The requirements for Standards in Training and Certification for Watchstanders (STCW) is contained in 46 CFR Parts 11.301 through 11.337. In short, the STCW regulations apply to seagoing vessels greater than 200 gross registered tons (500 gross tons) and higher; these regulations do not apply to:
- Vessels operating exclusively on the Inland waters of the US
- Seagoing vessels of less than 200 tons
- Uninspected passenger vessels
- Uninspected fishing industry vessels
Basic Safety Training (BST); now titled Basic Training (BT)
The five-day Basic Training course, sometimes referred to as BST, STCW BST or simply STCW training, is the initial requirement for all STCW endorsements. Basic Training includes the following elements.
- 16-hours of basic firefighting
- 8-hours of elementary first aid
- 12-hours of personal survival
- 4-hours of person safety and social responsibility
There are two primary STCW endorsements for the deck department, Able Seafarer Deck and Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch (OCINW).
Able Seafarer Deck and Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
Able Seafarer Deck is the STCW equal to the National Able Seaman rating. This endorsement requires the mariner complete the RFPNW assessments, Basic Training, and
demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for the National AB rating.
Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch
OICNW is an STCW endorsement that applies to MMC Officer endorsements with tonnage limitations greater than 200 GRT (500 GT) or more and either a near coastal or ocean route.
Radar Observer training and assessment is a requirement for ship’s officers. The National Assessment Tasks for Radar are documented in NAVIC 12-14.
ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aids) is a negative STCW endorsement, meaning that mariners who have not completed an approved ARPA training course will have their MMC
endorsed as not valid for ARPA equipped vessels. After completing an approved ARPA training course the negative endorsement will be removed. The National Assessment Tasks for ARPA are documented in NAVIC 12-14.
Visual Communication (Flashing Light) is an STCW requirement for the OICNW assessments. An approved Flashing Light Course will satisfy the National Assessment Tasks for Flashing Light documented in NAVIC 12-14.