STCW Gap Closing Courses - Information and FAQs

STCW GAP CLOSING COURSES - INFORMATION AND FAQ's

 

On March 24, 2015, the National Maritime Center released a notice concerning STCW gap-closing requirements.  We have made it available for download here:

USCG NMC Notice: STCW Gap-Closing Requirements

 

REMINDER ON STCW DEADLINE

Members and Applicants are reminded of the deadline for the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments that fully came into force on January 1, 2017. As you know, the implementation of the Amendments requires mariners, primarily those sailing on near-coastal and foreign voyages, to be in compliance with a new regime of training and assessments.

If a Member/Applicant has 'Not valid after Dec. 31st, 2016' on their STCW endorsements of his/her MMC, he/she cannot be dispatched for a shipping job off the board if that job runs into 2017 – even for a day. This milestone will occur for 90-day rotaries on jobs reporting after October 3rd.

In addition to the "gap-closing" courses that M.E.B.A. mariners have been taking in ERM, MEECE, Leadership & Management, Leadership & Teamwork, and ECDIS (for Deck Officers); there are new requirements that will take effect the first time a mariner renews an MMC with STCW endorsements on or after January 1, 2017. These additional rules apply to renewal of Basic Training, Advanced Fire Fighting, and Proficiency in Survival Craft; which requires evidence of revalidation training, refresher training, or a retake of the original training course – depending on sea-time since the last renewal.

Basic Training (BT): To renew their BT endorsement, mariners must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence in Basic Training as found in 46 CFR 11.302(b) or 46 CFR 12.602(b). This means: providing evidence of completing a BT training course; or providing evidence of 1-year sea service in the previous 5 years and providing evidence of completing BT revalidation training; or providing evidence of completing BT refresher training.

Advanced Fire Fighting (AFF): To renew their STCW officer endorsement(s), mariners must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence in Advanced Fire Fighting as found in 46 CFR 11.303(b). This means providing evidence of completing an AFF training course; or providing evidence of 1-year sea service in the previous 5 years and providing evidence of completing AFF revalidation training; or providing evidence of completing AFF refresher training.

Proficiency in Survival Craft (PSC): To renew their PSC endorsement, mariners must provide evidence of maintaining the standard of competence in proficiency in survival craft as found in 46 CFR 12.613(b) or 46 CFR 12.615(b). This means providing evidence of completing a PSC training course; or providing evidence of 1-year sea service in the previous 5 years and providing evidence of completing PSC revalidation training; or providing evidence of 1-year sea service in the previous 5 years and providing evidence of meeting the requirements for BT renewal as described above; or providing evidence of completing PSC refresher training.

 

STCW REQUIRED COURSES - EQUIVALENT COURSES

REMINDER:
CMES has approval for several of our courses to fulfill some of the new STCW required courses
 

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT:
requirement is covered by Ship’s Management & Safety Management

If you have successfully passed CMES' Ship’s Management & Safety Management course within the last 5 years, you do not need take the Leadership & Management class. USCG approval information may be found here.
 

MEECE:
requirement is covered by Instrumentation (3 week)
AND Marine Electric Propulsion

If you have successfully passed CMES' Instrumentation (3 week) AND Marine Electric Propulsion courses within the last 5 years, you do not need to take the new MEECE class. PLEASE NOTE: This only covers the CFR requirements. The assessments for the STCW requirements will need to be signed off on board ship. USCG approval information may be found here.
 

ENGINEROOM RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT:
requirements are covered by Upgrading Engineers Management Level

If you have successfully passed CMES' Upgrading Engineers Management Level course within the last 5 years, you do not need to take the Engineroom Resource Management OR Leadership & Management classes. USCG approval information may be found here.

 

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions about the STCW Gap Closing Courses

 

WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT? WHAT HAPPENED?

The U.S., as a signatory to the STCW Convention, initiated regulatory changes to ensure full implementation of the amendments to the STCW Convention and STCW Code. The U.S. implements these provisions under the Convention and under the authority of United States Code, Titles 33 and 46. The Coast Guard published a final rule in the Federal Register on December 24, 2013, (78 FR 77796) that implements the STCW Convention and STCW Code, including the 2010 amendments. This final rule became effective on March 24, 2014. The Coast Guard published a series of NVICs to provide guidance on complying with the new regulations.  The NVICs of particular interest to the membership include:

  • NVIC 10-14 – Endorsement for master or Chief Mate on Vessels 3,000 GT or more
  • NVIC 12-14 – Endorsement for OICNW on Vessels of 500 GT or more
  • NVIC 15-14 – Qualification for Chief/Second Engineer (aka 1AE) 4,000 hp or more
  • NVIC  17-14 – Qualifications for OICEW 1,000 hp or more
  • NVIC 19-14 – Policy on Qualified Assessors
     

WHERE CAN I GET COPIES OF THESE USCG NVICs?

At the USCG’s National Maritime Center’s website.  http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/
 

I'VE HEARD ABOUT A NEW LEADERSHIP COURSE THAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN. WHAT IS IT?

  • Masters, Chief Mates, Chief Engineers, and First Assistant Engineers that want to keep their STCW Management-level STCW Endorsement must take a Leadership and Management (L&M) Course before 1/1/2017.  CMES has a 1-week Leadership & Management Course approved by the USCG NMC.
  • For the Mates, the USCG has just notified CMES that mariners successfully completing the school's Ship's Management-Safety Management Course; which was part of the 8 courses required for upgrading to Chief Mate/Master under USCG Policy Letter 04-02, can submit this certificate for recognition for L&M training requirement under NVIC 10-14.
  • Considering these new training requirements, CMES’ 5-week Upgrading Engineers to Management Level is no longer offered.  This is because this one 5-week course spans more time than ERM, L&M, and Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE) combined.

Note: 2nd and 3rd Mates, 2nd and 3rd Assistant Engineers that want to keep their Operational-level STCW Endorsement must take a Leadership and Teamwork course before 1/1/2017.  CMES has not yet submitted a 1-day Leadership and Teamwork Course to the NMC. However, the CMES Leadership and Management Course; being more comprehensive, meets this training requirement.
 

EVEN MORE NEW COURSES? ENGINEROOM RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (ERM)? MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC CONTROL EQUIPMENT (MEECE)?

Yes.  Chiefs and 1st Assistants that are renewing their licenses, in addition to Leadership & Management, also need to take:

  • 1-week Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE), and
  • 1-week Engine-room Resource Management (ERM).

 

Not so easy for 3rd and 2nd Engineers that are upgrading their STCW Endorsement to the management-level.  They need to take:

  • ERM (and completion shipboard assessments found in enclosure 3 of NVIC 15-14), and
  • 2-week MEECE (which includes assessments done at the school), or have taken
  • CMES’ 5-week Upgrading Engineers to the Management-level; which is no longer offer at the school.

 

2nd and 3rd Mates upgrading to Chief Mate/Master need to take:

  • Advanced Shiphandling
  • Advanced Stability
  • Advanced Meteorology
  • Search and Rescue
  • Management of Medical Care
  • ARPA and GMDSS (if not already taken as part of prior training)
  • ECDIS (if vessel is so equipped)
  • Management-level Assessments found in NVIC 10-14 (enclosure (3))
     

ASSESSMENTS? WHAT ASSESSMENTS?

NVICs 15-14 and 10-14 include a Records of Assessment for 3rd and 2nd Assistant Engineers or 3rd mate/2nd Mates trying to qualify for Management-level STCW Endorsements.  These assessments can be performed on a ship or as part of a USCG-approved course.  For the engineers, CMES is developing a course "Upgrading to Management Level Assessments-only (UMLA)" that will include all the assessments needed to upgrade to the Engineering Management-level.  Naturally, this is constrained by the propulsion-type(s) currently held by the engineer.  For the Mates, most of CMES’ Deck Officers courses include the Assessments continuing from USCG Policy Letter 04-02 as part of the evaluation process; however, a few Assessments must still be performed shipboard.
 

WHO CAN ASSESS?

Leading up to 1/1/2017, the USCG will accept assessment signed by mariners that hold an appropriate national endorsement equal to, or superior to, the relevant level of knowledge, skills, and abilities being assessed.  After 1/1/2017, a Qualified Assessor must witness the demonstration of competency.
 

WHAT IS A QUALIFIED ASSESSOR?

The term "Qualified Assessor" (QA) is defined in 46 CFR 10.107 as “a person who is qualified to evaluate, for STCW endorsements, whether an applicant has demonstrated the level of competence in the task for which the assessment is being made. This person must be individually approved by the Coast Guard or through a Coast Guard approved or accepted course or program of training.” CMES is developing a QA Course and will submit it to the USCG for review.
 

IF I RENEW MY STCW ENDORSEMENT BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2017, HOW LONG IS MY COURSE COMPLETION CERTIFICATE FOR THE FOLLOWING APPROVED TRAINING VALID?

The USCG reports that the course completion certificates for these three courses are valid for 5 years.
 

HOW WILL ALL THE MEMBERS RECEIVE THIS TRAINING IN TIME TO MEET THE 12/16/2016 DEADLINE?

By the Trustees' direction, the CMES course selections and frequencies give priority to these new STCW courses.  As applications are received and rosters fill, more instances will be added to accommodate the school's training obligation.  Further, the Trustees have approved tuition-reimbursement for all STCW-related training when successfully completed at an alternate location by a USCG-approved training provider.
 

MY MMC CURRENTLY HAS STCW AND NATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. ON MY NEXT RENEWAL, WILL THE STCW ENDORSEMENT AT THE OPERATIONAL-LEVEL AND LOWER RATING ENDORSEMENTS BE INCLUDED AUTOMATICALLY IF I PROVIDE THE APPROPRIATE SEA SERVICE?

Yes, the USCG reports that MMCs are now being endorsed with all STCW endorsements for which the mariner is qualified. Until December 31, 2016, these endorsements will be automatically included at renewal if you have 12 months of sea service in the last five years. After that date, mariners must demonstrate continued competence through the appropriate combination of sea service and training. In addition, in order for your Chief Engineer STCW endorsement to be valid after December 31, 2016, you will need to complete training in leadership and managerial skills, engine resource management, and management of electrical and electronic control equipment.
 

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