How to get an STCW certificate

Written by Michael Henson | With thanks to Akula Yachts

Last updated: 02/12/2016

If you plan on working on a superyacht, you’ll need to obtain an STCW certificate before you start your crew job. Read below to find out how to obtain your STCW and what is involved.

A quick summary of the STCW

The STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) is a group of qualifications which shows that the holder has the minimum standard of qualifications required to work on board vessels of a certain size. The course is compulsory to work on a yacht, is valid for five years and costs between £700 and £1,000.

Find crew training companies near you offering the STCW courses

Fire Students

Click here to search crew training

What is the difference between the STCW 95 and STCW 2010?

Simply put, the STCW 2010 is the updated version of the STCW 95. The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25th June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

Amongst other things, the changes that affected superyacht crew included expanding the training requirements to include vessel security. Crew members who do not have the additional security qualification must take a course to maintain the validity of their previous training.

How long does the STCW last for?

The MCA STCW certificate of competency (CoC) must be revalidated every 5 years. This is an administrative process, which requires you to download a form from the MCA website. This government page has more information.

What do you need to do to obtain the qualification?

There are five basic courses, which form the backbone of the STCW system including the additional security module, which is required as of 1st January 2014.

However please note by 1st January 2017 STCW regulations come into full effect, and all existing crew must complete gap closing training requirements for their credentials to be valid after that date.

The modules you will study include:

  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness

Each course can be booked separately if required, but most crew training schools will offer a full package. Once you have the qualification it will allow you to work on board a superyacht. Read these amazing guides to improve your chances of getting an engineer job.  

STCW - Personal Survival TechniquesSTCW - Personal Survival Techniques

Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

The Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities course offers crew members the basic health and safety advice required on modern and traditional vessels. It covers basic hazards, personal protective equipment, general health and safety advice and common and emergency routines, which crew might come across. 

Duration: Half a day 
Individual cost: £80 - £100

Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

The Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention course trains attendees on the different ways in which fires are caused and the precautions to be taken to minimise the risk of fires on board. It involves considerable practical firefighting and should include the following topics: 

  • Response to emergency situations involving fires 
  • Firefighting and fire extinguishing using portable equipment 
  • The use of breathing apparatus 
  • How to act as an effective member of a firefighting party 

Duration: Two days 
Cost: £480 to £500

Elementary First Aid

STCW Elementary First Aid is internationally recognised and offers a mixture of theory and practical sessions on how to respond to the most common emergencies on board, such as CPR, breaks and splints, bandaging, drowning, hypothermia and so on. 

Duration: One day 
Cost: £100 to £120

STCW - Elementary First Aid

Personal Survival Techniques

Personal Survival Techniques is the STCW name for sea survival. This essential sea survival training helps crew deal with a range of emergency situations, teaching them how to launch a life raft, using safety equipment, preparation for sea survival and talking through the use of search and rescue organisations.

Duration: One day 
Cost: £100 to £120

Proficiency in Security Awareness

Proficiency in Security Awareness is a course offering crew members the basic information required to carry out security duties on board and help crew to have heightened security awareness.

The International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code outlines the need for security and vigilance on board merchant vessels of all sizes. This course aims to ensure crew can:

Report a security incident, including a piracy or armed robbery threat or attack; know the procedures to follow when they recognise a security threat; and take part in security-related emergency and contingency procedures.

The course is compulsory for all new crew members and for existing crew members unless they have had at least six months documented sea service on an approved vessel between 1st January 2009 and 1st January 2012, or already hold the SSO or CSO qualification.

Duration: Half a day 
Cost: £80 to £100

Examination and assessment

Continual practical assessment with theory based examinations take place throughout.

Read the ultimate guide to becoming yacht crew here

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A guide on how to get an STCW 95/STCW 2010 certificate

How to get an STCW 2010 certificate
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How to get an STCW certificate

Written by Michael Henson | With thanks to Akula Yachts

Last updated: 02/12/2016

If you plan on working on a superyacht, you’ll need to obtain an STCW certificate before you start your crew job. Read below to find out how to obtain your STCW and what is involved.

A quick summary of the STCW

The STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) is a group of qualifications which shows that the holder has the minimum standard of qualifications required to work on board vessels of a certain size. The course is compulsory to work on a yacht, is valid for five years and costs between £700 and £1,000.

Find crew training companies near you offering the STCW courses

Fire Students

Click here to search crew training

What is the difference between the STCW 95 and STCW 2010?

Simply put, the STCW 2010 is the updated version of the STCW 95. The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25th June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.

Amongst other things, the changes that affected superyacht crew included expanding the training requirements to include vessel security. Crew members who do not have the additional security qualification must take a course to maintain the validity of their previous training.

How long does the STCW last for?

The MCA STCW certificate of competency (CoC) must be revalidated every 5 years. This is an administrative process, which requires you to download a form from the MCA website. This government page has more information.

What do you need to do to obtain the qualification?

There are five basic courses, which form the backbone of the STCW system including the additional security module, which is required as of 1st January 2014.

However please note by 1st January 2017 STCW regulations come into full effect, and all existing crew must complete gap closing training requirements for their credentials to be valid after that date.

The modules you will study include:

  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness

Each course can be booked separately if required, but most crew training schools will offer a full package. Once you have the qualification it will allow you to work on board a superyacht. Read these amazing guides to improve your chances of getting an engineer job.  

STCW - Personal Survival TechniquesSTCW - Personal Survival Techniques

Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities

The Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities course offers crew members the basic health and safety advice required on modern and traditional vessels. It covers basic hazards, personal protective equipment, general health and safety advice and common and emergency routines, which crew might come across. 

Duration: Half a day 
Individual cost: £80 - £100

Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention

The Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention course trains attendees on the different ways in which fires are caused and the precautions to be taken to minimise the risk of fires on board. It involves considerable practical firefighting and should include the following topics: 

  • Response to emergency situations involving fires 
  • Firefighting and fire extinguishing using portable equipment 
  • The use of breathing apparatus 
  • How to act as an effective member of a firefighting party 

Duration: Two days 
Cost: £480 to £500

Elementary First Aid

STCW Elementary First Aid is internationally recognised and offers a mixture of theory and practical sessions on how to respond to the most common emergencies on board, such as CPR, breaks and splints, bandaging, drowning, hypothermia and so on. 

Duration: One day 
Cost: £100 to £120

STCW - Elementary First Aid

Personal Survival Techniques

Personal Survival Techniques is the STCW name for sea survival. This essential sea survival training helps crew deal with a range of emergency situations, teaching them how to launch a life raft, using safety equipment, preparation for sea survival and talking through the use of search and rescue organisations.

Duration: One day 
Cost: £100 to £120

Proficiency in Security Awareness

Proficiency in Security Awareness is a course offering crew members the basic information required to carry out security duties on board and help crew to have heightened security awareness.

The International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code outlines the need for security and vigilance on board merchant vessels of all sizes. This course aims to ensure crew can:

Report a security incident, including a piracy or armed robbery threat or attack; know the procedures to follow when they recognise a security threat; and take part in security-related emergency and contingency procedures.

The course is compulsory for all new crew members and for existing crew members unless they have had at least six months documented sea service on an approved vessel between 1st January 2009 and 1st January 2012, or already hold the SSO or CSO qualification.

Duration: Half a day 
Cost: £80 to £100

Examination and assessment

Continual practical assessment with theory based examinations take place throughout.

Read the ultimate guide to becoming yacht crew here

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