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FAQs about the new STCW refresher requirement


Recently we have heard a lot of confusion from crew, asking about the new STCW refresher courses, so we decided to answer all of your questions to clarify the new requirements.


Lesgeven-Peter-VVW-3What exactly are the new STCW requirements ?

The STCW 2010 requires the STCW safety training courses to be refreshed by January 2017 – you have until December 31st 2016, to refresh your courses.


Do I need to re-sit my entire STCW?

No, you don’t. You will only be required to update your Basic Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting, Personal Survival Techniques, Advanced Fire Fighting and Advanced Sea Survival.


Why is it no longer called the STCW95, does this have anything to do with the changes?

The original STCW convention actually dates from 1978, but since then various changes have been made. Now, rather than altering the date when changes are made, it is officially STCW 78, as amended.


What courses do I need to take to refresh my STCW?

You will just need to take the refresher courses.  If you need to take the basic refresher courses (Basic Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting -1 day, Personal Survival Techniques-1 day) this course runs for 2 days. If you need to take the advanced refresher course (Advanced Fire Fighting- 0.5 days with proof you have done the basic course within the last 5 years and Advanced Sea Survival with self-declaration that you have done theory in PST – 0.5 days) this will be 1 day. If you take the bundle of the basic and advance refresher courses, this will be 3 days.


When do I need to have this completed by?

The courses will need to have been updated by 1st January 2017 **


Does every position on board have to re-sit their STCW, from stewardess to captain?

Yes, anybody with Basic Fire Fighting, Personal Survival Techniques, Advanced Fire Fighting and Advanced Sea Survival over five years old will have to have updated it by January 2017.


If you hold the advanced safety courses, do you still need to refresh the basic courses?

Yes, even if you hold the advanced safety courses, you will be required to refresh the basic courses. The relevant guidance Notice is MIN 469.


** Due to the large number of seafarers who do not yet hold certificates for updated safety training (refresher training) in accordance with the Manila amendments, the IMO have asked that Port State Control organisations take a ‘pragmatic and practical approach’ until 1 July 2017. This is simply a request, it is non-binding, but it will ease concerns about yachts being detained in the first half of 2017.

The Circular, MSC.1/Circ.1560, issued by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, will soon be available to download from the IMO website and will be of interest to all management companies and yacht captains. The date for the implementation of the STCW Manila amendments will stay the same, 1 January 2017.


Bluewater Yachting Palma


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