February 16, 2024
Pictured: seafarers at work. Photo credit: Maersk.

IMO lays groundwork for major review of seafarer training standards

By Industry Contributor

The IMO Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) have agreed on a roadmap for the comprehensive review of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the accompanying STCW Code.

The STCW Convention establishes basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level. The comprehensive review aims to adapt existing global standards to reflect new trends, developments and challenges in the maritime sector.

At its 10th session held at the IMO headquarters in London from 5 to 9 February, the Sub-Committee outlined a methodology and a list of specific areas to review.

The Sub-Committee agreed:

22 specific areas of the Convention and Code to be reviewed, including emerging technologies on ships, e-certification, mental health and gender sensitization, among others;
a two-step methodology, consisting of a review of the Convention and Code to identify gaps (Phase 1) and then a revision stage to develop amendments to address those gaps (Phase 2);
establishment of an Inter-sessional Working Group before the next session of the Sub-Committee (HTW 11) to advance the work;
a roadmap outlining a timeline for action, including finalizing the list of gaps as well as any amendments and resolutions.
All the above will be submitted to the upcoming 108th meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108) for approval.

Other key issues discussed include efforts to tackle bullying and harassment on ships. MSC 108 is expected to adopt draft amendments to the STCW Code, to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH).

The Sub-Committee launched a new module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) focusing on STCW. The platform will facilitate communication and information sharing to support Parties in carrying out their obligations under the STCW Convention.

The Sub-Committee discussed the development of training provisions for seafarers on ships using alternative fuels.

Read the meeting summary here.

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