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With the debate about the new STCW updating requirements heating up ahead of the enforcement date of 1 January 2017, we are on hand at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show (23-26 September) 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 fire fighting, 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 fire fighting, 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 show, Lars Lippuner, business development manager for the academy says: “Updating is done by a 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.
“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,” says Lars.
Beside the regulatory reason, the updating requirements have been introduced by the IMO because research shows that more than half of everything learnt on an STCW safety course has been forgotten again after just six months. “This is known as ‘skills fade’,” says Lars “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. “They should not be a tick box exercise,” says Lars, “both trainers and crew are well advised to approach these courses with the seriousness they deserve. There is simply too much at stake.”
While updating training won’t be required for another year or so, yacht crew are well advised to start planning ahead as mariners worldwide will be wanting to complete their updating training by that date.
- In the SYUK Pavilion at Darse Sud QS95, Monaco Yacht Show
- At the ACREW Monaco Lounge, La Rascasse
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