According to Mr. Poulson, nowadays a number of employers provide additional training and assessments before the deployment of many officers holding STCW certification. This practice raises questions as to whether the Convention 'is still fit for purpose in the 21st Century.' 

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He added that a revised STCW regime should enable the industry to adapt more effectively to technological advancements including increased automation.

It should also provide sufficient flexibility to meet the demands of a changing world fleet, while it might need to establish a more modular approach to competency accumulation and certification.

What is more, a revised STCW should enhance transparency and the robustness of implementation oversight. Specifically, the STCW whitelist of nations that have shared information to IMO about compliance, now serves little real purpose as it includes virtually everyone, Mr Poulso mentioned.

ICS would not wish to tear up the whitelist without a suitable replacement but there has to be a more transparent and robust monitoring system of national implementation to ensure that STCW continues to deliver competent and quality seafarers.

Currently, ICS views the STCW 2010 amendments as an interim revision which had added some new training and certification provisions without making necessary structural changes to address new developments in training or the competences that will be needed to operate ships in the future.

With the involvement of all industry stakeholders, we think the time is now right to consider the next comprehensive revision of STCW akin to that completed by IMO Member States back in 1995.

The Chairman of ICS concluded.