Why Seafarers Cannot Sail Without Doing STCW Training Courses?

STCW training courses, also known as the Ship training, certification and watch keeping courses are one of the basic necessities for any person to qualify as a mariner. A seafarer must be well trained in STCW courses before it can be deemed safe for him to be out on high waters.

Issued by International Maritime Organization, this particular addition was made to the rules governing seafarers and their training for a maritime career in 1978. Since then, STCW training certification is a necessity for seafarers before they can be considered fully qualified to handle risks involved with a career at sea.

The reason why seafarers cannot sail without STCW 95 training is the most obvious one- for their own safety. Considering the minimal level of risks involved in a maritime career, it is important that every seafarer is trained properly in each possible aspect of maritime training that could help him face the troubles out on seas. It was with this consideration that STCW training certification was introduced and has been made mandatory since then.


Image for Representation purpose only – Credits: US Navy/wikipedia.org

It consists of a number of shipping training courses that equips a seafarer with various types of situations that can arise on a ship along with ways to deal with. It starts with the most basic aspects of training and moves on to the more complex areas.

Justification of making these shipping training courses can be understood from the very nature of these courses. A STCW 95 training starts with personal safety and social responsibility course (PSSR) which deals with the most basic aspects of personal safety of a seafarer on the ship and moves on to survival techniques. Both these aspects are absolutely necessary for a person on a ship under harsh conditions at sea.

Other courses involved in STCW95 training include the elementary first aid training which is essential for augmenting chances of survival on a ship during emergency conditions. In situations of trouble, first aid is something that comes most handy and STCW training makes sure every seafarer out on the sea is well trained to look into it.

Besides these, the other courses include likes of Oil tanker familiarization course, effective shipboard communication, preventing marine pollution, compliance with emergency procedures, fire fighting training, ship abandonment training, use of floatation instruments, etc. All these aspects may be taught as different subjects or separate courses under one major title.

In most cases, a hands-on training is provided to mariners that gives them a real time experience. This experience can be crucial in time of an emergency. An untrained crew member is just as likely to put his life in danger as he is to put survival chances of other crew members in jeopardy.

A standard training like this ensures that every crew member aboard has the required level of training which will make him an asset in time of need, rather than a liability. Another reason that makes STCW training certification a complete mandatory factor is that it is a standard procedure followed in the same way all over the world. This means all the crew members would be aware of the same standard procedure of safety techniques making survival procedures more coordinated and chances of survival better.

The main aim of STCW training certification is to set an internationally accepted standard set of safety measures which can be implemented by seafarers all over the world and will make them capable of handling any situation, no matter what part of the world they are in. This aim makes this training suitable enough to be deemed highly important aspect of every seafarer’s knowledge.

IMO makes STCW training mandatory for seafarers of all countries. However, those countries which do not comply completely with all the rules of this convention are not on ‘white list’ of IMO. The countries which do sign this convention are required to follow all regulations necessary to ensure complete compliance with the rules of this training course. The basic idea with which STCW training course was introduced is the main reason that makes it mandatory for every seafarer to be a passed candidate with shipping training before they can go out on waters.

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