Recently, we wrote about whether the yachting industry is for you or not. And one part of it focused on physical fitness. If you are not fit, working on a superyacht is potentially dangerous for you. So, to avoid this, you must get an ENG1 certificate, a certificate of fitness that is internationally valid in the yachting industry.

What exactly is an ENG1 Certificate?

The ENG1 certificate is issued after a medical examination. This medical exam assesses whether an individual is fit to work on a seagoing vessel and perform their duties. You will need an ENG1 certificate if you are in charge of any vessel, serving on a commercial ship, or a seafarer (which includes a deckhand or stewardess).

This is a compulsory certificate that you MUST obtain before starting work on a ship or a yacht. Without it, nobody will hire you, and fairly so. Working at sea can be dangerous and being fit is important. Else not only you will risk your own life, but of others too.

The ENG1 is a basic medical examination. If you are over 18 years of age and are physically fit by the standards of the ENG1 medical examination, you will get the certificate. This certificate can be valid for up to two years but mostly they issue one year certificates. Ask your doctor for more information.

Where to get an ENG1 Medical Certificate in South Africa?

This certificate can only be issued by an MCA-approved doctor. In South Africa, you can find an MCA approved doctor in Cape Town. Make sure you book an appointment via call before you. The contact details are listed here.

Make sure you take the following with you on the day of the examination.

  • Your ID (Passport, Driving License)
  • Current ENG1 certificate (if applicable)
  • The name, address, and contact details of your family doctor/general practitioner
  • Correspondence from your doctor, if you have any medical history
  • List of medications you are taking (if any)
  • Glasses/contact lenses (if applicable)

Why do I need an ENG1 Certificate?

Well, the most basic reason is to find out whether or not you are fit for the industry. If you have decided to enter the yachting industry as your main career path, consider getting the ENG1 medical examination first. It is a prerequisite for the STCW as well. You will have to take the STCW safety training course beforehand as well.

The medical examination will identify whether you have any medical conditions that may restrict you from performing certain or all duties onboard. It will ensure that you are physically fit and have no concerning medical conditions that could make you a liability to the crew and not only endangers you but may endanger others as well.

Yachts are insured and insurance companies require the yachts to follow all required safety protocols. That includes hiring STCW certified employees who are able to identify, distinguish, and act upon the dangers at sea. And as mentioned above, you will need an ENG1 certificate beforehand to enrol on the STCW training course.

Alternative to the ENG1 Certificate

ENG1 is not ‘strictly’ needed but you will still need an equivalent of ENG1 certificate to work in the yachting industry. According to this document released by the UK Government, SAMSA’s Medical Certificate is also valid and is equivalent to ENG1 Medical Certificate. So as a South African, you can opt-in for SAMSA’s Medical Certificate and you will be fine!

For more information, visit SAMSA’s Website or consider contacting us and we would be glad to help you out!


To sum it up, an ENG1 or equivalent certificate is necessary to work in the yachting industry. Not only does it protect you, but it also promotes safe practices in the yachting industry. This is necessary to maintain the service standard and to protect lives at sea.

If you are looking for any information regarding deckhand/stewardess courses or the STCW course, connect with us.