The 1978 STCW convention governs maritime training and certification worldwide and clearly sets out the training requirements for seafarers at every level.
The convention was updated in 1995 and again in 2010 (The Manila Amendments). The latest amendments mean that you now need to keep some of your qualifications updated. The updating training, which needs to be completed every 5 years, may be done in house or on board for certain courses, but for others it means re-taking the course. All of our STCW courses meet the initial and updating requirements where appropriate.
Before going to sea you must have a certain level of basic safety training whether or not you are directly involved in the running of the ship. The courses required are;
- STCW Elementary First Aid
- STCW Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting – Needs Updating
- STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR)
- STCW Personal Survival Techniques (Sea Survival) – Needs Updating
Additionally, if you are serving on a vessel governed by the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code, you will need
Unless you have any kind of role in the security of the ship, in which case you need
- STCW Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
It should be noted that many vessels opt to voluntarily follow the ISPS code, particularly superyachts.
For higher level certificates you need additional qualifications. The available courses are
- STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats – Needs Updating
- STCW Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats – Needs Updating
- STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid
- STCW Proficiency in Medical Care – Needs Updating
- STCW Advanced Fire Fighting – Needs Updating
The STCW convention also states that if you are involved in watchkeeping in any capacity, that you should have one or more of the following management and navigation certificates;
STCW HELM (O) - For OOW Candidates
- STCW HELM (M) - For Mates & Masters
- STCW NAEST (O) - For OOW Candidates
- STCW NAEST (M) - For Mates & Masters
The following STCW Courses need to be updated. If you work for a company with in-house training facilities, some of your updating training can be on board and can be self-certified. The company can then provide you with a shorter course as per the table below. The table also contains links to the self-certification forms where applicable.
If you do not fall into this category, you simply re-take the whole course at an approved training centre.
|STCW Proficiency||On-board Training||Course length to attend||Self Declaration Form|
|Personal Survival Techniques||Yes||4 Hours||MSN 1865 Annex B|
|No||Full PST Course|
|Survival Craft and Rescue boats||Yes||3 Hours||MSN 1865 Annex C|
|Fast Rescue Boats||Yes||4 Hours||MSN 1865 Annex D|
|Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting||Not Applicable||7 Hours||Not Applicable|
|Advanced Fire Fighting||Yes||4 Hours||MSN 1865 Annex E|
|Proficiency in Medical Care||Not Applicable||3 Days||Not Applicable|
Commercial Maritime News (7)
Certificates can be replaced however there is an administration fee for this of £10.00 per certificate. These will then only be posted to the certificate holders’ address. We cannot give them to a third party. We recommend that you keep your certificates in a safe place and never give your original certificates to anyone. Make copies if required. Contact us to order replacement Certificate or for further details.
MIN 524 (M+F) has been issued today. It sets out and explains the regulatory requirements regarding the implementation of training elements applicable under Chapter III and Article IX of the STCW Convention and Code. It outlines the certification structure and examination and training requirements for engineer officers wanting to work Fishing Vessels, Yachts, Tugs, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey, Oceanographic Research and Government Patrol Vessels.
The route for certification is structured to provide a progressive career path for those in the industry to acheive Small Vessel engineer qualifications.
MSN 1859 and the Interim Tug Guidance will run parallel with this MIN until 1st July 2021. This will allow those with Engineering Yacht or Tug Certificates of Competency to complete their training or convert to a Small Vessel Certificate of Competancy. You will still be able to revalidate existing Engineering Yacht or Tug restricted Certificates of Competancy after this date.
Hazel Bennett is celebrating 25 years with Plymouth-based Western Maritime Training Ltd, running a wide range of licensed courses for the modern maritime industry.
As training manager, Hazel has seen vast changes within the industry and its training provision, from the early days of only using paper charts through to today's high-tech bridge simulators.
Hazel said: "The industry has changed completely since I started. Levels of professionalism and safety on board boats have risen and hopefully my role has contributed to that.
"It is an industry that is a lot more highly regulated nowadays and more professional because of it. Everyone needs to be certificated for tasks on board that they would not have needed to be in previous years."
She added: "The new generation of fishermen have become very safety conscious.
"As well as the regulated mandatory qualifications there are also voluntary training programmes schemes, which a lot of fishermen have taken up. This is great because it has helped raise standards and safety awareness.
"It is not a business you can make a lot of money out of but that's not the point. We are here to help people access safety training and make the whole point of being at sea safer."
Travel the length and breadth of Devon and Cornwall and you'll find several generations of seafarers who Hazel has organised training for including fishermen, workboat crews, ferry crews and merchant navy crew.
She has also been instrumental in managing several large projects over the years.
Since she started she has won £42,000 worth of funding from the Training and Enterprise Council to produce a safety video 'Fighting The Odds'.
The video, which follows a disaster on board a fishing vessel, is still being used today across the world to train in sea safety.
In addition, nearly half a million pounds was awarded to Western Maritime Training Ltd to help Skippers' qualifications for the whole of the South West. After that more funds to train marine engineers in Newlyn were received.
Hazel is also continuously fighting for funding to help support those in the maritime industry get the additional training they need.
With most of those working in the industry being self-employed, giving up time valuable for extra training not only costs money but also results in no wage by not being at sea.
Hazel, one of two directors of Western Maritime Training Ltd, says that looking back over the last 25 years working in what is essentially a male-dominated environment has been plain sailing.
She added: "I've been doing it for so long now I don't really notice, so for me it's been great. The people are easy to work with and it's a very professional environment because at the end of the day, their training could save lives.
"Each year has brought a difference challenge. It is quite dynamic and people orientated and I have followed people right throughout their careers, from their first jobs at sea to becoming officers in merchant navy. And I hope to help many more in the future."
Western Maritime Training Ltd provides an extensive range of courses at all levels across the maritime industry and new courses are planned for later this year.
Training is provided at its base in Crownhill Fort using the company's £600,000, 270 degree bridge simulator.
This enables students to take 'control' of any type of vessel located anywhere in the world in all kinds of weather conditions and under a range of scenarios.
The Marine Society is dedicated to professionally developing seafarers, helping them to learn new skills, gain accredited qualifications and realise their full potential. The charity offers financial assistance including scholarships to seafarers to support their professional development at all levels.
On behalf of Nautilus International, The Marine Society administers the John William Slater Scholarship for ratings (deck or engine room) aspiring to their first officer of the watch certificate of competency and assists electro technical officers and yacht crew to gain STCW 2010 certification. If you would like to apply for these courses and you are not supported by a shipping company, or you are self or part funding your studies you may be able to apply for this scholarship worth up to £17,000.
For more information visit: www.marine-society.org/slater-scholarship
What is changing?
The STCW Convention 1978 has been amended by the 2010 Manila Amendments and contains new requirements for all seafarers. Seafarers revalidating their Certificates of Competency (CoC) will be required to submit additional evidence to ensure their Certificate is valid for service on certain types of ships after 31 December 2016.
The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code bring in the requirement for Deck Officers working onboard ships fitted with an Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) to undergo specific education and training. As of 1 January 2012 seafarers requiring revalidation of UK CoCs issued in compliance with STCW Regulation II/1, II/2 and II/3 (maintain a safe navigational watch; use of ECDIS to maintain safety of navigation; and maintain the safety of navigation through the use of ECDIS and associated navigation systems to assist command decision making) need to comply with the new STCW requirements to ensure their CoC remains valid on ships fitted with ECDIS after 31 December 2016.
For the revalidation of UK CoC valid after 31 December 2016, the seafarer must have completed one of the following: 1. MCA approved Navigation Radar and ARPA Simulator (NARAS)/ Navigation Aids and Equipment and Simulator Training (NAEST) (Operational Level) course completed on or after 1January 2005; or 2. MCA approved NARAS/ NAEST (management level) course completed on or after 1 January 2005; or 3. MCA approved ECDIS course completed on or after 1 January 2005; or An ECDIS simulator training course in compliance with the current IMO Model Course 1.27 and accepted by the MCA for the purpose of CoC revalidation only.
Western Training Provides NARAS, NAEST and ECDIS courses.
For further information please read MIN 494
A change to the UK MCA’s ECDIS training requirements has now been published. MIN 503 “Training for ECDIS as Primary Means of Navigation”, replaces MIN 442 and keeps the same generic training requirements but alters the Equipment/Type Specific training requirements.
The relevant section reads: 3.1
ECDIS ship specific equipment training for Deck Officers must relate to the make and model of the equipment fitted onboard the ship which they are currently serving. The decision on how to deliver ship specific training is now the responsibility of the ship owner or operator. They must take into account their responsibilities in accordance with ISM code (specifically sections 6.3 and 6.5) and also the STCW convention, Regulation I/14 – 5.
Published 21 April 2015 by Maritime Coastguard Agency
STCW Course List
STCW Basic Training
STCW Advanced Training
STCW Bridge Operations Training - OOW
NAEST (O) - 5-weeks (including ECDIS)