Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) – 43rd session, 30 April - 4 May 2012

Guidance and model courses for implementation of 2010 Manila amendments to STCW agreed
Guidance and model courses relating to the implementation of 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 entered into force on 1 January 2012) were agreed by the Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW), when it met for its 43rd session.
Revised Guidelines for Medical Examination approved
The Sub-Committee endorsed the revised Guidelines for Medical Examination of Seafarers, which were developed jointly by IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement the international standards for medical fitness for seafarers set out in the STCW Convention, as amended, and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006, in order to promote and support their effective, uniform, global  implementation.
The revised Guidelines for Medical Examination of Seafarers will be submitted for approval to the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the ILO Governing Body and  will replace the Guidelines for Conducting Pre-sea and Periodic Medical Fitness Examinations for Seafarers, published by the ILO and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1997. 
ECDIS training guidance agreed
The Sub-Committee approved a draft STCW.7 circular providing guidance on Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) Training.  
Guidance to STCW Parties agreed 
The following guidance was agreed, for submission to the MSC for approval:
• draft revised circular on Procedures regarding the consideration of information communicated in accordance with article IV and regulation I/7 of the STCW Convention (MSC.1/Circ.796/Rev.2;
• draft revised circular on Guidance on the preparation, reporting and review of independent evaluations and steps taken to implement mandatory amendments required by regulations I/7 and I/8 of the STCW Convention (MSC.1/Circ.997/Rev.1); and
• draft revised circular on Guidance on arrangements between parties to allow for recognition of certificates under regulation I/10 of the STCW Convention (MSC.1/Circ.950/Rev.1).
Model courses validated
The Sub-Committee validated four model courses that have been updated to provide the necessary guidance to maritime Administrations and training institutions to develop their training programmes to meet the new standards set out in 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. The validated courses relate to:
• Operational use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS);
• Security awareness training for seafarers with designated security duties, and Security awareness training for all seafarers;
• Ship Security Officer; and 
• Train the Simulator Trainer and Assessor.

The Sub-Committee also reviewed draft model courses for Master and Chief Mate, Chief Engineer Officer and Second Engineer Officer and Officer in charge of an Engineering Watch and referred them back to the co-ordinators to further revise the courses to reflect closely the requirements of the 2010 Manila Amendments
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.
Draft amendments to make IMO audit scheme mandatory under STCW agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the STCW Convention and Code, to make mandatory the draft IMO Instruments Implementation Code, which has been developed by the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) and  is being forwarded for consideration and approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine environment Protection Committee (MEPC), for submission to the Assembly at an appropriate session, for adoption.
Effectively, the proposed amendments would mean that the STCW Convention and Code would also be added to the list of mandatory IMO instruments intended to be covered by the mandatory audit scheme being developed to replace the current Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme.
Areas expected to be covered under the mandatory audit scheme would include issues related to: confirming that a STCW Party had completed the process to be confirmed as giving full effect to the STCW provisions; issuance of dispensations; port State control and watchkeeping provisions; quality standards systems; and reporting of independent evaluations.
ISM Code efficiency and user friendliness discussed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International Safety Management (ISM) Code), intended to improve its efficiency and user friendliness. It also approved Revised Guidelines on implementation of the ISM Code by Administrations (A.1022(26)) and Revised Guidelines for the operational implementation of the ISM Code by Companies (MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.5), with a view to approval by the MSC and MEPC.
Amendments to contingency planning guidelines agreed in principle
The Sub-Committee prepared draft amendments to the Guidelines for the structure of an integrated system of Contingency planning for shipboard emergencies (resolution A.852(20)) with a view to approval by the MSC and MEPC , and subsequent adoption by the Assembly.
Guidelines on safety when transferring persons at sea needed
The Sub-Committee agreed to recommend to the MSC that guidelines on safety when transferring persons at sea should be developed, as there was a need for a set of uniform guidelines that may help to prevent unsafe situations and mitigate unplanned consequences during the transfer. This was agreed following the discussion of a submission which referred to several incidents during transfer of persons from small transport tenders to larger ships lying at anchor in coastal waters, resulting in fatalities.
Gap analysis completed for training aspects of e-navigation
The Sub-Committee endorsed a final draft list of gaps relevant to training aspects in the context of the development of the e-navigation strategy, for submission to the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV).  While there was general agreement that most elements identified were already covered in the revised STCW Code, the training aspects would need to be reviewed again as the e-navigation strategy was further developed.
The NAV Sub-Committee is co-ordinating the development of the e-navigation strategy in cooperation with the Sub-Committees on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and STW, with the aim being to integrate existing and new navigational 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.