What is the ENG1?
The ENG1 is a medical exam set by the MCA (Marine and Coastguard Agency) to establish whether or not anyone working on a seagoing vessel has any medical conditions that might cause him or her to be unable to perform certain duties at sea. The idea behind this is to minimize or prevent potential hazards at sea. For example, someone who is colour blind would not be able to recognise certain safety and danger marks and signals that rely on colours and in the interest of safety, would need to be excluded from such duties.
Why do I need it?
According to the MCA “every seafarer on a seagoing ship is required to have a certificate of medical fitness”. Normally, this certificate would be the ENG1.
Besides for obvious safety reasons, insurance companies require that yachts comply with safe manning requirements in order for the yacht to be insured. This means that all crew must be fully STCW compliant and to obtain an STCW certificate you will have to have completed an ENG1 medical exam.In short, to obtain work on a yacht, you will have had to pass your ENG1 at some stage.
While it isn’t a requirement for actual crew training, it is a good idea to do the ENG1 before you start training in order to identify any of these medical conditions that could prevent you from working in the yachting industry. You wouldn’t want to spend money on sailing courses only to fail the medical afterwards. Since the ENG1 is a pre-requisite of the STCW which would be done before or as a part of your crew training, many crew training centres would recommend doing the ENG1 before beginning your training anyway.
What does the ENG1 Medical Exam involve?
Most doctors conduct the exam slightly differently and at a different pace so most people’s experience of the medical varies slightly. Some are finished in about twenty minutes while others have said their exam lasted an hour. It is probably safe to expect the medical to take around 30 to 40 minutes. A typical ENG1 might go as follows:
What does it cost?
The upper limit for the cost of the ENG1 has been set at 80GBP but could vary slightly depending on where you are from and whether or not you will need to have x-rays or other tests done. Some prices from around the world are below:
UK: £ 80
South Africa: R1 500
Spain: € 120
Where can I take the medical?
While many doctors may have the equipment and knowledge to carry out the above exam, only MCA approved doctors will be able to issue the ENG1 certificate once you have passed the medical. Luckily there is a large number of MCA approved doctors throughout the UK and at least one or two in most countries where you are able to do any kind of crew training or RYA exams.
Read more about where to do your ENG1 in the Yachting Career section: List of Doctors Approved to Conduct the ENG1 Medical Exam