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Professional Qualifying Examinations (PQE)

The Professional Qualifying Examinations (PQE) form the pinnacle of the ICS qualification. Completion of these exams is an illustration of one's developed knowledge and understanding of the commercial shipping industry. It comprises 7 exams which you can do over 5 years. Many people however complete in a much shorter time, and are often also eligible for exemptions to some exams based on industry experience and prior qualifications. Exemptions don't apply to the Diplomas, so if you are eligible for a few, it may make sense to start your journey with PQE.

Embarking on PQE will mean you need to sit a minimum of two exams in your first year (one of which must be Shipping Business), and can pick and choose how many to take thereafter from the syllabus. Once you have completed your PQEs you will be eligible to apply for membership with the Institute.

Foundation Diploma

The Foundation Diploma is ideal for people with little industry experience, but who would like to gain practical knowledge and a sound qualification. It involves taking the Introduction to Shipping paper plus one other subject from the group 2 list of Optional Papers of the ICS syllabus. The Foundation Diploma is a standalone qualification in its own right, but because it can count towards your membership examinations it's also a great way to ease into study and gives you an overall view of the business.

Advanced Diploma

The Advanced Diploma has been designed as a stepping stone into full professional qualification and suits those who have some industry knowledge. Like the Foundation Diploma, the Advanced Diploma is a recognised and respected qualification. It involves taking the ICS benchmark paper Shipping Business plus one other subject from the group 2 list of Optional Papers of the ICS syllabus.


Exemptions are only granted towards the PQE qualification and not towards the Foundation and Advanced Diplomas.

Evidence of qualifications in the form of a certificate will be required to support any application.

Candidates with relevant professional or educational qualifications may apply for exemptions for a maximum of three subjects. You can visit http://www.ics.org.uk/learning/exemptions to check your exemption subjects

The following subjects can be exempted:

Introduction to Shipping

It is possible to obtain an exemption from Introduction to Shipping if you have worked in the shipping industry for 2 years, or for 1 year if you have also passed the Institute's Understanding Shipping course. A letter of evidence from your employer will be required.

Economics of Sea Transport and International Trade

Marine Insurance

Shipping Law

Shipping Finance

If you have a maritime qualification which is not listed on the website you should email details to enquiries@ics.org.uk New qualifications will be considered by the Institute's Education and Training Committee, and if they qualify for exemptions these will be added to the lists ready for our next registration period.

Follow the below steps to avail exemptions:

• Check to see if the qualification appears on the ICS website list
• Complete the 'exemption request' form and submit to head office with the relevant proof of qualifications
• Head office will respond with approval or an explanation if exemptions cannot be granted
• the student will be invoiced
• once payment is received, the exemption subjects will be applied to the students record


For the first time exams will be available twice a year: in November 2014 and April 2015.To help you plan for the next academic year, some key documents are attached.

The annual student registration fees will cover the complete academic year, including the November and April exam sessions.

In order to complete PQE, one has to appear for seven (7) papers i.e 4 compulsory papers + 3 optional papers.

'Shipping Business' is compulsory and have to be taken in the first year.


Compulsory Subjects

- Introduction to Shipping
- Legal Principles in Shipping Business
- Economics of Sea Transport and International Trade
- Shipping Business (must be taken in the first year)

Optional Subjects

- Dry Cargo Chartering
- Ship Operations and Management
- Ship Sale and Purchase
- Tanker Chartering
- Liner Trades
- Port Agency
- Logistics and Multi-Modal Transport
- Port and Terminal Management
- Shipping Law
- Marine Insurance
- Shipping Finance
-Offshore Support Industry

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  Centre for Exams in Mumbai:
SCI Maritime Training Institute
Sagar Gyan Building,
52-C, Adi Shankaracharya Marg
Near Powai Lake, Powai
Mumbai 400072
Tel: 022-2570 1430-31-32-33


  Tel: 91-22-6281 6126 (Board)
Email: mumbaiics@gmail.com

PIC : Ms. Rebecca D'silva
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