IMO sub-committee agrees roadmap for comprehensive review of the SCTW convention

The sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping met from 5-9 February 2024 to begin process of adapting global standards for seafarer training

IMO sub-committee agrees roadmap for comprehensive review of the SCTW convention


HTW 10 met at the IMO headquarters in London from 5 to 9 February 2024

By Alex Smith |

The International Maritime Organization’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 10) met from 5-9 February 2024 to lay groundwork for the comprehensive review of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (SCTW).

The STCW Convention establishes the basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on an international level.

The meeting agreed a two-step methodology, consisting of an initial review of the Convention and Code to identify gaps (Phase 1) and then a revision stage to develop amendments to address those gaps (Phase 2). According to the roadmap agreed by the committee, the list of gaps will be identified by spring 2025 and the draft text of amendments and resolutions will be finalised by spring 2027.

The meeting also established 22 specific areas of the convention and code to be reviewed, including addressing training requirements for emerging technologies on ships, e-certification, and mental health and gender sensitisation among others. It approved the establishment of an Inter-sessional Working Group before the next session of the Sub-Committee to advance the work, subject to agreement by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the IMO Council.

As part of the review, the Sub-Committee also finalised the draft terms of reference for the revision of Model Course 1.21 on Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities, which will be validated at HTW 12. This action aims to help prevent and respond to bullying and harassment in the maritime sector.

The session also included a discussion on the development of training provisions for seafarers on ships using alternative fuels. It was agreed that work related to this issue should be separate from the work on the review of the SCTW Convention and Code. It therefore invited the MSC to include its output on the development of a safety regulatory framework for ships using alternative fuels in the agenda for the Sub-Committee’s next session.

The Sub-Committee also considered a set of recommendations by IMO Member States for enhancing training for seafarers who operate in polar waters. It was agreed that some recommendations would be included as part of the SCTW review and invited the MSC to consider other recommendations for further action.

A new module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System to support parties in carrying out their obligations under the SCTW Convention will be launched after the Sub-Committee came to an agreement at the session. The module is intended to enhance communication and information-sharing while also addressing fraudulent practices and reducing the burden of administration. The module will have a trial period of two years.

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