Introduction to STCW

What is the STCW Convention?

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 was adopted on 7 July 1978 and entered into force on 28 April 1984.

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.

Revisions to the conventions occurred in 1984, 1995, 1997, and 2010 of which major revisions were of 1995 and 2010.


STCW 1995 Amendments (STCW95)

The IMO adopted a comprehensive revision of STCW on 7 July 1995 which also included a proposal to develop a new STCW Code, which would contain the technical details associated with provisions of the Convention. The amendments entered force on 1 February 1997.


STCW 2010 Manila Amendments (STCW 2010)

The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted on 25 June 2010, marking a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code.


The STCW 2010 amendments were set to enter into force on 1 January 2012 under the tacit acceptance procedure and are aimed at bringing the Convention and Code up to date with developments since they were initially adopted and to enable them to address issues that are anticipated to emerge in the foreseeable future.


Who is STCW for?

Anyone wishing to work on commercial vessels that are over 24 metres long will have to obtain STCW qualifications/courses before they seek employment.


The type of courses/qualifications needed will greatly depend on the position that you are applying for and the post that you will be assigned to once you are onboard.


At the very minimum, you will need to obtain STCW Basic Safety Training certification and Security Awareness certification in order to apply to work onboard a vessel.


These courses can usually be completed within a week to ten days – during one block booking – at a designated STCW training centre, however, the AustralAsian eLeraning Academy provides Basic Safety Training (BST) courses 100% online via eLearning for two types of seafarers.


Firstly, those seafarers within the offshore oil and gas industry who hold a current BOSIET certificate.


These seafarers can complete the BST course(s) online because the flag state certifying these BST course (Singapore flag) has agreed to accept BOSIET training as the practical component of BST for the offshore oil and gas industry.


Secondly, those seafarers who hold current BST certificate(s) which are about to expire and require to undertake refresher course(s), and who have participated in onboard safety and emergency drills and exercises on a regular basis over the past 5 years, in line with STCW 2010 Chapter VI Section A-VI/1 Clause 4.


These seafarers can complete the BST Refresher course(s) online because the flag state certifying these BST course (Singapore flag) has agreed to accept participation in onboard safety and emergency drills and exercises on a regular basis over the past 5 years as acceptable for the practical component of the BST Refresher course(s).


Please go to our STCW eLearning site @ for full details, where you can register, pay for and complete your chosen STCW course(s).


The four STCW Basic Safety Training courses are as follows:

Personal Survival Techniques – A theory and practical course, you will be taught how to abandon ship using life rafts and also how to don life jackets correctly;


Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting – This firefighting course covers both practical and theoretical situations that are taught by professional firefighters;


Elementary First Aid – A theory and practical course, during this session you will be taught vital basic 1st aid and life savings skills;


Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities – This is a theory-based course that focuses on teaching the essentials of personal safety and social responsibilities onboard a vessel.