I asked the following question to both the PYA and Nautilus:

“I am about to apply for the NOE but I am not a member of Nautilus how do I do it? I have a discharge book and sea service testimonials, what is the best plan and how long will it take?”

Answer from Nautilus

"We would always encourage seafarers to become a full member of Nautilus so that they can receive the benefits and protections unmatched by any other association – workplace support, legal advice and assistance, a 24/7 helpline and financial protection of their certificate worth up to £120,700.  However, we recognise that not everyone wants those services and have come up with a low-cost option for them - €95 for 12 months of unlimited verification in our service record book, a monthly copy of the Telegraph, access to the Nautilus Plus discount scheme and access to the members section of our website. Nautilus does not charge any late-fees or admin charges for our full members or for our Yacht Friends of Nautilus – it’s a flat rate of €95.00."

I then further asked the following questions to both

Do you back validate all sea time for the application once they are a full member?

Yes, this is available to people in order for them to keep all of their sea service in one place. If they are sending us testimonials from some time ago, it will help if they provide us with updated contact details for someone at the organisation that can verify the seatime with us – particularly if the captain, owner, agent or manager has changed.

What would be the time frame for someone joining today and being able to apply for the NOE?

If someone joins us today, we will process their application almost immediately. We can’t give an exact timescale regards the time it takes to process the verification, as it depends on the time that it takes for the employers/representatives to get back to us. Whatever happens it should be a lot quicker than the MCA’s timescale, as we know exactly where to go within different organisations to get things sorted for the seafarer. The MCA have established channels of communication with the major shipping companies, but it is more difficult for them to be able to do this in the superyacht industry.

What happens to the Caymans Islands discharge book? Does this still run in tandem?

Yes, the Nautilus Service Record Book is a supplement to a discharge book. Seafarers working on yachts are encouraged to carry both the Nautilus SRB and their discharge book – the seatime in our Service Record Book is broken down in more detail than a discharge book.

What format do you prefer for crew to record their sea time, just testimonials and or discharge book or discharge certs?

We know that some yachts operate this in different ways. We can work with all such documents, and it’s best for our member (or Yacht Friend of Nautilus) to keep as many of the documents up to date as possible, as it will speed up the service further.