Categories: a-port-information, BusinessPublished On: 02.02.2022427 words2.1 min read

How to become a MCA approved doctor

Find out about MCA’s recruitment process for approved doctors (ADs).


This guidance for doctors takes you through:

  • MCA’s general criteria for ADs
  • types of AD
  • how to apply for appointment as an AD

MCA’s recruitment system has been established in agreement with maritime employers and seafarer’s 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

  • Jersey – closing date 21st February 2022

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 MCA’s approved doctor’s 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. You’ll then be invited to apply to make sure of fair and open competition.

All the applications are reviewed by MCA’s chief medical adviser.

Company doctors are:

  • appointed at the request of companies with vessels on the UK flag, subject to the MCA chief medical adviser’s 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 it’ll be acknowledged by the medical administration team.

Further information

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 1 February 2022