Conventions are modified from time to time to cope up with the new technologies, stringent environment and safety policies and for improvement in the current system. On the same line, the STCW 95 convention was amended in manila on 25th June 2010 under the presence of IMO members, ensuring that the global needs for safety and environment policy and standard of training and certification to operate the advanced technology in coming future are achieved.
The Manila conference started on 21st June 2010 and it took five days for associate members to get consensus for amending STCW 95. The Manila amendment STCW 2010 will come in force on 1st January 2012
Major Changes and Amendments
Major changes and amendments were made for engine department followed by other structure of the system. The important changes to each chapter of STCW Convention and Code include:
1) Revalidation for higher and managerial level officer for certificate of competency (COC) issued by any governing authority.
2) New and improved training guidance for crews and officer serving onboard.
3) New requirements for MARPOL awareness which includes training in leadership and teamwork.
4) Stringent measures for preventing fraudulent certificate of competency (COC) to flow in international market.
5) Rest hour onboard has been increased from 70 hours to 77 hours per week for decent working of seafarer onboard.
6) Introduction of Electro-technical officer with approved training and COC.
7) More facilities and better training for junior engineer and cadets to tackle the problem of shortage of officer.
8) Updated drugs and alcohol policy and stringent medical examination.
9) New requirement for Able seaman to have a certificate of competency for boarding vessel.
10) New methods of training in modern technology like electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS).
13) Inclusion of modern training methods introducing distance learning and web based learning.
14) New training regulations for ship staff in polar water and personnel operating dynamic positioning system.
15) An initiative is taken by IMO to cope up the shortage of seafarer’s world wide by starting “go to sea campaign”.
The above mentioned points are just a bird’s eye view of the discussion held in Manila conference. More points will be included when the norms come on paper.