STCW for New Entrants

Photo source: Sjofartshogskolan

Before embarking as a crew member on-board commercial vessels, such as cruise ships, yachts and merchant vessels over 200T, it is now mandatory to complete a series of short courses known as STCW Basic Safety Training or STCW Basic Courses.

STCW stands for Standards of Training, Certification and Watching. It is an international convention that sets standards worldwide for the quality of training that must be universally achieved by crew members.

STCW Courses

The STCW basic week - if bought as a package - can normally be completed in 5 days. The course consists of the following:

  1. Fire Prevention and Firefighting (Basic) - Ensures crew members can confidently don firefighting suits, and have a thorough understanding of how to fight a range of different fires (of which they can also demonstrate how to do).
  2. Elementary First Aid – A practical and theory based course, Elementary First Aid examines common medical emergencies that can occur on-board, including the need for CPR.
  3. Personal Survival Techniques – A part theory, part swimming pool based course, here crew members are taught skills on survival, including how to use life jackets and Immersion suits. They are also shown how to operate and launch life rafts.
  4. Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities - Ensures all future crew members fully understand types of alarms, can implement accident prevention techniques and have a detailed knowledge of the code of safe working practice.
  5. Proficiency in Security Awareness - Teaches students how security works on-board and the various types of security threats that could be expected. This course isn't normally part of the STCW basic week, but some training schools offer the course as part of a package.

If you are looking to join as a Deckhand then you will also have to undergo the EDH course. It is normally a 5 day course, and teaches you theory and practical knowledge of the job including: rope work, seamanship skills, pilot ladders, means of access, etc.