SERVICE STANDARDS

We have 12 service standards that sets out our commitment to our customers. Find out more here.

About us
Our vision is to be a world class organisation that is committed to preventing loss of life, continuously improving maritime safety, and protecting the marine environment:

Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas

Our Mission
We are committed to continual improvement of the quality and responsiveness of our services to customers and as such keep our customers’ views, needs and suggestions at the forefront of our minds when we are reviewing our services and methods of delivery. In doing so, our responsibilities for safety and the protection of the marine environment remain paramount.

What you can expect from us

  • we will deal with all your enquiries promptly, efficiently and courteously, and with the appropriate level of confidentiality
  • we will issue error free certificates
  • we will explain the results of inspections, surveys or examinations clearly
  • as an organisation that is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, we will endeavour to do everything reasonably possible to make our services available to all
  • we will consult our customers regularly, consider any feedback and use this to improve our services

How you can help us to help you

  • provide properly completed application forms, supporting documentation and any other information needed to process applications
  • tell us when we do not meet your expectations
  • tell us how we can improve our service
  • where possible plan ahead, and submit your applications with plenty of time in hand

Listening to you
Consultation is an important part of meeting our objectives. We are committed to consulting with stakeholders with regard to the development of regulations and Codes of Practice.  Our aim is to provide the best possible service at all times, and we welcome your comments.  We will continue our strategy of ongoing customer survey sampling to gain feedback about our services.  

If you are not satisfied with our service, copies of our complaints procedure leaflet are available from all of our local offices, You can also contact us through our website at www.mcga.gov.uk.

Safer Lives

We will provide a search and rescue service

We are committed to maintaining an effective 24 hour search and rescue response and co-ordination capability for the whole of the UK coast and our internationally agreed search and rescue region. We will mobilise, organise and task resources to respond to people in distress at sea, or at risk of injury or death on the UK’s cliffs or shoreline.  In addition, our co-ordination centres will support accident prevention and public safety initiatives and campaigns.

What you can expect from us:

  • in 98% of cases, we will answer 999 telephone calls and maritime distress signals within 10 seconds in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Emergency Call Service
  • we will decide on the appropriate search and rescue response and initiate action within 5 minutes of being alerted
  • we will deploy the search and rescue resources appropriate to each incident
  • When a Coastguard Rescue Team is alerted, the team members will get to their Rescue Station as soon as they can. Once the Rescue Team is ready to proceed from its station, it will arrive at the scene of an incident within 30 minutes in 90% of cases
  • In 98% of cases, within five minutes of being alerted about an incident we will take a decision on the appropriate search and rescue response and initate action if necessary

We recognise that sometimes there are factors outside our control (for example availability, weather conditions, traffic conditions, location of an incident, quality of initial information) which could cause delays. The safety of the Coastguard and public is paramount at such times. These occasions are monitored and we use this data to evaluate those factors that have influence on the effectiveness of our Search and Rescue response.

How you can help us:

  • please take notice of any available coastal and maritime safety advice
  • when at sea don’t delay in notifying the Coastguard via the appropriate means of maritime communication, if you are, or see anyone, in difficulty
  • if you are on shore and see anyone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and provide as much information as you can

We will provide a service for seafarers’ certification

We recognise that seafarers require a responsive certification service so that they can continue their careers at sea.  We have to balance this with a responsibility to ensure the quality and security of the certificates we issue.  

What you can expect from us:

  • in 95% of cases, within 28 days, we will assess your eligibility to sit an exam
  • we will arrange an oral exam for you at a mutually convenient date and location
  • in 95% of cases, we will issue Certificates of Competency (COC) within 14 days
  • in 95% of cases, we will issue your revalidated Certificate of Competency within 14days
  • in 90% of cases, we will assess your Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC) application and issue the Confirmation of Receipt of Application (CRA) within 14days

You can check the progress of your application online at the Certificate of Competency Application Checker.

How you can help us:

  • ensure your application form is complete and accurate
  • enclose all relevant documentation
  • ensure we receive full payment of fees
  • arrive on time for examinations or notify us in good time if you need to cancel

Safer Ships

We will survey and audit your ships

Through our survey and audit services to UK registered ships we seek to ensure consistently high standards of safety on ships, and to minimise the possibility of marine pollution. We issue, renew or revalidate the certificates required to meet the international conventions or domestic requirements.

What you can expect from us:

  • we will survey your ship on an agreed date
  • we will audit your ship on an agreed date
  • in 95% of cases, we will issue your survey or audit certificate within 14 days of completion of a satisfactory survey.

How you can help us:

  • ensure your application form is complete and accurate
  • enclose all relevant documentation
  • ensure we receive full payment of fees

We will approve your plans

We value our shipping customers and work with them in a spirit of co-operation and partnership.  An important way we do this is through the detailed examination of technical and operational drawings and manuals, which helps ensure that safety standards are maintained.  

What you can expect from us:

  • in 90% of cases, we will complete your approval within 28 days.

How you can help us:

  • ensure your application form is complete and accurate
  • enclose all relevant documentation
  • ensure we receive full payment of fees

We will register your vessels

The UK Shipping Register is one of the oldest and most prestigious shipping registers in the world. The flexible, responsive, customer focused approach we have taken has helped to ensure that the UK Register maintains its reputation as a quality flag of choice.

What you can expect from us:

For merchant ships, pleasure vessels, fishing vessels and bareboat charter ships

  • we will issue carving and marking notes within 14 days
  • in 95% of cases, on receipt of the signed carving and marking note, we will issue your registration certificate within 7 days

For small ships (under 24 metres)

  • in 95% of cases, we will issue your registration certificates within 14 days

How you can help us:

  • ensure your application form is complete and accurate
  • enclose all relevant documentation
  • ensure we receive full payment of fees

Cleaner Seas

We will provide a counter pollution response service

We are responsible for responding to pollution from shipping and offshore installations, and are regularly called upon to respond to a wide range of maritime incidents. The “National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations” (NCP) sets out procedures for a flexible incident response to different degrees of incident.

What you can expect from us:

  • we will assess the risk of pollution occurring from specific activities and take appropriate steps to minimise the risk
  • we will assess reports of pollution from shipping and offshore installations immediately and decide on the appropriate tier and level of response
  • we will deploy appropriate resources

How you can help us:

  • tell us if you see any pollutants at sea or at the coast
  • tell us  as soon as you can if you have accidental spillage into the sea

Customer Communication

We will deal with your enquiries

General information is available from our website and our Infoline at anytime:

www.mcga.gov.uk                                                                                               infoline@mcga.gov.uk

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you a statutory right of access to information. You have the right to request information and be informed in writing whether the MCA holds the information you require.

What you can expect from us:

  • in 90% of cases, we will respond to your complaints within 14 days
  • we will respond to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days as stipulated in the Act.
  • We will respond to customer enquires in a prompt and courteous manner
  • we will provide up to date information on our website
  • we will see you within 10 minutes of your appointment time
  • we will answer your telephone enquiries politely and helpfully

How you can help us:

  • give us feedback so we can continue to improve our service to you
  • be ready to give us as much information as possible so we can help you with your enquiry
  • To state clearly if you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act, or the Environmental Information Regulations.

We also have a wealth of other activities, and we are committed to providing you with an impartial and professional service whatever your needs.

We recognise that sometimes there are factors outside our control which may cause delays.  These occasions are monitored and we use this data to evaluate those factors that have influence on our effectiveness.