Body Issues Guidelines for Seafarer Standards

THE TRANSPORTATION department has released guidelines for the issuance and revalidation of Filipino seafarers’ Certificate of Proficiency (COP), in line with efforts to improve training and competency standards in the maritime industry, and with standards on maritime training by an agency of the European Union.

Circular No. 2016-06 of the Maritime Industry Authority’s (Marina) Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Office, published in newspapers over the weekend, outlined the documentary and procedural requirements for the COP under the STCW Convention, which covers all seafarers serving or planning to serve on board ships.

Marina said the circular would “ensure complete, effective and timely compliance with the 1978 STCW Convention.”

This came after the European Maritime Safety Agency, which reviews the maritime training of non-European Union countries that supply the EU with seafarers, audited the Philippines in April and found deficiencies in compliance with its obligations under 2010 Manila Amendments of the STCW.

Seafarers are required, also under the circular, to undergo refresher trainings or assessment of competence every five years, particularly in personal survival techniques and fire prevention and fire fighting.

“To ensure that the knowledge of an existing seafarer is in accordance with and includes the changes in national and international regulations… approved updating training shall be advised by this Administration henceforth,” the circular read.

Marina, an attached agency of the Transportation department, is the sole administrator in the enforcement of the STCW. It assumes all powers and functions previously held by the Professional Regulation Commission, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Health, and National Telecommunications Commission.

These powers involve the issuance, validation, verification, correction, revocation or cancellation of certificates of competency, and proficiency and documentary evidence required of seafarers in line with the implementation of the STCW Convention.

The COP ensures that a seafarer has met the required training competencies under the convention.


Source: Business World