Are You Ready For The STCW Refresher?
What is the refresher course?
As of the 1st January 2017, all STCW Refresher courses will become mandatory in accordance with the STCW Manila amendments so crew meet the required standards of competence to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities regarding emergency, occupational safety and survival functions. So if you are currently serving on board a ship and hold a valid STCW BST certificate, from the beginning of 2017 you will have to prove the documentation that shows you have either completed the training course or you have updated your training in the past 5 years. If you know your course dates will be older than 5 years at the start of 2017, it is essential that you complete the 3 day refresher course before the end of 2016.
All refresher courses are valid 5 years, so it is likely that every seafarer will have to do a certain amount of STCW refresher courses before the beginning of 2017. More than likely, this can easily be completed during one block booking.
If crews cannot provide evidence of having met the updated training requirements as set out by the STCW Manila Amendments, the vessel could fail a port state contron inspection which will result in delays and fines.
Within the refresher training, the courses that will need updating are:
STCW permits some elements of the updated training to be carried out on board ship. MCA accepts onboard training and experience for maintaining the required standard of competence for some elements. This is evidenced by the Seafarer completing and signing a self-declaration form.
If you have not completed all of the elements listed on the self-declaration form you are therefore required to complete an extended version of the appropriate training. If you are unable to gain onboard training and experience in personal survival techniques you are therefore required to complete a full PST (Personal Survival Techniques) course.
Do I need to complete a refresher course?
You are qualified and can undertake the refresher course if you are over the age of 18 and are already in possession of:
One of the above certificates as a stand-alone qualification (e.g. an Able Seafarer (Deck) holding a Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats)
An STCW Certificate of Proficiency as a Navigation or Engine Room Watch Rating
An STCW Certificate of Proficiency as an Able Seafarer, ILO Certificate of Competency as an Able Seaman, STCW Certificate of Proficiency as Able Seafarer or Electro-Technical Rating
A Marine Engine Operators License (Merchant Navy and Yacht)
A GMDSS Certificate and work as a Radio Operator