STCW 10: Are you Ready for 2017?

Imy Clarke - On behalf of Alchemy Recruitment, April 16, 2014

The Manila 2010 amendments to the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 10) are well underway in their enforcement. The first two of the three compliancy dates have now been reached. Only the final deadline, 1st January 2017, remains, when all seafarers must comply with the convention.

The first major change, which should have been in force from January 2012, is the new requirements for rest hours. The minimum amount of rest in any 7-day period has been increased from 70 hours to 77 hours, where seafarers must have 10 hours rest in any 24-hour period with no exceptions except for emergency. Each individual must also have their rest hours recorded – these could be inspected during Port State Control inspections, and periodically seafarers will need to review and sign records of their work/rest hours.

The next major change is in medical standards. Until the deadline of 1st January 2017, medical certificates can be in line with current standards. Following this date, however, the 2010 standards must be abided. The unsafe alcohol limit also begins at 0.05% blood alcohol or 0.25mg/l in the breath.

The final major change comes in terms of seafarer training. All seafarers with STCW certificates issued before 1st January 2012 must meet new requirements and attend refresher training in order for their certificates to be revalidated after 1st January 2017. The new training includes assertiveness training to strengthen leadership and teamwork, emphasis on environment management with engineer officers required to operate pollution prevention equipment and new grades of ‘Able Seafarer Deck’ and ‘Able Seafarer Engine’. One of the newest and most important parts of the new training standards are the new levels of mandatory security training, as enforced 1st January 2014. These include stringent new anti-piracy elements. Regardless of role within the ship, all seafarers will be required to provide evidence of competence in basic safety training every five years, be it personal safety, fire safety, survival or first-aid.

All of these requirements must be met by 2017 – a failure to do so would require employers to refuse work at sea. So, are you ready?

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