STCW updating training

Fire fighters

Now that the enforcement date of 1 January 2017 has passed, we explain why these new measures are so important and what it means for crew. For more information download our guide.

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's changed is that the two fire fighting courses, personal survival techniques, elementary first aid, and PSCRB now must have been completed within the last five years, after which they will need to be updated.

Updating training is achieved by attending very short refresher courses: half a day for personal survival techniques and one day each for all other safety training certificates. To put into context, 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 inspector comes up the passarelle; when applying for a Certificate of Competency (CoC); and when revalidating an existing CoC.

It’s also worth taking into consideration that the new MCA M-Notices state that ‘companies must ensure that seafarers assigned to any of their ships have received updated training as required by the Convention’, clearly assigning an obligation to management companies and owners too.

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, known as ‘skills fade’. In addition, the industry is always learning valuable lessons from recent accidents, as well as developing new equipment and techniques.

Non-UK CoC holders

Non-UK CoC holders converting to their first UK CoC must complete the full advanced safety training courses approved under the authority of an EU Member State, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa. This includes the following STCW safety training courses:

  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (other than fast rescue boats)
  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • Proficiency in Medical Care

Further information is available in section 5 of MIN 535.

Book your training

We offer all of the required courses with full MCA approval. There are opportunities to undertake either fire fighting or maritime safety courses in most calendar weeks.  

If you wish to book several courses at once please contact the admissions team on +44 (0)23 8201 5004 or

If you wish to book an individual course please click on the link below for your required course:

Fire fighting

Updated Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting - 1 day
Updated Proficiency in Advanced Fire Fighting - 1 day

Maritime safety

Updated Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques - half day
Updated Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (other than Fast Rescue Boats) - 1 day

Updated Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats - 1 day

The MNTB, MCA and IASST worked together to establish the details for the updating training courses. 

The full details for updating training including the self-declaration forms can be found in MSN 1865.

There is no requirement to update the personal safety and social responsibilities (PSSR) or any of the medical courses. Updating of proficiency in medical care is not currently required under the STCW Code, however on EU Member State flagged vessels, in accordance with EU Council Directive 92/29/EEC, the captain and any person delegated to use medical type A supplies must receive special training updated at least every five years. Please also note that ISPS security courses which came into force with the Manila Amendments do not need five-yearly updating either.
Find out more about the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments.  

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