Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) – 44th session, 29 April - 3 May 2013

Amendments to make auditing mandatory under STCW convention and Code agreed by Sub-Committee
Draft amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and the Seafarers' Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code, to make the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) and IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW), when it met for its 44th session.
The draft amendments will be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 92) for approval with a view to future adoption.  The III Code is expected to be adopted by the IMO Assembly at its 28th session in late 2013.
The draft amendments to the STCW Convention will require Parties to undergo periodic audits by the Organization. The draft amendments to the STCW Code set out the applicable requirements which will be subjected to audit. These include requirements relating to the Party’s communication of information, port State control and recognition of certificates; and the audit will also be required to assess whether the Administration has established measures to enforce the STCW Convention and Code requirements in respect of fatigue prevention and for the purpose of preventing drug and alcohol abuse.
Revised recommendations for training and certification of MOU personnel approved
The Sub-Committee approved revised and updated Recommendations for the training and certification of personnel on mobile offshore units (MOUs), for submission to MSC 92 for approval with a view to adoption by the IMO Assembly at its 28th session.
The recommendations will update and replace those adopted in 1999 (Resolution A.891(21)) and include new sections on security awareness training or instruction and  fitness for duty and align the recommendations with requirements in the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code.    
Model courses validated
The Sub-Committee validated two new model courses and four that have been updated to provide the necessary guidance to maritime Administrations and training institutions to develop their training programmes to meet the standards set out in the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. The validated model courses are:
New courses on:
• Leadership and Teamwork; and
• Electro-Technical Officer;

Revised courses on:
• Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch;
• Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch;
• Master and Chief Officer; and
• Chief Engineer Officer and Second Engineer Officer.
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.
Eyesight standards guidance and notes agreed
The Sub-Committee endorsed a STCW.7 circular on Interim Guidance on colour vision testing, pursuant to the 2010 Manila Amendments, for submission to MSC 92 for approval.
The Sub-Committee also approved draft amendments to the STCW Code, Minimum in-service eyesight standards for seafarers, of part A of the STCW Code, for submission to MSC 92 for approval.
Guidance on safety when transferring persons at sea agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the draft MSC-MEPC circular on Guidance on Safety when transferring persons at sea, outlining the considerations that should be taken into account and safety measures to be addressed to ensure that the transfer is carried out in a safe manner.
The guidance is intended to apply to the transfer of all persons at sea by means of transport vessels with the exception of the transfer of pilots to all ships and passengers to passenger ships for which other guidelines have been issued. 
Guidelines on reactivating SMS certificate after lay-up agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed a draft MSC-MEPC circular on Guidelines for the reactivation of the Safety Management Certificate following an operational interruption of the SMS due to lay-up over a certain period, providing guidelines to Companies and Administrations on the actions to be taken following a lay-up, in order to ensure that the Safety Management System (SMS) on board vessels is functional once the ship is taken back into service.