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Major Changes and Amendments as per STCW 2010

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).
11) Stringent competency norm for ship staff serving on tanker, gas and chemical carrier.
12) New and improved requirement for ISPS trainings and also trainings to tackle the situation of piracy attack.
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.

Amongst the amendments adopted, there are a number of important changes to each chapter of the Convention and Code, including:
- Improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and strengthen the evaluation process (monitoring of Parties' compliance with the Convention)
- Revised requirements on hours of work and rest and new requirements for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as updated standards relating to medical fitness standards for seafarers
- New certification requirements for able seafarers
- New requirements relating to training in modern technology such as electronic charts and information systems (ECDIS)
- New requirements for marine environment awareness training and training in leadership and teamwork
- New training and certification requirements for electro-technical officers
- Updating of competence requirements for personnel serving on board all types of tankers, including new requirements for personnel serving on liquefied gas tankers
- New requirements for security training, as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope if their ship comes under attack by pirates
- Introduction of modern training methodology including distance learning and web-based learning
- New training guidance for personnel serving on board ships operating in polar waters
- New training guidance for personnel operating Dynamic Positioning Systems

Enty Into Force
The Convention amendments will be adopted with a tacit acceptance procedure which has been agreed indicating that amendments will be accepted by 1st July 2011 UNLESS more than 50% of the parties to the STCW object such a development. As a result STCW Amendments are set to enter into force on January 1, 2012.


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