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Advancements, Service Validation and Personnel Data Corrections (ADV)

Servicewide Examination (SWE) Guide

The Servicewide Examination (SWE) Guide provides detailed descriptions on how a SWE works along with what processes and procedures are required to be followed by members and their commands to ensure a successful SWE cycle.

The Servicewide Examination (SWE) Guide covers the following topics:

  • The SWE Process 
  • SWE Responsibilities 
  • Sequence of SWE Cycle Events 
  • PDE Description 
  • PDE Verification 
  • Profile Letter Description 
  • Profile Letter Verification 
  • SWE Waivers 
  • Change of CO’s Recommendation 
  • Substitute Exams 
  • SWE Officer Procedures 

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November 2020 SWE Advancement Eligibility List

Per ALCGENL 009/21, the revised November 2020 Servicewide Exam (SWE) Advancement Eligibility List is now available on PPC's (ADV) CGPortal page  (CAC enabled, logon required) via this link: 

https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/ppc/Enlisted%20Advancement%20Lists/2020/ (CAC enabled, logon required)

The November 2020 SWE Advancement Eligibility List does not include EMPLIDs, but please remind members not to publish the list on internet or social media sites. 

Advancement Cutoffs

Advancement Statistics

November 2019 Servicewide Exam Advancement Eligibility List

The November 2019 Servicewide Exam (SWE) Advancement Eligibility List is now available on PPC's (ADV) CGPortal page or via this link: 


The November 2019 SWE Advancement Eligibility List does not include EMPLIDs, but please remind members not to publish the list on internet or social media sites. 

As a result of cancellation of the November 2020 SWE the expiration date for the November 2019 advancement list changed from December 2020 to June 2021. The November 2020 SWE list will become active 1 July 2021 for E-5 to E-8.

Advancement Cutoffs

Advancement Statistics

May 2019 Servicewide Exam Advancement Eligibility List

The May 2019 Servicewide Exam (SWE) Advancement Eligibility List is now available via the CGPortal at: 

https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/ppc/Enlisted%20Advancement%20Lists/ (CG Portal Link)

The May 19 SWE Advancement Eligibility List does not include EMPLIDs, but please remind members not to publish the list on internet or social media sites. Thank you. 

As a result of cancellation of the November 2020 SWE the expiration date for the May 2019 advancement list for advancement to E-7 to E-9 changed from December 2020 to June 2021. The November 2020 SWE list will become active 1 July 2021 for E-5 to E-8.

Advancement Cutoffs:

Advancement Statistics:

Enlisted Advancement Authorization (EPAA/ERAA)


All Coast Guard Enlisted (ALCGENL) message 008/210  announces enlisted advancements authorized effective 1 February 2021. There is a spreadsheet available on PPC's Advancement CG Portal site that you can sort by unit or SPO for your convenience.

COs must notify PPC (ADV) via Admin OIX message, with a copy to PSC (EPM-1), to remove the member from the SWE advancement eligibility list prior to the advancement. Guidance is available in the Involuntary Withholding or Removal from SWE List Guide linked from the EPM-1 Advancement Portal Page:


All Coast Guard Reserve (ALCGRSV) message 003/21 announces reserve enlisted advancements authorized effective 1 February 2021.

October 2020 Reserve Servicewide Exam Advancement Eligibility List

The October 2020 Reserve Servicewide Exam (SWE) Advancement Eligibility List is now available via the CGPortal at: 


The October 20 RSWE Advancement Eligibility List does not include EMPLIDs, but please remind members not to publish the list on internet or social media sites.  Also, please communicate that RSWE cutoffs are no longer used.  Thank you. 

Advancement Statistics

Enlisted Advancement Information

ALCGENL 003/21May 2021 Service Wide Examination (SWE) Competitionnew

ALCGENL 227/20: May 2021 Servicewide Examination (SWE) Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) Testing Update

ALCOAST 326/20: COVID-19: Temporary Suspension of Advancement Requirements for Leadership Courses

Coast Guard Implements Master Chief Advancement Panel for Advancement to E-9

Note: See ALCOAST 110/20 (May 2020 Servicewide Examination (SWE) Competition and Master Chief Advancement Panel (MCAP)). The MCAP is postponed.

ALCGENL 220/19 announces the implementation of the Master Chief Advancement Panel (MCAP) for advancement to E-9. The MCAP will convene annually, beginning in 2020, to select eligible active duty Senior Chief Petty Officers for advancement to Master Chief Petty Officer.​

Additional details, including how to request your EI-PDR, FAQs, and reference material, are available on the CG PSC-EPM-1 Master Chief Advancement Panel Portal​ page​.

Leadership and Management School (LAMS) Completion Deadline for Servicewide Exam Participation Waiver Process Guidance

Completion of a Leadership and Management School (LAMS) Course is required for advancement to first class petty officer. Occasionally individuals incur complexities or extenuating circumstances when attempting to obtain a LAMS class quota, which are beyond the members’ control. LAMS completion deadline waivers are available to allow for certain provisions where individuals are unable to complete LAMS prior to the Servicewide Examination Eligibility Date (SED). PPC (ADV) has created a process guide which provides reference to policy, procedures and information on submitting Leadership and Management School (LAMS) completion deadline waivers to PPC.

PDFPPC Advancement LAMS Completion Deadline Waiver Guidanceupdated

SWE/RSWE Advancement Lists

Advancement eligibility lists are available on our CGPORTAL page. (Common Access Card login required).

Supplemental and Striker Advancement List Policy and Procedures

ALCGENL 035/18 Active Duty Supplemental Advancement Announcement and Procedures for BM2(CG Portal Link)

Reserve Supplemental Lists Information - This document provides policy, procedures, and information for placement on the Reserve Supplemental Advancements lists.

Active Duty Supplemental and Striker Lists Information - This document provides policy, procedures, and information for placement on the Active Duty Supplemental or Striker Advancements lists.

Visit the PPC Advancement, Evaluations, and Service Validation Branch CGPortal page for servicewide exam advancement eligibility lists, active duty striker and supplemental advancement lists, and reserve supplemental advancement lists.

SWE/RSWE Announcement Messages

Enlisted Rating Advancement Training System       

Striker, Early Advancement & Supplemental Message

Advancement Statistics

Enlisted Personnel Advancement Announcements

Enlisted Reserve Advancement Announcements

Last Modified 12/18/20

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Certificates are, for the most part, CG or DD forms. However, they are not included in Internet forms libraries because they are limited distribution forms. Here's a list of the certificates you may be tasked with issuing. All links are to the CG Portal forms library (https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/library/forms/).


CG-5530, CERTIFICATE FOR ADVANCEMENT TO SEAMAN/FIREMAN (E-3) (Via "YNs Page" on CG Portal. Formatted for 2021 and later).
(Note: On the CG-5530 (that you download from the CG Portal forms page), the drop-down for the year field only goes to 2020. For 2021 and later, you must delete and type in the correct year. To do this, select any year from the list, place the cursor at the start of the date field and press the delete key. Then, type in the correct year.)

See the Creating Advancement Certificates Self Service for Commands User Guide and the accompanying tutorial for procedures.

Advancement certificates for pay grades E2 through E6 are done locally on SWSIII in the U. S. Coast Guard Adobe Forms program.

Certificates for promotion to warrant are done at CGPSC (opm).

The certificates for advancements to CPO, SCPO, and MCPO are completed by the PPC (adv) staff following completion of the Active Duty EPAAs and the Reserve ERAAs. The actual production of the certificates begins prior to release of the EPAA and/or ERAA from CGPSC-epm-1 or CGPSC-rpm. Once the EPAA and/or ERAA appear on CGMS (Coast Guard Message System), a comparison is then made between the certificates produced and any changes made to the EPAA and/or ERAA by CGPSC. Normally, the processes of producing, verifying, and the actual mailing of the certificates are completed four working days following release of the message. The certificates are then mailed to the members' units for appropriate presentations on date of advancement. On occasion, PPC (adv) receives telephone calls and/or e-mails one or two days prior to the advancement date informing us that the certificate has not been received. Although this occurs very rarely, it is often enough that we have posted this blank certificate and MCPOCG letter (Revised  9 May 2019) containing the verbiage, whereby the unit can fill in the blanks and have the appropriate words while awaiting the receipt of the original. We sincerely hope you will never need to use this method, however it is being posted, as a ready resource should that unfortunate event occur. Thank you!

Additional useful information -- With the exception of Recruiting Offices, PPC (adv) sends certificates only to those units having an officer on their Personnel Allowance List (PAL). PPC (adv) verifies if there is an officer on the unit PAL. If there is an officer PAL, the certificate is sent directly to member's OPFAC address. If there is not an officer assigned, the certificate is sent directly to the Operational Commander's OPFAC, for an officer of that command to make an appropriate presentation. This prevents us from mailing the certificate directly to the OIC of a Station, for example, and the newly advanced Master Chief simply receiving the certificate in the mail, with no appropriate presentation/pinning ceremony. OICs (not the person being advanced) may wish the certificate be forwarded from other site if his/her desire is to present the certificate. 

Q.   What is cumulative sea duty vice creditable sea duty?

A.   There are two types of sea time for the SWE:

  1. Sea Time for Eligibility- Determines if you have the sea time necessary to compete for the SWE based on the requirements of the Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), 3.A.15.c. The system looks at units that you were permanently attached to to get this number of years/months. TDY will not show up for this. If you have TDY sea time which will give you the additional sea time needed to become eligible to test, send an email to PPC (adv) requesting credit.
  2. Sea Time for Points- 2 points per year, with a maximum of 30 points, are given for sea time served on sea pay eligible vessels from 01Feb94 up to the eligibility date for the SWE. To determine this the system looks at your sea pay records and gives you point credits based on them. TDY if properly documented should be reflected in the sea pay records and you should receive the points for the TDY time. Keep in mind that if your PERSRU completes the documents to pay sea time for TDY periods, they will also have to stop your BAS for same periods. If you ride a ship, draw BAS and pay for meals, you will not draw sea pay or points.

Q.   How can I request a waiver for the SWE eligibility requirements?

A.   Waivers of eligibility requirements are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note:  Before requesting a waiver of the SWE SED completion deadline for LAMS training, Commands should first obtain a LAMS quota from ETQC that allows the member to complete LAMS training prior to the SWE PDE correction deadline (1 April for the May SWE, 1 Sept for the Oct RSWE, and 1 Oct for the Nov SWE).

Submit all requests for deadline waivers a PPC Customer Care Trouble Ticket or via e-mail to ppc-dg-customercare@uscg.mil.

Q.   Can I request a waiver for sea time to be placed on a supplemental list?

A.   No, the date of the message to be placed on the supplemental list is the date all qualifications must be completed.

Q.   Can I request a waiver for time in rate for SWE?

A.   Waivers are not normally approved for TIR. Those advanced in Feb who are a month short by the next cycle will not be given the 1 month waiver to have a full year.

Q.   Can I lose my advancement eligibility due to NJP?

A.   The policy is that "from date of recommendation through advancement, the member must remain eligible"....so in the case of MAY02 SWE...the date of elig is 1FEB02, through advancement means the life of the list, which is December 31st of the following year for CPO's. So if at ANY time between these two dates a member "fails to remain elig"...the command is to advise PPC(adv) and info CGPC(epm-1) of that fact and the member is removed from the list.

Q.   Can I request to be advanced from an active duty list in the reserves following RELAD?

A.   No. You must remain on active duty to remain on an active duty to remain on an active duty advancement list. However, there are circumstances when you may advance based on your previous active duty list standing. Review the Reserve Policy Manual, COMDTINST M1001.28A, Chpt 7.C.7 for details.

Q.   Can I be placed a Supplemental Eligibility list if I've lost my Good Conduct eligibility?

A.   For 12 months prior to the request date to be placed on a supplemental list, and for the entire period from recommendation to advancement, personnel in the pay grades E-4 and E-5 must have no unsatisfactory conduct mark, court-martial or civil convictions, or NJP punishments.

  • The eligibility requirement does not state the members must have 12 month service, it simply states no misconduct in the previous 12 months. IAW Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), 3.A.4, 6, 13

Q.   My unit is going to deployed during SWE exams, can we give the test on a day that differs from the scheduled date?

A.   Tests may never be given early. However, ships may administer within 10 days after the scheduled date if underway during the entire period. Any exam to be administered ashore after the prescribed time/date must be in the form of a "substitute" from PPC. Request via msg to PPC Customer Care. An individual substitute SWE may be allowed if member is medically unfit; family crisis; operationally unable to participate. For more info on substitutes see PPCCINST M1418.1(series).

Q.   If I lose my recommendation for advancement is there any way the CO can change my recommendation between semi-annual or annual evaluations?

A.   The CO can change the recommendation at any time he/she feels the member loses or regains the recommendation. That is done via semi or annual evaluations, or if between evals, the CO initiates a new EER in Direct Access and selects change of CO RECOMMENDATION (CORC) as the rating scale. If a recommendation is changed to Not Recommended the member, in reality, has "failed to remain eligible" for advancement and will be removed from any SWE/Advancement competition. The policy is "from date of recommendation through advancement, the member must remain eligible"... so if between the evals a member loses the recommendation for any reason, we remove the member from the list(s). Once a member is removed due to loss of eligibility, he/she can again earn the recommendation, however because the member "failed to remain eligible" for a period (even if a day) (eligibility date to advancement date or list termination date) they are not eligible to be reinstated on lists, they will be required to recompete when once they earn the recommendation again.

Q.   Can a member who exceeds the allowable weight standards be advanced?

A.   A member on an advancement list will have the advancement withheld until weight is met. Once met the unit sends a message to PPC and we change the status to eligible in the same place member was previously on the list. They will then be eligible when the next available billet is available or their name comes up. IAW Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), 3.A.19.c(3)

  • However, if the list expires prior to the member meeting the weight standard, they will have to re-compete in a new SWE

Q.   A) If a member is on weight probation and then becomes pregnant can they be advanced? B) Do the standards still apply? C) And how long can their spot on the advancement list be held?"

A.   "Per COAST GUARD WEIGHT AND BODY FAT STANDARDS PROGRAM MANUAL, COMDTINST M1020.8(series), members who become pregnant will not be measured to determine compliance until they return to a fit-for-full-duty status. Members placed in a weight or fat loss probationary status prior to pregnancy shall have theirprobationary period held in abeyance."

  • The correct answers based on the ref above are; A) Yes. B) No, service women are exempt from weight and body fat standard during pregnancy, and for six months afterwards (12 months for nursing mothers). C) If being withheld for reasons listed in 3.A.19.c of Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), until expiration of eligibility list.

Q.   Can a person on the weight program, above the cut for advancement, who is not eligible to advance and won't make weight prior to the list expiration date, take the next service-wide?

A.   Because the member is above the cut we will not mail the member a test. The command should send a message to PPC(adv) requesting the member receive a test.

Q.   Can Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), Art 3.a.8.e.2(EOCT waiver granted by a CO) be applied to a member requesting placement on a supplemental advancement list?

A.   No. 3.A.8.e.2 only applies to waivers of EOCT's to participate in SWE exams. When the SWE announcement messages are published they always list SWE waivers(those ratings authorized advancement through supplemental advancement lists), and EOCT waivers(those ratings which may take the SWE without an EOCT), but will never waive both SWE and EOCT for the same rating/rank. One or the other, or both, are always required to advance.

Q.   Is there any way that a member who has received an NJP can still take the SWE?

A.   In accordance with Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), Art. 5.B.1.a.(1), a set of NJP marks must be completed on the member assigning him/her an unsatisfactory conduct mark. Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2(series), Art 3.A.13.b, states that personnel in grade E-4 and E-5 must have no unsatisfactory conduct mark for a period of 12 months prior to the Terminal Eligibility Date (TED) of a service wide exam(eg: The TED for the MAY 2004 SWE is 1JAN2005. If the NJP occurred in February 2004, the member will fall short of the required 12 months good conduct by the TED). If the member is currently E6 or above, Article 3.A.5.b.3 applies and the member must have 24 months of good conduct prior to the eligibility date.

  • The new good conduct period is computed from the day after NJP marks to the TED to determine eligibility, using the 12 or 24 month rule.

Q.   When entering new training in Direct Access, I find the member already has existing training but for a different time period, can I just type over it with the new date?

A.   No. You must hit the add sign and add a new row. Each time training is completed it is considered a new entry regardless of how many times a member has performed the same training in the past.

Q.   Do SPO/PERSRU's advance members based on the EPAA?

A.   No. Units should never advance member's on the EPAA, this job is done by PPC(adv). If units accidentally advance members' based on the EPAA, they should contact PPC(adv) immediately to avoid confusion and possible erroneous advancements. The same is true for Striker's and Supplemental advancement.

Q.   Why is my RAW Score changing?


After you take the SWE, your answer sheet is immediately scanned and scored when it arrives at PPC-ADV. That "raw" score is automatically posted in your Direct Access under:

Home > Self Service > Employee > View > My Profile > Qualifications (tab) > Test/Examinations Section. After all members have tested and raw scores are posted to DA, they are also published on your LES the month after the SWE.

After your initial raw score is published the Test Writers (Subject Matter Experts/SME's) review all of the challenge sheets that members completed while testing when they disagreed with a question or the answers on their test. The SME reviews the challenged questions and makes a determination to:

A. Make no change(s)
B. Drop a question (giving everyone credit for it)
C. Choose a different answer from the four choices as the correct answer

If a question is dropped, everyone receives credit for it and your raw score goes up one point. However, if the SME determines that the answer to a question should be, for example, "A" in stead of "D", then your score can go up, go down, or stay the same. For Example:

  • If you originally picked "D", you will loose a point because it's no longer the correct answer.
  • If you originally picked "A", you will gain a point because it now became the correct answer.
  • If you initially chose "C", your score will not change because you had it wrong both times.

So, remember that your "raw" score is not final until all challenge questions have been reviewed by the SME's and the rescore takes place. This final raw score will be updated in your Direct Access Test Results page and should be available within a month following the exam. 

Helpful Information

The Servicewide Exam (SWE) Guideupdated

SWE Officer Handbookupdated (Note: The handbook is no longer mailed with SWE exams. Please print it out and have it available at the location where the SWEs will be administered.)

Creating Advancement Certificates Self Service for Commands User Guide

Sea Duty for Advancement - Not the Same as Sea Time for Points

PPC Advancement LAMS Completion Deadline Waiver Guidance

Additional SWE Point for Company Commanders and OIC Qualified BM1s

EER Factor Averages May 2004 through May 2013 SWE Cycles File in MS Excel Format

Computing Your SWE Final Multiple

Point Start Date (PSD) Policy Explained

SWE Sea/Surf Duty and Awards Point Policy Change

How to Compute Your Marks Factor for SWEupdated

SWE Point Values for Award and Insigniaupdated

Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) (Note: CGPortal Link. CAC logon required).

  • EPME 2.0 (Note: CGPortal Link. CAC logon required).

Enlisted Rating Advancement Training System (ERATS) Requirements (Note: CGPortal Link. CAC logon required).

Rating Performance Qualifications (RPQ) Repository. In an effort to make it easier to access RPQs, they are now housed on each rating’s individual ERATS CGPortal Page. All ratings have been migrated over. Members need to ensure they have the most up-to-date versions for studying. The most up-to-date versions will be on their ratings respective on the ERATS CGPortal Page. (Note: CGPortal Link. CAC logon required).

Creditable Servicewide Exam (SWE) Sea Time Points for WMSL Crew Members (CG Portal Link)

Servicewide Exam Sequence of Events

Background: Many procedures must be followed to make a service wide cycle successful. Below is a general overview of the sequence of events that must occur. For details and specific dates of these events, refer to The Servicewide Exam Guide.

Step Action
1 Member meets advancement eligibility requirements outlined the Enlisted Advancements and Evaluations Manual
2 Commanding Officer recommends member for advancement on latest Employee Review
3 Unit receives ALCGENL or ALCGPSC message announcing the upcoming SWE. Unit passes message info on EOCT and SWE waivers, time line, and other important message data to members.
4 PPC posts PDE to Direct Access. Corrections to PDE are initiated by member and completed by unit and SPO.
5 Member follows up to ensure that PDE corrections are reflected in Direct-Access prior to PDE Correction Deadline Date.
6 Unit notifies PPC via message of any waiver requests, changes to Exam Board OPFAC and changes of eligibility status of members prior to PDE Correction Deadline Date.
7 PPC (adv) sends SWE tests and instructions to the SWE Officer of the exam board unit.
8 SWE Officer notifies PPC (adv) of any missing or incorrect exams.
9 SWE Officer administers SWE and follows pre and post-test handling procedures provided in administrator's booklet
10 PPC (adv) scans test answer sheets and uploads scores to Direct-Access for inclusion into members final multiple score.
11 PPC (adv) ensures Profile Letters containing exam score, and final multiple score are posted in DA.
12 CGPSC (epm) or (rpm) releases the Advancement Eligibility List and cutoffs.
13 CGPSC (epm) or (rpm) releases monthly Advancement Announcement Messages with the names of members authorized to promote on the first day of the upcoming month.
14 PPC (adv) completes advancements in the pay and personnel system and completes and forwards CPO Certificates to E7's and above.