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|
STCW Course List
STCW Basic Training
STCW Advanced Training
STCW Bridge Operations Training - OOW
NAEST (O) - 5-weeks (including ECDIS)
Mates & Masters