With the debate about the new STCW updating requirements heating up ahead of the enforcement date of 1 January 2017, Warsash Superyacht Academy (WSA), part of Southampton Solent University, explained at Monaco Yacht Show why these new measures are so important, advising on training and correcting 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 firefighting, 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 firefighting, 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 2015 Monaco Yacht Show, Lars Lippuner, business development manager at Warsash Superyacht 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.”
WSA was the first yacht training provider to roll out these courses during 2014 and 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.
Other performance milestones that have been achieved by WSA during the past 12 months include:
* Warsash students again achieved the highest pass rate for both yacht deck and engineering training across the superyacht industry in the 2014/2015 academic year. An important part of this achievement is assisting students prior to arrival at Warsash with comprehensive pre-course study packs, in particular Navigation and Radar.
* The academy has seen a notable increase in delivery of training off-campus, and on board yachts. In February this year, WSA collaborated with Italian Yacht Masters (IYM) Association members to run a training course for senior officers at the IYM’s headquarters in the Yacht Club Marina di Loano, Liguria, Italy. In addition, the academy ran an International safety seminar for yacht officers in Naples.
For additional information, please email Suzanne Galloway, Marketing Officer, or telephone +44(0)750 006 6906