I learned a new factoid today - new to me, at least. My contact person at USCG tells me this comes up often. I'm posting the information here in case anyone searches and finds this information useful in the future.
The USCG receives mariner applications w/drug test forms signed by MROs. USCG verifies that the MROs who have signed the forms are certified. It does so by checking the MROCC and AAMRO web sites (https://secure.bcentralhost.com/mrocc.org/surch.asp and http://www.aamro.com/locate/. If the MRO's name is on the MROCC site or is "in good standing" on the AAMRO site, USCG accepts the MRO as qualified. USCG has been told by MROCC and AAMRO that this is a good way to verify that MROs are certified. However, MROCC only lists MROs who have certified within the past 5 years. And, AAMRO removes the "in good standing" comment from the MRO's name as listed on the AAMRO website if the MRO has not recertified within 5 years. Thus, MROs who are certified (but not recertified within the past 5 years) will fail the process used by USCG for identifying certified MROs. The mariner will then be told that the MRO is not qualified. If the mariner then contacts the MRO, the MRO can contact USCG and explain that he/she initially certified but did not recertify. It is USCG's intent to accept initial certification as sufficient, i.e., USCG will approve the MRO if the MRO can demonstrate that he or she is certified despite not being listed "in good standing" on the AAMRO site and not being listed at all on the MROCC site. USCG doesn't know how else to verify MRO certification, and thus uses this imperfect web-based process for screening.
So, if you're an MRO who initially certified more than 5 yrs ago and never recertified, you may get rejected by USCG. Don't fret. If you find out, you can contact USCG and explain that you initially certified. Neither USCG nor DOT require recertification.
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