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What else do I need to work offshore?

As well as making sure you have the best training to get your new career in the subsea industry off to a flying start, what additional certificates and medicals will you need to be able to work offshore?

Offshore Survival CourseJack up Rig
The Offshore Survival Course for UK waters is officially known as Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training, or BOSIET.  It includes a range of skills which may be required when working offshore including safety, first aid and hypothermia, fire prevention and fire fighting, helicopter safety and escape and survival at sea.

The course to allow you to work in UK waters usually takes up to three days to complete and costs around £600.  The certificate is valid for 4 years with a refresher required before the expiry of the old certificate.  The refresher usually only takes about a day to complete.

Outwith the UK, other countries operate different requirements and it is worth ensuring you attend and pay for the relevant course, depending on where you are going to be working.  For example, the Norwegian sector of the North Sea requires you to complete a three and a half day course.  There is also a tropical version of BOSIET which covers the dangers of such waters.

Having the BOSIET certificate will certainly help in your job application and search, as it ticks a box for potential employers.  However, it by no means guarantees you a job offshore.  Occasionally, some companies will also pay for you to complete it before starting work with them.   You can get a list of OPITO approved providers of the BOSIET course here.  (OPITO exist to ensure a competent and safe workforce supply for industry.)

Offshore Medical
Everyone that works offshore is also required to complete a medical.  If you are a commercial diver, your Diving Medical (renewed annually) will cover this as it is much more extensive than the standard offshore medical.

For everyone else, including ROV Pilot Technicians and Assistant Life Support Technicians, the OGUK Offshore Medical is required to work in UK waters. This medical needs to be renewed after 2 years.  Requirements when working in other countries may vary.

Only physicians registered and approved by OGUK can carry out offshore medicals.  Prices vary depending on the practice, but are generally around £110.  Ask for the Norwegian Medical at the same time as many practitioners will generally include this free of charge or will just charge a nominal fee.

Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) Certificate

If you are platform based you may also require a MIST certificate; some companies ask for this regardless of where you will be based, in case plans change mid-contract.  Most training providers that provide the BOSIET training mentioned earlier can also provide the MIST training; you can get a list of OPITO approved MIST training providers here.  The MIST training costs around £300 and a refresher is required every 4 years.

Are there are any other countries that you would specifically like to know the offshore requirements for?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

17 comments on “What else do I need to work offshore?

  1. i would like to know about the offshore requirements in Spain, thank you

    1. Hello Miguel,
      Thank you for contacting us.
      Can you please let me know if you already hold a commercial diving certificate from Spain? If so then can you email me a copy to then I can check to see which course you need to attend.
      If you just need to attend the Top-up course then this would give you the offshore qualification.
      If you have no qualifications then please let me know if you are interested in the Commercial Diving or ROV sector and I can email the latest info
      Look forward to hearing from you soon
      Ingrid Vickers,
      Student Advisor

  2. I would like to know about the offshore requirements in Brazil, thank you.

  3. I would like to work on a Offshore rig but have no experience, How would you go about trying to get a job? I have completed my apprenticeship as a Mechanical Fitter,

    Thank you

    1. Hi Niall,

      With your practical background as a mechanical fitter you’d be well suited to commercial diving, and possibly even ROVs. Did you have an idea if either of these careers were of interest to you? With commercial diving you tend to work inshore to start with to build up experience so you wouldn’t get onto the rigs straightaway. If you’d like to talk about your options then give our student advisors a call on 01397 703 786 or email

  4. hey, just wanted to know about offshore in Angola as a ROV pilot Tech.

    1. Hi Pedro,
      When students attend a course we provide CV sessions giving you the opportunity to update your CV, which you can then send out directlu to companies from our database, which includes details of contractors all over the world, including Angola. The ROV Manager will also email any jobs that come into him direct to all students and again this can be world wide.
      Many thanks,
      Maggie MacKinnon
      Student Advisor

  5. Hi,
    is there a difference in which Europe country I will finish Bosiet abd Mist? Is it true that certificates from UK is being higher rated for employee than from Netherlands?

    1. Hi Justin,
      As far as we are aware the certificate from the UK are no higher than those from anywhere else.
      Many thanks,
      Maggie Mackinnon
      Student Advisor

  6. Hi there, what are the offshore requirements for Southern Africa? Do you know if anyone does the BOSIET training in South Africa?


    1. Hi,
      I’ve never heard of any company delivering BOSIET training in Africa at all, but if you want to work in South Africa perhaps you would be better contacting their authorities for relevant and up to date information. You can also see approved training providers from the OPITO website here:
      Many thanks,
      Steve Grindrod
      NDT Training Manager

  7. Hi,does T-Boiset course taken in Singapore cover me for working in UK(North sea) and does a uk boiset cover me to work in Tropical waters?

    1. Hi Roy, best thing to do would be to contact one of the BOSIET training providers directly – you can find details here

  8. Hi, I’m 34 and have been working in the whisky Industry for 10 years as a process operator, I’m very interested in working offshore in the oil and gas industry. What potential prospects would there be for someone in my position? Cheers

    1. Hi Shaun,

      I’ve sent you information on both ROV pilot technician training and commercial diver training. Working with ROVs suits someone with a technical background, in areas such as electronics, electrical, hydraulics or mechanics, so it depends how technical your role has been. Alternatively commercial diving may be an option, as you just need to be practical, hands-on and hard working, as a lot of the initial subsea tools training is included in our courses. Have a read over both of the emails I’ve sent and then let me know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss anything at all.
      All the best,
      Patricia Archibald
      Student Advisor

  9. ive been working in th banking sector for too long without managing to get anywhere and have been pointed in the direction of the oil and gas industry as an option for change fo career, what roles would be open to me should i undertake the mist and bosiet training courses and how likely am i to be able to get a job given my previous working experience.

    1. Hi Craig

      We run 3 commercial air diving packages here at the Underwater Centre in Fort William (Standard Career Package 9 weeks, Construction Career Package 11 weeks & Premium Industry Package 13 weeks). All 3 courses cover the diving elements and subsea tols but the longer 11 & 13 week packages also include in-water skills such as welding and inspection. I will send you full details, dates and prices for the training.

      We do not run the MIST or Bosiet courses here at the Underwater Centre but if you go to you will find a list of schools that carry out this training. When you first qualify as a commercial diver you’re likely to work inshore to start with, so could do your MIST and BOSIET training then in preparation for going offshore.

      On completion of your commercial diving course you would be able to work inshore and offshore, although as I say, most students normally start with inshore civil diving on completion of training.

      If you need anything further please do not hesitate to contact me, my details will be on information emailed direct.

      Lorna MacPherson
      Student Advisor

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