The Convention was significantly amended in The STCW Convention was the first to establish minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level. Previously the minimum standards of training, certification and watchkeeping of officers and ratings were established by individual governments, usually without reference to practices in other countries. As a result, minimum standards and procedures varied widely, even though shipping is extremely international by nature. The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed. One especially important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party States when visiting ports of States which are Parties to the Convention.
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The main purpose of the Convention is to promote safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the marine environment by establishing in common agreement international standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers. Amendments to the STCW Annex will normally enter into force one and a half years after being communicated to all Parties unless, in the meantime, they are rejected by one-third of the Parties or by Parties whose combined fleets represent 50 per cent of world tonnage.
Generally speaking, the Convention contains basic requirements which are then enlarged upon and explained in the Code. Part A of the Code is mandatory. The minimum standards of competence required for seagoing personnel are given in detail in a series of tables. Chapter II of the Code, for example, deals with standards regarding the master and deck department.
Part B of the Code contains recommended guidance which is intended to help Parties implement the Convention. The measures suggested are not mandatory and the examples given are only intended to illustrate how certain Convention requirements may be complied with.
However, the recommendations in general represent an approach that has been harmonized by discussions within IMO and consultation with other international organizations. The International Maritime Organization does not approve any training courses or institutes. Amongst other things, the Convention requires that training and assessment of seafarers are administered, supervised and monitored in accordance with the provisions of the STCW Code; and those responsible for training and assessment of competence of seafarers are appropriately qualified in accordance with the provisions of the Code.
The initial approval of a maritime training programme by a Maritime Administration might include assessment of items such as those listed below in order to ensure that the training institute or training programme meet the appropriate STCW Convention standards: Scope and objectives of the training - e.
Minimum entry standards - age, sea experience, other training, medical fitness etc. Staff qualifications, experience in subject, teaching skills, assessment skills. Facilities and equipment necessary to meet objectives. The written programmes, syllabus, timetable and course material. Method of training: lectures, practical, videos etc and percentage of time devoted to each. Assessment: methods: examination, practical, continuous assessment etc.
Certification to be issued on completion to meet STCW requirements. Maintenance of student and other records. Security of information. Quality standards system requirements to ensure standards are maintained.
Convenio internacional sobre normas de formación, titulación y guardia para la gente de mar