Some of you may have noticed some new courses popping up around the yachting industry. You may have also heard that there is new changes coming into place which will be in affect in less than a year. Both are correct, and here’s what you need to know.

The STCW 95 is gone.  In it’s place is STCW 10.

STCW 10 – Refresher / Revalidation Course

However, there are new changes coming into play once again with the 2010 Manilla Amendments to the STCW Code. In a nutshell, this just means that while there are new provisions for yacht crew members, it only applies to anyone who has gone longer than five years after completing the course. The even better news, it’s not going to keep you out from working for very long.

Updated STCW Course Training – Retraining

As far as training goes, the courses are quite painless. They are only a day in length, run regularly at Professional Yachtmaster Training, and valid for up to five years. Before you panic, the updating / retraining also only refers to the fire fighting, and sea survival elements. The PSSR, medical and security training is not affected by the five year updating requirements.

If you’ve been in yachting a while, and completed your courses before the STCW 95 amendment came into play, which means you hold your CoC (Certificate of Competency) there is good news for you too! You do not have to go back and do the full STCW safety training, instead you are allowed access to the much shorter updating courses straight away.

Why Do We Have to Update STCW Certificates?

I’m sure there are several people who will not question this, as safety is number one when it comes to working on yachts, given the ever changing conditions in which we work. However, it was stated by the IMO that whether we like it or not, ‘skills fade’. Unfortunately it is a phenomena that affects us all. Not that this is necessarily considered a bad thing, it just means that maybe we haven’t had to put our safety practices into play as often as we thought (thank goodness!). While training doesn’t hurt, it is better to be fresh and ready when it comes to needing to use your skills.

Think your skills are dialed in? It is estimated that 60% of everything we have learned on a safety course after only six months is forgotten – these are scary numbers considering the risks surrounding that of yacht crew member. So, why now? It was considered that skills retaining to fire fighting and sea survival were deemed too important to simply ignore that they’ve ‘faded’, so the introduction of the updated training / retraining were brought to light.

Don’t Delay in Retraining & Updating Your STCW Status

While the amendment doesn’t go into play until January 1st, 2017 it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to jumping on the course bandwagon. The courses are offered quite regularly, however as the year end approaches, more and more yachting crew will need to jump in to update their training, thus making spaces less and less. It’s important to realize the severity of the new yacht training as well. Failure to update your courses before the deadline will result in crew members not being able to sail until they’re updated.

Note: deck and engineering officers will in addition have to update Advanced Fire Fighting and Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (PSCRB).

STCW 10 – Refresher / Revalidation Course