What is STCW

Many people ask, what is STCW 95, what is STCW 2010?  even those who have the training often don’t know the meaning! The term STCW is from the international convention on:

Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978


STCW is an international standard set of training courses for seafarers decided in 1978 during a meeting at the International Maritime Organisation. This was brought into action in 1984, amended in 1995, and again in 2010.


Before the STCW convention,  training standards were set by the individual countries and, with the inevitable local variations in content and standards, it caused  some problems within the international maritime industry.


You may hear people talking about getting their ‘STCW 95’ , or ‘STCW’ 2010, it is most likely that they are referring to ‘STCW Basic Safety Training’. The official name for this training is simply ‘STCW Basic Safety Training’ there are no requirements to quote the amendment dates, in fact the training is no different as the 2010 amendments were only relating to the requirements for a 5 yearly update course; the content of the training is the same. 


Generally speaking, if you want to work internationally in the maritime industry you will need, (by its correct name) STCW Basic Safety Training.


So, what is STCW Basic Safety Training? 

This is a package of 4 courses:

  1. Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
  2. Fire prevention & Fire Fighting
  3. Elementary first aid
  4. Personal Survival techniques


Many training centres, also provide Security Awareness training, and Food safety training as these are often required too. Usually this is a 5 day package. 


In the picture below STCW Basic Safety training trainees are tackling an oil fire with foam, one of the essential elements of the Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting course, part of the STCW Basic Safety Training Package.

Image showing an example of what STCW Basic Safety training is This is a typical STCW Basic Safety Training day at Allabroad in Gibraltar

In the image below STCW Basic Safety Training Students are training for survival at sea.  This element is Personal Survival Techniques, part of the STCW Basic Safety Training course. During this course trainees are required to wear survival suits and life jackets, jump into the water from a height and safety right and board an inflatable life raft. It's a great opportunity to tackle and prepare for the nuances of whats required to survive at sea in an abandon ship situation.

This image depicts a pool exercise as part of the STCW Basic Safety Training course Here we have a group of trainees during their STCW Basic Safety Training course



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