the mcs crewing cycle – our approach to seafarer employment

Africa and South Africa has shown the potential to be a sustainable supplier of high quality, well-trained crew to international clients, particularly those vessels which call at South African ports.

South African seafarers are highly marketable and Marine Crew Services, which has been a leader in the cadet training, training management and crewing solutions of African seafarers for more than a decade, provides crewing and training services to the maritime sector both within and outside the borders of South Africa.

Please click on the above diagramme for more details on the MCS crewing cycle or see below for a detailed explanation.


Marine Crew Services is a privately-owned company with ISO 9001 accreditation.

We have successfully trained and found crewing opportunities for seafarers of all historical backgrounds, both male and female.

We are a wholly-South African, black-empowered company committed to growing our pool of seafarers for opportunities in the global maritime industry.

Our goal is to create a sustainable seafarer market – and help grow South African’s Oceans Economy.



  • Exclusive online database: Database of well-qualified and certified Ratings and Officers’ staff for merchant and offshore vessels in compliance with IMO STCW 2012 Manila, ILO MLC 2006 qualification requirements.
  • Documents Verification: Verification of documents mentioned in application form with the originals.
  • Appraisal Feedback System: To monitor seafarer’s performance, we discuss crew appraisals with signing-off crew to ensure feedback from vessel is noted, and areas good performance are acknowledged, and development needs are discussed with the signing-off crew.
  • Pool Forming: Pool forming with seafarer to rejoin a vessel upon client request.
  • Forward Planning: Seafarer is duly informed of personal forward plan by Crewing Department.


  • Screening and Reference Checking: Screening of previous employment records to identify the seafarer with appropriate seagoing experience. Checking of references for previous seagoing experience and Seaman’s Seagoing Service Record Book.
  • Documents Checking: Checking validity of endorsements, licenses, Flag documents and training certificates. Inspection of authenticity, adequacy and validity of seafarer’s documents giving them the right to hold that position on board for the employment period in accordance with International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification in compliance with STCW 2010 Manila with Amendments, ILO MLC 2006 qualification requirements and ISM CODE.
  • Interview process: Acquiring of all relevant documentation from Seafarer; assessment of suitability; preliminary interview; reference checking.
  • Aspirant Selection: Selection of Cadets and Trainee Ratings in accordance with MCS Trainee Programme Guidelines.

MCS Cadet Selection and Recruitment process:

Upon screening of submitted CVs and the applicant meets all basic requirements, the prospective Cadet will be contacted to provide preliminary documentation and to arrange an interview.  The applicant will be sent an Application Form and a Personal Particulars Form via email.  These are to be completed and returned via email together with the following documentation:

  • Certified copy of Identity Document;
  • Certified copy of Grade 12 Certificate;
  • Official transcript reflecting results from Tertiary Education Institution;
  • Letter of Reference; and
  • Passport photograph.

The Marine Crew Services Training Department will contact shortlisted candidates, and schedule an interview at a suitable date, time and venue.


  • Medical Inspection: Pre-Employment medical and drug and allcohol examination under STCW and Company’s pre-employment medical standard test by an accredited Medical doctor which states if seafarer is medically fit and drug free for working on board.
  • Crew Development:  Seafarer is checked for general compliance, i.e. human interrelations, ability to work in team, aptitude to adjustment, attitude to working environment, settling working priorities.
  • Safety Training: Conducting of training upon the following: General provisions of ISM Code, Shipowners’ policy, Safety Management System and other Shipowners’ requirements. Necessary arrangement and conduct of safety precautions while performing professional duties on board; Environmental pollution prevention; life-saving and fire-fighting, vessel’s safety maintenance and other requirements as to vessel’s and port facilities’ security.
  •  Briefing and Induction (pre-joining): Arranging pre-briefing meeting prior to departure in order to explain all details of crew member’s duties and responsibilities as well as client and vessels specifications.Policies and documents discussed: Engagement briefing; anti-drug and alcohol policy; discipline and grievances Policy and Code of Conduct; all to ensure the crew familiarise themselves with the labour rules on board.Also discussed are the Shipowners’ crew Instructions on the compulsory execution of Shipowners’ orders and his/her authorised representatives; Sexual harassment; and Occupational health and safety policies, as applicable.
  • Signing of Contract: Signing of contract with the seafarer for, and on behalf of, the Shipowner, in line with MLC rules.


  • Visa Formalities: Visa formalities arranged.
  • Hotel Bookings: Accommodation arranged.
  • Flight Bookings: Air tickets arranged.
  • On land Transport: Transfer by: cars, minibuses, buses, railway within South Africa and abroad.
  • Vessel Joining: Preparation of all documentation required for the seafarer to join the vessel at a specific time.


Training and Development

  • Training Courses: All on board disciplines are available in order to improve seafarer’s professional skills and knowledge.
  • Assistance: Assistance in obtaining required missing certificates and visas for approved candidate.


  • Expenses Calculation: Traveling expenses, including accommodation and transfers, visas, immigration formalities expenses, agency attendance fees, bank charges etc.
  • Payroll Arrangement: Salaries and extras, all overtimes, overlapping wages during crew changes, leave pays, seniority and performance bonuses, bank charges for crew payments. 
  • Crew Supervision: Regular visits on board, performance assessment, efficient supervision. 
  • Crew Welfare: Safety training and discipline, safety gear / working clothes / uniforms. 
  • General Administration: Recruitment, communication, telephone and postage expenses. 
  • Cadet Training Program: Marine Crew Services is a reputable and well-known brand within the South African and international maritime industry, and our  core objective is to develop cadets into great future maritime leaders. We have been investing in our own brand of human capital for over a decade and we are immensely proud of the Seafarers we have produced as a result of our investment.
  • We have many Cadets and Ratings that have passed through our training programme as fully fledged Deck / Engine Officers and Able Seaman respectively and who are employed with local and international ship-owners. We will soon embark with the development of ETO’s, since we have discovered that there is a need for this position in South Africa. We are an active participant in cadet development.




“Our key focus as Marine Crew Services is on ships, crewing and managing quality training to standards that exceed the STCW requirements.” – Wilna Kapp, Crewing and Training Executive