The MCA Approved Engine Course 1 is the first level of the MCA Engineering Officer training scheme. The Approved Engine Course (AEC) teaches candidates basic mechanical and electrical operations of marine diesel engines. Recent industry changes have led to the implementation of the AEC2 course which, in contrast to AEC1, has a practical element whilst the AEC1 is theory-based.
Basic entry requirements for this course and the award of the AEC 1 certificate is dependent on the following:
- Completion of the basic safety training (STCW 2010 compliant)
- Not less than 18 years of age
The basic operation of engines and their support systems will be covered as well as the checks and fault finding required using actual systems fitted to boats.
- Compression-Ignition Engines (General Principles)
- The Cycle of Operation And
- Construction of Engines
- Fuel Systems
- Role of Air in The Combustion Process
- Cooling and Lubrication Systems
- Engine Electrical Systems
- Power Transmission
- Hull Fittings
- Safe Working Practices
- Pollution Prevention
- Bottled Gas Installations
This course is the first step towards climbing the engineering career ladder for those with no formal marine engineering or craft training.
Candidate’s ability is continuously assessed throughout the course and there is a one-hour written exam at the end. AEC 1 is a theory-based course.
Advantages of having an AEC
Qualifying experience for all the higher engineering qualifications is only recognized if the person holds an AEC so no progress is possible without this certificate, which, in terms of the MCA requirements for commercially and privately operated yachts, means that without an Approved Engine Course (AEC1) qualification, a crew member cannot progress through the rest of the engineering qualifications, namely: AEC2, Small Vessel Second Engineer (formerly Y4) < 200GT and < 1,500kW, Small Vessel Chief Engineer (formerly Y3) < 500GT and < 3,000kW, Small Vessel Chief Engineer (formerly Y2/Y1) < 3,000GT and < 9,000kW.
Captain/Engineers of smaller yachts will find their job prospects greatly enhanced if their resume includes basic engineering qualifications as well as Deck Officer certification.