Guidance: How to become a MCA approved doctor

Maritime Coastguard Agency

April 23
14:00 2024


This guidance for doctors takes you through:

  • MCAs general criteria for ADs
  • types of AD
  • how to apply for appointment as an AD

MCAs recruitment system has been established in agreement with maritime employers and seafarers trade union organisations.

It aims to serve the seafarers working on UK vessels, and holding UK Certificates of Competency (CoCs).

MCA is currently recruiting for ADs

  • Bude to Minehead (No closing date yet).

  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Surrounding areas Closing date 6th May 2024.

  • Middlesbrough Closing date 13th May 2024.

  • Southampton and Surrounding SO Postcode Areas Closing 20th May 2024.

Criteria for appointment as an AD

The appointment of Approved Doctors to carry out ENG1 seafarer medical examinations is restricted to areas where a demand for at least 50 examinations in a year has been demonstrated.

The most suitable candidate is appointed based on qualifications, experience and location.

The full recruitment procedure is detailed in chapter 2 - the role of an approved doctor, in MCAs approved doctors manual.

The categories of ADs

General list doctors are:

  • available to all seafarers
  • spread over a wide geographical network
  • mainly appointed on a replacement basis

Vacancies are advertised locally using the local CCG; MCA keeps a file on those who have expressed an interest in becoming an AD. Youll then be invited to apply to make sure of fair and open competition.

All the applications are reviewed by MCAs chief medical adviser.

Company doctors are:

  • appointed at the request of companies with vessels on the UK flag, subject to the MCA chief medical advisers scrutiny of qualifications and experience
  • only able to do medicals on those employed by the shipping company
  • usually contractors to major shipping companies, or providing services to a ship management or crewing company
  • expected to provide a full occupational medical service for the shipping company

Apply to become an approved doctor

Download the application form to become an approved doctor, then send your completed application to the address on the form.

Speculative applications (meaning those not part of a recruitment process started by MCA) will be notified if a specific vacancy comes up.

The chief medical adviser will review your application, then itll be acknowledged by the medical administration team.

Further information

MCA Medical Referee Appointment

Referee job description

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 23 April 2024 +show all updates
  1. 'Southampton and Surrounding SO Postcode Areas Closing 20th May 2024' added to currently recruiting

  2. Middlesbrough Closing 13th May 2024 added

  3. Now recruiting for AD's in: Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Surrounding areas Closing date 6th May 2024. MCA Medical Referee Appointment added to the bottom of the page including attached job description.

  4. MCA is currently recruiting for ADs in Bude to Minehead (No closing date yet).

  5. Central London recruitment has now closed as of 29/03/2024

  6. Immingham to Skegness closed recruiting.

  7. Removed - Minehead to Bude Closing 15th March 2024.

  8. Removed - Dubai and/or Abu Dhabi Closing 8th March 2024.

  9. Fleetwood trawl removed.Central London trawl added - Closing 29 March 2024.

  10. Immingham to Skegn

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