STCW Convention

STCW Convention at a glance

In 1978, IMO adopted a landmark Convention for all seafarers across the world to establish high standards of competence and professionalism in their duties on-board. The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, the STCW Convention in brief, establishes the minimum basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.

Terms and Definitions

Training issues

What you should know

In an effort to prevent any frauds concerning the STCW certificates, the amended Convention in 2010 introduced stricter requirements for the training centers issuing certificates and endorsements by putting greater responsibilities on parties.

Training requirements on LNG fueled ships

During the 2019 SAFETY4SEA Athens Forum, Mr. Stavros Niotis, Principal Engineer OEP, ABS, discusses the STCW requirements of seafarers’ training, noting the three training types and the importance of seafarer competency and knowledge of people onboard the sea.

Certificates under STCW

Certificates needed for compliance with STCW

Certificates according to function and type of vessel

Certificates and documentary evidence needed onboard

General requirements for officers

According to STCW Convention, officers must meet the minimum requirements of competence, seagoing service time, medical fitness and age. Also, ancillary certificates are required such as radar or ARPA, GMDSS, and those referring to safety duties onboard specific types of ships.

General requirements for ratings

According to STCW Convention, ratings must meet minimum standards of medical fitness, minimum age (if designated with watchkeeping duties), competence (if designated with watchkeeping duties), and seagoing service time (if designated with watch- keeping duties).

How seafarers can get their STCW certificates

How to obtain a certificate of competency as...

Experts' Perspective


Human Element

Work & Rest Hours

Expert Thinking on STCW

Retaining the best crews on board is one of the biggest challenges that safety industry is facing, thus, our SeaSense column, in association with the North P&I Club, is now focusing on IMO’s STCW Convention, which sets the baseline for seafarer’s training.

Expert Thinking on Fatigue

Our special column, in association with The North of England P&I Club, sheds focus on  fatigue which is considered as a significant contributory factor to many incidents in shipping industry & one of the major concerns for seafarers.

The effects of fatigue on ship safety

Andrew Russ, Marine Surveyor at Standard P&I Club, reflects on research and measures that aim to resolve fatigue in shipping, as the human element is a major contributor to accidents in the shipping industry.

Improving seafarer's resilience

Capt. Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention, The Standard Club, notes that resilience can be improved through enhanced training regimes focused on realism, putting emphasis on additional experience.

Problems, Best Practices and KPIs

Rest hours defined in STCW are the same with those of MLC however many industry insiders are confused with the work period issue that according to a 77 hour rest week leaving a 91 hours work week (7x24 - 77 = 91).

Have you done the math lesson?

The interesting issue is on the STCW vs ILO MLC hours of rest and hours of work issue. Many think that by keeping records for both makes things easier, especially on a PSC Examination. Lets see if this makes sense...