Taking the PEC exam
Possession of a PEC ensures that the navigator has the necessary knowledge of the relevant waters to complete a safe voyage. For Classes 1 and 2, the exam must be carried out by a state pilot. For Class 3, shipping companies can use a PEC assessor instead of a state pilot.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration sets representative exams for larger areas. The Norwegian Coastal Administration has established representative exams for the whole of Norway, including Svalbard; a total of nine. In addition, three approaches to offshore bases have been set as representative exams for the rest of the offshore base approaches.
The requirements relating to experience must be met in order to qualify for the defined areas in their entirety. If a navigator does not have experience from the entire area, approval will be given for a limited part of the area, even if a representative exam has been taken. However, the navigator’s PEC will be extended to new fairways in the same area based solely on the requirements for experience being met at a later date. This does not apply to Class 1, which requires an exam to be taken for each fairway.
The PEC exam must also be taken when extending the area of validity of the PEC. In this case, the Norwegian Coastal Administration may decide that the exam requirement can be waived in whole or in part for short fairways with a low risk, or if the applicant has significant sailing time on the Norwegian coast.
If an applicant fails an exam, there will be a 14-day waiting period before a new exam can be taken. If an applicant fails an exam due to an error in the practical aspects of the voyage, they must also document a minimum of two new voyages in the same fairway before a new exam can be taken.
On vessels where an ECDIS system calculates and displays the vessel’s position, the Norwegian Coastal Administration may require the screen to be dimmed or covered in order to check your navigation skills without support from the system, in a similar way to navigating using paper charts.