Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) – 42nd session, 24-28 January 2011

Marine environment awareness model course validated

A new model course relating to marine environment awareness, designed to help meet new training requirements, was validated by the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) when it met for its 42nd session.
The course has been developed in response to the new requirements for marine environment awareness training, in the Manila Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code, which were adopted in Manila, the Philippines, in June 2010 and enter into force in 2012.
The Sub-Committee reiterated that validation of model courses by the Sub-Committee in this context meant that it found no grounds to object to their contents.  In doing so, the Sub-Committee did not approve the document and, it could therefore, not be regarded as an official interpretation of the Convention.
The work plan to revise relevant model courses pursuant to the Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code was also agreed by the Sub-Committee.
Training aspects of e-navigation reviewed
The Sub-Committee reviewed the interim report of the ad hoc correspondence group on e- navigation established by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) from the point of view of training. The vision behind the e-navigation strategy (which is being  developed by the NAV Sub-committee in cooperation with the Sub-Committees on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and STW is to  integrate existing and new navigational tools, in particular electronic tools, in an all-embracing transparent, user-friendly, cost-effective and compatible system that will contribute to enhanced navigational safety (with all the positive repercussions this will have on maritime safety overall and environmental protection) while simultaneously reducing the burden on the navigator.
Amongst the issues discussed, it was agreed that:
• e-navigation should focus on user needs;
• the use of simulators would assist training and might assist in assessment, permitting the simulation of diagnostic and contingency responses;
• it was too premature to analyse reliability risks of e-navigation without knowing which equipment would form part of e-navigation;
• the experience of the aviation industry could be useful in some aspects; however, caution should be taken when comparing both industries as the experience of the aviation industry was not based on the maritime environment; and
• the implementation of the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW convention and Code would be a positive step and would allow further consideration of training needs as developments in e-navigation occur (e.g., identification of necessary e-navigation skills and preparation of new guidance, model courses, etc.).
Draft guidance for personnel operating tenders finalized by training sub-Committee
Draft guidance relating to training requirements for personnel operating tenders used for transferring passengers from a passenger ship to shore and back was agreed.
The draft guidance provides the requirements for training for tender boat operators and sets out detailed recommended standards of training as a tender boat operator. The draft guidance will be forwarded to the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment, which is coordinating the work to develop the draft Guidelines for passenger ships tenders, which are intended for ship carried tenders used for transferring more than 12 passengers from a stationary passenger ship to shore and back.