Nautical Training and Marine Services header with Karla on jetski beside training boat on the water

AMSA Exemption 38 Low Complexity Duties Course Gold Coast

AMSA Marine Safety (low complexity duties) Ex38 Exemption 2017

Extention of Exemption 38

Updated 1 December 2017 to July 2020

Who the Ex 38 course is suitable for

  • Operators required to hold Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Exemption 38 for limited Maritime Operations
  • Businesses, organisations or employers with staff operating vessels in a recreational capacity; where management have identified the need to satisfy a duty of care greater than is provided by just a boat licence.
  • Any persons keen to gain more boating skills and knowledge or enter the marine Industry .
  • Anyone looking to upgrade to the higher level Coxswain Grade 2 or 1
  • May assist people intending to work on vessels internationally.

About the Exemption 38 course

The main purpose of this short course held by Nautical Training & Marine Services (NTMS) is to provide training and assessment in line with the requirements for AMSA Exemption 38. Exemption 38 is for limited maritime operations that undertake low complexity duties with operators having the following restrictions:

Ex 38 Limits AMSA 435

  1. Operate during daylight hours only
  2. Command a vessel <12m long and operate propulsion power for an inboard engine <100kW or outboard engine <250kW
  3. Carry passengers only in the following places and areas:
    • marina operations and a mooring areas in sight of the marina;
    • inland waters;
    • any waters in a tender or auxiliary that are within 1nm from a parent vessel and in sight of and in communication with the parent vessel;
    • any other waters approved by the National Regulator.
  4. Without carrying passengers only in the following places or areas:
    • places and kinds of water in Point 3 above;
    • smooth waters, including inland waters;
    • any waters within 1nm from each point of departure and within 1nm of the coast ;
    • waters used for the daily transit to and from the aquaculture lease for operation under this exemption;
    • any waters within 250 metres of a structure fixed to the shore
    • sheltered waters within 2nm from the coast.
  5. Tow persons only in the following area and situation:
    • any waters that are water ski areas approved by a State or Territory authority, with or without passengers; and
    • the vessel has propulsion power, for an inboard and outboard engine, <500kW

Pre-requisites for this course

There is No Sea time required or formal entry requirements for this course. However students are required to have numeracy and literacy skills of at least year 10 student in an Australian school or equivalent.

  • Please notify NTMS of any learning difficulties and we will address specific learning needs of student and accordingly design their training and assessment systems so as to best meet needs.
  • NTMS will make adjustments to training delivery and assessment strategies for those students who need LLN support.

Units of Competency

Students will be required to complete of One of the following units of Pre-study for competency:

  • Complete the "Safe Boating Workbook" Questionnaire Activities as pre-study (contact us to purchase the "SafeBoating Workbook" $20 (inc. postage)
  • Complete the "Boat Safe Workbook 2017" (PDF) Questionnaire Activities as pre-study

Students will be required to complete competency in Boatsafe Exam Theory Assessment Day 1
Students will be required to complete competency in AMSA536 Final Practical Assessment Day 2

Day 1: Theory is a combination of blended learning, with pre-study (as above), DVDs, Powerpoint Presentation and Exam Theory Assessment. Once students have had their completed Workbook Questionnaire Activities assessed, they will be ready to complete the multiple choice exam assessment. Successful Students will then be ready for their practical session on Day 2 with the AMSA Approved assessor. The Practical is usually booked for the following day but can be booked for another time.

Day 2: The Practical session will be demonstration and assessment for approximately five hours with limited numbers. Three hours will be demonstration with the trainer and assisting students with any areas of uncertainty and two hours will be practical assessment of the student according to the specified AMSA536 Final Practical Assessment Record.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

This two day course can be reduced to a one day course including AMSA Practical Assessment (.doc file) for those participants who can provide proof of their industry experience, training or current Marine Boat Licence.


  • Student submits Name, Mobile No. & Email Address
  • NTMS trainer/assessor discusses the requirements of the course over the phone
  • Student downloads Boatsafe Workbook for online access or
  • Student submits address for receipt of Safe Boating Workbook hard copy
  • Student either downloads (below) or receives hard copy of "Exemption 38 Training Portfolio"
  • NTMS advises booking dates and Invoice2go

Exemption 38 Training Portolio documents

Please download the following documents to create your Ex 38 Training Portfolio and bring them to the course.

Course Outline and Fee

Fee $750

As pre-study, Student completes Workbook activities and NTMS confirms Course Dates

Day 1 - 8am - 3pm

  • Day 1 Theory includes a combination of DVDs and Powerpoint Presentation - 4 hours
  • Day 1 Practical includes approximately 40 minutes per person at the Helm - 1 hour
  • Day 1 Multiple Choice exam 50 Qs - takes approximately - 1 hour

Day 2 - 8am - 3pm

  • Safe Towing & Marine Communications Presentation and DVDs
  • Face-to-face delivery will be a summary of the units of competency including practical delivery
  • Focus will be on the Safety Management Systems, Risk Assessment and Workplace Health and Safety, as well as identified areas of improvement from previous days submission
  • The second half of the day will be the Final Practical Assessment. All skills and knowledge contained in the Final Practical Assessment Record Sheet AMSA536 will be assessed

Course Completion

  • Once the student is deemed competent in this course, they will be issued a Statement of Attainment and the completed Final Practical Assessment Record Sheet AMSA536.
  • A copy of Activities and Final Practical Assessment Record Sheet will be retained in the students file.

AMSA will be notified at the completion of each successful Practical Assessment of Exemption 38 being granted via a spreadsheet with the student’s details.

When can I operate commercially?

Upon successful completion of training and assessment requirements under Exemption 38, students will be issued a Statement of Attainment, plus the completed Final Practical Assessment Record AMSA536 (.doc). they are then able to operate under Exemption 38.

Documents to be kept

You will need to keep the following completed records and make them readily available if requested:

  • Final Practical Assessment Record (AMSA536)
  • NTMS Statement of Attainment
  • Self-Declaration of Medical Fitness (AMSA558)
  • Eyesight Test Certificate (AMSA542)
  • Current First Aid Certificate (if carrying passengers)
  • Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency (if operating VHF)

To enquire about availability and booking the Exemption 38 coxswain course in 2017/2018 please phone Karla Del Herbert-Evans on 0412 550 570
or click to email Karla directly.

Please read our Refund policy regarding cancellations and postponement


Go to top of page

Exemption 2017 (No. 2) extends the former Ex. 38 to 30 June 2020.

Please see new details of updated PDF Marine Safety (Low complexity duties) Exemption 2017 (No. 2) which came into effect on Jan 1st 2018.

Click the image below to download the 3 page PDF whch outlined the limitations of Exemption 38 Coxswain ticket before Jan 1st 2018. Please note that some details in the document below have been superceded by the 2018-2020 PDF linked above.