IMO SUB-COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS OF TRAINING AND WATCHKEEPING, 43rd SESSION 30 April – 4 May 2012

The IMO’s Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping held its 43rd Session at IMO Headquarters on Monday 30 April through Friday 4 May 2012 under the Chairmanship of Rear Admiral Peter Brady (Jamaica) who elected to step down on completion of the meeting. Mr Bradley Groves (Australia) was chosen as his successor whilst Mrs Mayte Medina (USA) was elected as the on-going Vice-Chairman. Three working groups were convened to consider:

(1) The Development of an E-Navigation Strategy Implementation Plan,
(2) The Development of Guidance for the Implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendment, and
(3) Role of the Human Element.

In view of the large number of model courses submitted for validation, the Sub Committee established two drafting groups to finalise them. Following is a short summary of salient points emanating from the meeting on items of greatest interest to Intermanager members:
• CONSIDERATION OF MODEL COURSES FOLLOWING MANILA 2010. Spearheaded by the USA, there was vigorous and unanimous agreement in Plenary that:
• the contents of the model courses submitted lacked consistency and did not comply with the 2010 Manila Amendments;
• model courses should facilitate career progression where required and there was a need to avoid duplication or redundancy of course content;
• the process to develop model courses needs to be completely reviewed under a structured programme with proper terms of reference and this was beyond the scope of a drafting group;
• the 2010 Manila Amendments entered into force on 1 January 2012 and bearing in mind that there was an urgent need for the updated model courses, the proposal to develop them in accordance with the proposed philosophy at this stage was not practical;
• there is a need to provide appropriate guidance to maritime education and training providers on the preparation of training programmes to address the 2010 Manila Amendment in a timely manner; and
• the model courses should follow the knowledge, understanding and proficiency (KUPs) in the tables of competence.
TURKEY volunteered to review and update model courses 1.22 (Ship Simulation and Bridge Teamwork), also 2.07 (Engine-room Simulation) pursuant to the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code which would reflect the model course on leadership and teamwork skills developed in other model courses.
• VALIDATION OF MODEL TRANING COURSES. Drafting Group 2 examined four draft training courses as follows: (1) Train the Simulator Trainer and Assessor (2) Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch (3) Master and Chief Mate (4) Chief Engineer Officer and Second Engineer Officer. Many concerns were voiced about all four courses, leading to production of ‘guiding principles’ that the course content must align directly with the STCW code, as amended, without omission and without addition of extraneous content. Management level courses should reflect the managerial nature of the KUP’s in part A of the STCW Code, incorporated by reference when operational level material is to be refreshed and reflect the vertical ‘career path’ for deck or engine officers to show a logical progression from the operational level. Operational level courses should also reflect the KUP’s in Part A but at the operational level, be horizontally aligned and reflect the international nature and wide variety of training institutes and delivery methods. It was subsequently agreed that although the ‘Simulator Trainer/Assessor’ course could be published, the other model courses would be sent back to the developer (GLOBALMET) for changing along the principles newly established and to reflect amendments advised by the WG. Documents can then be reviewed on line by Member States for any further correction prior to review at STW44.
Meanwhile, Drafting Group 1 considered a Revised Model Course on the operational use of ECDIS. They recommended that the model course should not be too prescriptive, agreed that it is primarily a technical course designed to teach proper operation of an ECDIS and should be delivered by trainers with relevant management level qualifications and experience ‘at the discretion of the administration approving the course’. Because ECDIS is subject to ‘anomalies, it was agreed to address how to cope with this inherent weakness within the detailed teaching syllabus. Terms specific to a manufacturer’s product would be revised to follow generic terminology. In the light of their discussions, the Drafting Group prepared amendments to the ECDIS model course in a 153 page amendment document (STW 43/WP.6/Add 1 dated 3 May 2012). In addition to ECDIS, they also considered the draft model course on Ship Security Officer (noting that no specific entry standards are required to attend the course) and also Security Training for seafarers with designated security duties together with a new model course on Security Awareness training for all seafarers for which amendments were prepared. Worthy of note also, following much discussion, is that direct reference to citadels will not be included in the model course for Ship Security Officer. All three of these model courses, together with that for ‘Training the Simulator Trainer and Assessor’ were validated by the Sub-Committee.
• FRAUDULENT CERTIFICATES. An on-going problem, Member Governments were encouraged to continue reporting details to IMO of fraudulent certificates of competency found on board ships during inspections or reportedly being used.
• DEVELOPMENT OF AN E-NAVIGATION STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN. NORWAY leads the Correspondence Group on E-navigation from the human element perspective. Following discussion, it was agreed that the current provision of the STCW Convention and Code already allows the use of Computer Based Training (CBT) programmes and each Administration was able to decide whether CBT programmes should be used to assist training. Bearing in mind that e-navigation is still under development, it was considered premature to define CBT requirements related to e-navigation at this stage. With regard to Gap Analysis (GA), the Sub-Committee agreed to delete the gap related to the current training regime for shipboard users and type-specific systems. A final list of gaps relevant to training will be forwarded to NAV 58 for final consideration and the successful GA methodology used by STW will be recommended for use at NAV.
• DEVELOPMENT OF TRAINING STANDARDS FOR RECOVERY SYSTEMS. Noting that the minimum standards of competence in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats and minimum standards of competence in fast rescue boats in the STW Code adequately addresses the requirements of the guidelines developed by DE56, the Sub-Committee will invite MSC to concur with this decision and delete the associated work programme item from its biennial agenda.
• THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDANCE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2010 MANILA AMENDMENTS. The Working Group conducted a review on “guidance on arrangements between Parties to allow for recognition of certificates under STCW Regulation 1/10” and agreed proposed amendments by IRAN, subsequently instructing the Secretariat to prepare a revised draft MSC Circular for approval by MSC 91. ICS submission STW 43/9/6 highlights a potential training gap between when the ECDIS carriage requirements commence their staged entry into force and when the 2010 Manila Amendments will ensure by 2017, that all navigating officers sailing with ECDIS will be trained accordingly. Following on from that, the USA proposed that a STW Circular be drafted in advance of MSC 90 where it is expected to be approved, and which will reflect guidance given within the ICS submission. The contents will be consistent with best practice, that generic training followed by familiarisation training on board ship, should be undertaken before operating ECDIS.
• ROLE OF THE HUMAN ELEMENT. Within the Working Group, various amendments to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code were tabled, a lot by the EU bloc and some of which were stoutly resisted by a non-EU group. Views were expressed such as:
1. amending the definition of ‘major non-conformity’ would change the characteristics of the Code;
2. the present proposal was different to the original proposal presented to MSC 89;
3. the proposed amendments relating to manning requirements were under the purview of SOLAS chapter V and were already addressed in resolution A.1047(27) on Principles of Minimum Safe Manning;
4. the proposal to add footnotes might be interpreted as mandatory requirements; and
5. paragraph 3.3 of the ISM Code already covers Companies’ responsibilities.
However, a number of amendments to the ISM Code were agreed in principle by the Sub-Committee as also were draft Revised Guidelines on implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations and draft Revised Guidelines for the operational implementation of the ISM Code by Companies.

Captain Paddy McKnight

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