I want to start a career at sea, what courses will I need?

The minimum qualifications required in order to work on vessels over 24 meters is the STCW Basic Safety Training (BST) and Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA). If you attend the full STCW Basic Safety Training course with us then we include the additional PSA module and certificate for free.

What is STCW Basic Safety Training?

STCW Basic Safety Training comprises of the following 4 modules:

Personal Survival Techniques (PST)
Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting (FPFF)
Elementary first Aid (EFA)
Personal Safety & Social Responsibility (PSSR)

This is a 5 day course and we usually run at least 2 courses a month. Click here to check out available course dates.

Please note that you will also require the additional certificate for Proficiency in Security Awareness, if you attend the full STCW Basic Safety Training course with us, then this additional module and certificate will be included into the week for free.

What courses do I need to update?

Previously certificates did not require update training, but following the 2010 STCW Manila amendments that were introduced on 1st January 2017, some courses are now required to be updated/retaken within 5 yearly intervals. A general overview is that of your Basic Safety Training week, the only modules that now require updating are:

Personal Survival Techniques
Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting

The more Advanced Courses that require updating every 5 years are:

Advanced Fire Fighting
Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (Other than Fast Rescue Boats)
Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats
Proficiency in Medical Care

The below courses require refresher training at 5 yearly intervals:

Crowd Management
Proficiency in Crisis Management and Human Behaviour
Proficiency in Passenger Safety, Cargo Safety and Hull Integrity

A full list of what courses require updating training for the holders of CoCs and Certificates of Proficiency (CoP) is available on pages 11-13 of the MSN 1865 (Amendment 1) document found here: MSN 1865 (Amendment 1)

Please note: We specialise in STCW regulations, so you will need to check with your governing body (RYA, etc) if you are using these certificates towards those endorsements.

When do my certificates expire?

Technically your certificate does not expire (unless the Governing Authority has specified expiry dates on there). However, if your certificates have exceeded 5 years from date of issue then you would be unable to embark a vessel with these documents, as they would be classed as invalid. However, they would still be accepted for training purpose so could be used towards a pre-requisite for update training.

A list of the relevant courses can be found under ‘What courses do I need to update?’ above.

Please note: We specialise in STCW regulations, so you will need to check with your governing body (RYA, etc) if you are using these certificates towards those endorsements.

My company wants me to update a course that doesn’t require updating, can they make me?

Yes. Different companies can set their own safety standards and some like to ensure their employees skills are up-to-date.

My certificate doesn’t have an expiry date on it, does that mean it doesn’t expire?

Certificates without an expiry date written on them may still need updating/refreshing depending on the courses and the guidelines set out in the codes and regulations of which your role is operating. The list of STCW courses that require updating/retaking under the STCW codes are listed under ‘What courses do I need to update?’.

What are the two different routes for updating my Personal Survival Techniques?

Full day and half day. If you have been regularly doing training on board vessels within the last 5 years that satisfy the self declaration checklist on page 14 of the MSN 1865 (Amendment 1), then you can do the half day course which is practical only at the pool. If you can’t complete the self declaration, then you will need to do the full day course, which includes both theory and practical training.

My old certificate has “restricted” next to Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting, what does this mean?

This most commonly means that you did not complete the live fire element of the training and so it is a restricted certificate. This is common if you have previously completed your training on board a cruise ship that had the accreditation to run the course but couldn’t do a live fire exercise. We are unable to accept restricted certificates as a pre-requisite to the update course and you would need to do the full 2.5 day Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting course.

My certificate has an expiry date even though there are modules that don’t require updating on it, is this ok?

This is very common for certificates obtained in South Africa, and even though those modules don’t expire by STCW guidelines, a lot of employers will see them as expired, so it is worth redoing them as these may get rejected.

What does STCW stand for?

STCW stands for ‘Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping‘.

Do I need to refresh my Elementary First Aid certificate?

Technically there is not a requirement to refresh the Elementary First Aid module. However, it is good practice to participate in regular training to ensure you are up to date with all of the current safety practices and also to ensure you feel confident should you be faced with an emergency situation. Please note that some companies do require you to complete regular First Aid training or if you are using the STCW Elementary First Aid certificate towards an endorsement with a different approval authority, RYA for instance, then you may required to retake the course again.

It is a 1-day course, there is no condensed/shortened refresher available so if you are required to recomplete then you will need to attend the full 1 . Book now.

I’ve been told I need STCW 95 / STCW 2010, what course is this?

These are many terms for the same thing which is the Basic Safety Training (BST) week course which meets the STCW regulations.