a final score upon successful completion, they are awarded a certificate to demonstrate their pass.

    Regulations & Codes Addressed

    The English Tests are designed from the ground up using approved guidelines from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO Model English Course 3.17); IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCPs); and consistent with the functional framework set out by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).

    Target Audience & Level

    The VIRSEC Maritime English Test for Senior Deck Officers is designed to assess candidates’ English language competence between the levels of ‘Upper-Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’ (CEFR (Europe): C1 to C2 and ILR (United States): Level 3 to 4). A candidate at these levels will be able to understand and produce frequently used expressions relating to areas of most immediate relevance to the function of a Senior Deck Officer on board ship. This corresponds to the STCW Maritime Functional Areas below:

    • Navigation
    • Cargo Handling & Stowage
    • Radio Communications
    • Ship Operations, Crew & Passengers

    Test Contents

    Listening questions consist of 40% of the total test questions and are designed to be context rich and to simulate real-world scenarios, including sound effects such as storm-noises, radio interference & static and international accents. Standard Marine Communication Phrases (SMCPs) are used throughout the tests, and listening questions feature VHF and hand-held radio, training briefings, emergency PA broadcasts, and face-to-face crew encounters.

    Test Duration

    The user must attempt the test in 90 minutes, and in one sitting. Candidates will be timed as they tackle the questions, to simulate exam conditions and must achieve a minimum score of 80% to pass. If a candidate does not answer all of the questions by the time the timer runs out, they will fail those unanswered questions. Test delegates will be allowed a second attempt at the test for free should they not succeed the first time. If they fail a second attempt, the test will have to be re-purchased.

    Other Maritime English Tests [METs]

    The following METs are available through VIRSEC:

    Bulk Buying

    To discuss pricing associated with bulk purchasing of this online Maritime English Test (MET), please contact us at or call us during UK Office Hours (0900 to 1700hrs BST/GMT Monday to Thursday, and 0900 to 1500hrs BST/GMT Friday) and we will be very happy to assist you.

    Test Subject Areas

    The Test will demonstrate competency in Maritime English and covers the 5 language skills of:

    • Listening
    • Reading
    • Grammar
    • Vocabulary
    • Numeracy

    Delegates are tested in conjunction with the following shipboard activities as detailed in the Subjects tab.

    • Comprehension of spoken and written emergency commands.
    • Medical and fire emergencies, first aid and firefighting.
    • Location and purpose of health and safety and emergency equipment.
    • Ranks, roles and routines of crew members and other officers.
    • Interactions with fellow crew members and officers.
    • Ship and other General Maritime Knowledge.
    • Navigation, Nautical Charts and Meteorology.
    • Standard and Emergency Communications.
    • Ship Pilotage and Berthing.
    • Cargo Handling and Operations.
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Certification

    This online test is fully approved by the CPD Accreditation Group which is an internationally recognised certification. Learners will receive an electronic copy of the course certificate in PDF format upon successful completion of the test via the eLearning system. 

    The score is shown as a percentage of correct answers out of the total 80 questions. Ship Operators can therefore be confident, that candidates who achieve the pass mark in a VIRSEC Maritime English Tests, will be competent and confident in the use of the English language at sea.