With the debate about the new STCW updating requirements heating up ahead of the enforcement date of 1 January 2017, Warsash Superyacht Academy (WSA), part of Southampton Solent University, was on hand at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show to explain why these new measures are so important, advise on training and correct any misinformation circulating within the industry.
Previously, crew on board yachts have always been obliged to hold all four STCW basic safety certificates: Fire prevention and firefighting, personal survival techniques, elementary first aid and PSSR. Deck and engineer officers also had to hold the three advanced STCW safety certificates: Proficiency in medical first aid, advanced firefighting, and PSCRB.
These requirements remain in place, but what has changed is that the two courses relating to firefighting, personal survival techniques and PSCRB must have been completed within the last five years, after which they will need to be updated.
Commenting at the start of the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show, Lars Lippuner, business development manager at Warsash Superyacht Academy explained, “Updating is done by very short refresher courses, half a day for personal survival, and one day each for all other safety training certificates. In other words, crew will need to do one and a half days and officers three and half days in total, every five years.”
Evidence of having completed the updated training, if the original course was more than five years ago, will be required on a number of occasions including: When the Port State Control (PSC) inspector comes up the passarelle; when applying for a Certificate of Competency (CoC); and when revalidating an existing CoC.
Lars continued, “It’s worth mentioning that the new MCA M-Notices say that ‘companies must ensure that seafarers assigned to any of their ships have received updated training as required by the Convention’, assigning an obligation to management companies and owners too.”
Beside the regulatory reason, the updating requirements have been introduced by the Internatinal Maritime Organization (IMO) because research shows that more than half of everything learnt on an STCW safety course has been forgotten again after just six months.
Lars explained, “This is known as ‘skills fade, moreover, we are always learning valuable lessons from recent accidents and developing new equipment and techniques.”
The success of the updating requirements will also depend on the quality of the training courses. Lars also explained, “They should not be a tick box exercise, both trainers and crew are well advised to approach these courses with the seriousness they deserve. There is simply too much at stake.”
For more information, visit Warsash Superyacht Academy.