Covid-19 Response

This is the current situation as of 17th April 2020. 

The MCA is working closely with the MNTB and its stakeholders during this crisis to ensure students are able to continue with their training where-ever possible.  New initiatives to support cadets in training during the COVID-19 pandemic will be developed and implemented as quickly as possible to minimise the disruption on cadet training.

  • If lock downs and cruise ship bans are on-going how will we obtain the remainder of our sea time? If we are unable to gain the outstanding sea time is there a contingency plan?

The MNTB and MCA are looking at alternative ways for cadets to obtain sea time and MIN615 gives some suggestions for alternatives. The MCA are also looking to sign off the new MNTB Simulator Training Programme that will give students 2 weeks sea time for 5 days on the Simulator Programme.  The Engineering Simulator Training Programme is currently under development.


  • What will happen when we go back to college if we have no sea time? Will we get back phased at this stage? Or would that potentially happen later?

There will need to be a certain amount of flexibility on phasing and sea time.  The MCA is working closely with Colleges to ensure that a suitable resolution to the challenge is agreed to allow the students to gain the theoretical and practical experience required to complete training.  This may result in the extension of training beyond 150 weeks and there is financial support available for this option if required.


  • What is the likely outcome in regards to completing the MCA oral exams?

The MCA are in the process of implementing online oral examinations.  Trials of their on-line system are currently underway and it is anticipated that the online oral will be implemented by the end of April.


  • Have there been any updates regarding the completion of short courses?

Short courses are a challenge to complete due to social distancing issues. However, the MCA are looking at other options as a priority.


  • How are the remaining exams going to be assessed?  

Examinations will be carried out on-line wherever possible to minimise the back log.  If this cannot be done, training will need to be extended.


  • How are we going to make up time we have lost in the workshop (industrial experience)? 

The completion of practical tasks is a challenge, however, the MCA is working closely with the colleges to ensure that any missing training is completed at the earliest opportunity.

Please find information regarding how the IfA is supporting the apprenticeship sector here.