Who can be become the holder of a PEC?

The bonafide Master or Chief Mate of a vessel regularly trading to the Humber estuary and signed on as such.

What are the first steps to obtaining a PEC?

Apply to Associated British Ports (ABP) at HES Pilotage Dept, ABP, Port House, PO Box 1, Northern Gateway, Hull, HU9 5PQ for a PEC starter pack, which contains the application forms and guidance. It also contains the syllabus for the examination.

Does one PEC exam cover all ships?

NO. The PEC covers only the vessels that the holder regularly sails on and has been examined for. Other vessels can be added at a later date.

How many qualifying trips do I need to have?

9 trips in and 9 trips out to the berth / dock that the certificate is required for accompanied by a PEC holder or an authorised pilot, within the preceding 18 months.

What do I need to send in with my application form?

The application form has spaces to be filled in with regard to owners' declaration and tug declaration. There is also space to fill in the qualifying trips. A certificate from VTS to show you have done a VTS visit and the PEC fee are the other items needed.

Where can I get charts to help me study for a PEC?

ABP provide a variety of charts including the annual chart, printed in April each year, which is recommended to all PEC candidates. Other more detailed charts are also available on request from HES at the address shown earlier.

How long will my PEC last?

All PEC are renewed annually on the 14th of July. Any PEC first issued before the 1st of May will be due for renewal on the next 14th July. Any PEC first issued after the 1st of May will be due for renewal on the 14th July one year later.

What must I do to renew my PEC?

You must complete 6 trips in and 6 trips out within the last 12 months. You must present yourself for interview, having a valid medical certificate. Pay the required renewal fee.

Is the PEC exam the same for all size of ship?

Yes. Except class C.

How do I arrange a visit to VTS?

This is normally arranged via the ships agent, but any individual can ring ABP on 01482 327171 and ask to speak to Pilotage Operations.

How long does a visit to VTS last for?

Travelling time from Hull to Spurn Point is about 1 hour. The visit to the tower normally lasts about 30 minutes and then 1 hour to return to Hull.

Is there anybody I can ask about PEC questions?

Yes. Candidates are positively encouraged to come to Port House for a pre PEC meeting with either the Pilot Operations Manager (POM) or Deputy Pilot Operations Manager (DPOM). At this meeting the examination process can be explained and questions answered. Alternatively telephone on 01482 327171 and ask for Pilotage Operations.

Where will my exam take place?

The majority of these exams are held in Port House Hull, however a significant number are held onboard ship. These will take place before during and after an act of pilotage.

What day or time will I be able to take my exam?

Normally exams are held in Port house during office hours. However for exams held onboard ship this can be 24 hours. In exceptional circumstances exams can even be held on weekends. This will be arranged through the ships agent.

How could I obtain the latest local Notice to Mariners?

The NTM are sent to ships agents for distribution to PEC holders. Any PEC holder who has email can have all notices sent direct. Contact either the ships agent or Pilotage Operations for more information.

What happens if I change company?

The PEC is yours not the ships. You can apply to have your new companies ships added to your certificate as long as they are of similar size and type. There will be a fee to pay to have the ships added to your certificate.

What happens if my PEC is for vessels less than 100m and I want to sail on vessels over 100m?

Need to discuss with Pilot Operations.

If I am a PEC holder can I still take a pilot?

Yes. This often happens in adverse weather conditions where an extra pair of hands is needed. E.g. this may be for working the tugs.

What should I do if I am feeling unwell when my vessel is due to arrive / depart?

A pilot should be ordered in the normal manner through the agent.

I need a vessel urgently added to my PEC can the agent do this?

Yes. The agent should contact the VTS data centre on 01482 219191 and approval will be sought from the duty Pilotage Operations Manager. However under normal circumstances the agent would apply for the addition well in advance.

Does it cost to have a vessel added to my certificate?

Yes. A fee is payable every time a certificate is changed. However vessels can be added to a certificate at renewal and only the renewal fee is payable.

How do you know how many times my PEC is being used?

All trip details are automatically stored by VTS Humber.

My PEC expired 2 years ago can I renew it?

No. If a PEC is not renewed annually then the examination must be retaken. The qualifying trips on the river must also be undertaken again.

Is my PEC dock / berth specific?

Yes. If you require an additional dock / berth then the Pilotage Operations department should be contacted on 01482 327171. They will advise if there are any additional tasks to be completed.

I want a PEC for the River Trent or Ouse; do I have to do the whole river in one exam?

No. Normally most candidates apply for a PEC from sea to River Side Quay (RSQ) in Hull. A pilot can board at this point for the remainder of the passage. At a later date the candidate can apply and be examined for the PEC to be extended to include the port further up river.

If I have an incident on the river or in a dock what do I do?

Inform VTS as soon as is practicable and then complete the Incident report form. The form should then be sent to ABP at the address shown on it.