STCW course and certificate requirements for Cruise Ships or Super Yachts. So you want to work on a Cruise Ship or Super Yacht, your future employer asked you to provide STCW certificates, and now you are wondering where to start and what courses you need.
Major cruise line companies like Carnival, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruises, MSC Cruises, and TUI Group would request STCW training from marine and non-marine crew members.
Each employer might require different training depending on the position you apply for and the vessel’s flag. The most common flags for cruise ships are Panama, Bahamas, and Malta.
The same requirements apply to Super Yacht recruitment as well.
A little history
Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers was initially an International Conference. It was originally held in 1978 at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.
Subsequently, the STCW Convention has been revised, with the most significant amendments taking place in 1995 (stcw 95) and 2010 (also known as stcw 2010 or Manila amendments). STCW Code, in Part A, contains mandatory provisions with the minimum training standards required for a seafarer, based on their rank, to be able to get onboard a vessel.
STCW is a comprehensive set of international regulations that determine the qualifications and certifications required of all seafarers. The STCW regulations are agreed upon by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and are adopted and implemented in signatory countries worldwide, such as the US and Canada. STCW establishes minimum requirements for personnel operating ships’ qualifications, competencies, and responsibilities.
The STCW code applies to all ships engaged in international voyages and personnel on those ships. It includes passenger ships like cruise ships and Yachts, cargo ships, tankers, and offshore oil and gas platforms.
Why do you need to take STCW Training?
STCW certificates are a universally recognized document that enables seafarers to show they are qualified to work as crew members on ships of all sizes. An accredited maritime agency endorses the certificate, and must be updated periodically to remain current. Obtaining an STCW certification requires seafarers to complete a series of courses and take the necessary exams. It is essential for those wishing to pursue a career in the maritime industry.
STCW courses provide seafarers with the knowledge and skills necessary to function safely and effectively aboard a vessel. Depending on their experience level, courses may focus on subjects such as safety management, navigation, engineering, communications, crowd management, and human resource management. Upon successful completion of these courses, students are awarded an STCW Certificate.
This document shows they have obtained the required competencies and qualifications to be employed on ships under the STCW regulations.
The STCW Certificate is an important document in the maritime industry and is essential for anyone wanting to work in a shipboard capacity. A valid STCW certification is required for safe and effective ship operations.
STCW Certificates, where to start from?
Next, in this guide to STCW Certification, you need to start with STCW basic training, formerly known as STCW basic safety training (aka BST, basic stcw, and basic training). According to STCW Regulation V/2, all personnel of passenger ships, including Cruise Ships and Yachts, are required to take this training.
The training consists of a bundle of four (4) courses titled “STCW Basic Safety Training courses,” which every seafarer (marine crew) or non-marine crew, e.g., hotel staff, is obliged to complete before boarding a vessel. STCW BST is composed of the following:
- STCW Personal survival techniques (PST) (STCW A-VI/1–1)
- STCW Fire Prevention and fire fighting (FPFF) (STCW A-VI/1–2)
- STCW Elementary first aid (EFA) (STCW A-VI/1–3)
- STCW Personal Safety and social responsibilities (PSSR) (STCW A-VI/1–4)
The text in the parentheses indicates the STCW code section that each training applies to. Completing the courses mentioned above leads to acquiring the respective STCW Certificates.
But wait, there is more about STCW training (STCW 2010)
In addition to the STCW Basic Training, some companies also require other courses that were added to the STCW 2010 amendments related to security, namely:
- STCW Security Awareness (PSA)
- STCW Designated Duties (DSD)
- STCW Crowd Management on Passenger Ships. Includes Safety training for personnel providing direct service to passengers in passenger spaces.
- STCW Crisis Management and Human Behavior on Passenger Ships
- Ship Security Officer
When do you need to refresh your STCW certificates?
You must repeat (refresh) all four STCW Basic training courses every five (5) years.
Crowd Management & Crisis Management training also requires five (5) year refresh.
Security Awareness, Designated Duties, and Ship Security Officer certificates are for life (although some companies might also require refresh training every five (5) years).
Can you get STCW Certificates Online?
Yes, all the courses mentioned above are available online from SQLearn. Completing these STCW courses online with e-learning is a nice option to have. By taking advantage of this e-learning option, you can accelerate the process of obtaining your STCW certificates since you no longer have to wait to book a training date. Thus, you can save time and money that would have otherwise been spent on travel expenses and accommodation when attending an in-person training center.
Besides these advantages, learning online also allows for greater flexibility in scheduling and pacing, allowing students to work at their own pace and on their own schedule. By taking advantage of these benefits, you can efficiently become STCW certified while still balancing other vital responsibilities in your life.