What is STCW Basic Safety Training?

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Information and advice about STCW Basic Safety Training courses -

(Sometimes referred to as STCW95, or STCW 2010)

Here are the top most frequently asked questions. 

What Is STCW 95?

What is STCW?

The term STCW is an acronym 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. This was brought into action in 1984, amended in 1995, and again in the 2010  Manilla amendments. These 2010 amendments came into force January 2017. 


Who Created the STCW?

The International Maritime Organisation is responsible for the overall training to STCW standards, whilst individual member state maritime organisations  take responsibility for interpreting these, setting course syllabi, accrediting centres, and enforcing the standards. If a countries maritime training' standards are deemed sufficient to meet the IMO standards that country is then placed on what's called a white list - The UK Maritime & Coastgaurd Agency  is on the white list and one of the preferred accreditations. 


Why do we need STCW? 

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. Essentially it is much easier if everyone is trained to the same standards.


Whats the difference between STCW 95 and STCW 2010? 

Short answer: nothing really, if you book your STCW Basic Safety Training you will get the most up to date certification.


Longer answer: You may hear people talking about getting their ‘STCW 95’ , ‘STCW’ 2010, or STCW 10. The official name for the course they are referring to is simply ‘STCW Basic Safety Training’ There are no requirements to quote the amendment years. Basic Safety Training used to be called STCW95 many years ago, the course was then amended in 2010 to bring about some changes, most notable of wich was the update process, so the course became known colloquially as STCW 2010 even though this was never an official course name. See short answer above. 

Do I Need STCW Basic Safety Training?
Generally speaking, if you want to work internationally in the maritime industry you will need, STCW Basic Safety Training.


What is involved in the STCW Basic Safety Training? 

STCW Basic Safety Training is actually a package of 4 courses:

Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
Fire prevention & Fire Fighting
Elementary first aid
Personal Survival techniques


When booking the full STCW Basic Safety Training course with Allabroad the STCW Security Awareness course is included complementary. 


How long do my STCW 2010 certificates it last?

You have to complete an update course every 5 years. The 2010 amendments were mostly relating to the requirements for an update course which have been enforced since 2017.


What else do I need to work at sea?

In conjunction with your STCW Basic Safety Training certification you will require an ENG 1 Medical. We can often organise this, with all your training, in Gibraltar.


Is all STCW certification the same?

 By its very nature the STCW certification should be the same and should be accepted world wide, and mostly it is - BUT the training MUST be accredited by an official national maritime body (UK MCA, USCG for example) AND that country MUST be on an approved ´White List´ at the International Maritime Organisation. 

The UK MCA accredited STCW is well respected in the industry but any countries version of the STCW BST course should be accepted so long as that country is on the IMO ´White List´ and the course meets all the criteria. 


Can I Complete my STCW Basic Safety Training online?

 No. the International Maritime Organisation mandates how their member states deliver the basic safety training, and it has to be in-person training. 



Many people still use the old terms STCW 95, STCW 95 course, or STCW 2010. However this course is officially called ´STCW Basic Safety Training´ There is no need to quote the last amendment year as all training centres are required to ensure the courses they deliver are up to the minute with any minor amendments.Note also that many of the 2010 amendments were regarding refresher training, and have had little impact on the syllabus. 

STCW Basic Safety Training Courses are actually packages of 4 courses delivered over 5 days and represent the entry level mandatory safety training for seafarers required to work on vessels.

Crew on work boats, super-yachts, tankers, container ships, even the captain require STCW Basic Safety Training.

STCW Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting

  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.


One of the basic 4 elements of the STCW Basic safety training course (STCW95) Maritime Fire Course at Allabroad in Gibraltar

STCW Personal Survival Techniques

  In the image below STCW Basic Safety Training Students are training for personal survival at sea.  This element is actually called Personal Survival Techniques, but is often referred to as 'Sea Survival'. This element is part of the STCW Basic Safety Training course. 


Personal survival techniques is also another example of STCW basic safety training (STCW95) MCA STCW Basic Safety Training wet drill.

The STCW Basic Safety Training Course Elements

The 5 day STCW Basic Safety Training Course comprises of the 4 short courses below. 

Personal Safety & Social Resposibility

4 Hour session in the classroom. To give anyone intending to work aboard commercial vessels a basic induction in safety procedures, accident prevention, employment conditions and working environment on board.

Personal Survival Techniques

PST Course is 4 hours classroom and 4 in a pool.

  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.

Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting.

The ´Fire´Course is 2 and half days and for many, the highlight of the package. You will be trained to  fight live fires in a controlled internal space, wearing breathign aparatus.

Elementary First Aid

EFA is a 1 day course in the classroom with a mix of theory and practical activities.You will learn basic Life support and CPR any many other skils too. 

STCW Basic Safety Training Courses are included in these Allabroad Superyacht Crew pacakges.

The Basics


Bare minimum to get started


STCW Basic Safety Training

(STCW 95, STCW2010)


STCW Security Awarness

Short additional course included as it is often now required for some vessels

Take the driving seat.


Includes all the elements from the Starter Pack.



RYA Powerboat Level 2

So you can operate a small tender

VHF Radio Licence

So you can use the Maritime Radio.


Intensive Package

4 weeks

Includes all the elements from the  Silver Pack



RYA Competent Crew

RYA Day skipper Theory

RYA Day Skipper Practical

Food & Accommodation


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