What Is STCW Basic Safety Training?
The Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) established in 1978, designates a set of minimal international training standards for professional mariners. The intention of STCW training programs, previously known as STCW 95 training courses, is to promote the safety of life and property at sea, as well as ensure protective measures for the marine environment.
Our STCW-compliant courses include training for the following:
- Basic Firefighting: This course combines classroom instruction and field training for fire identification, prevention and detection and firefighting skills. Learn search and rescue (SAR) and techniques for navigating dark and smoke-filled environments.
- Personal Survival Techniques: Gain basic survival knowledge and skills for overcoming common emergencies at sea, including locating supplies and emergency craft, operating life-saving equipment and procedures for abandoning ship.
- Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities: This module involves classroom instruction only, followed by an exam. The PSSR module covers subjects including workplace relationships, safe work environments, personal care and more.
- Elementary First Aid: Learn basic first aid skills for maritime situations, including wound identification, dressing and maintenance. In the practical portion, practice on dummies to learn the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR techniques.
Basic training (BT) also intends to familiarize mariners with new technologies aboard vessels, which can provide you with a competitive advantage over other candidates. It also combats the economic disadvantage of crews of convenience, which are often lacking the necessary training needed to comply with the STCW standards that all major maritime countries, including the U.S., support.
Our list of STCW 95 training courses are all approved and compliant with the standards of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Want to learn more about STCW – Read our guide!
Who Must Take An STCW Training Program Course?
Per the STCW, the following individuals must complete an STCW training program:
- Personnel operating vessels outside the territorial boundary line, defined in the U.S. as three miles off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and 12 miles off the Gulf of Mexico.
- Personnel working on foreign or international voyages
- Personnel operating vessels exceeding the 200 Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) or 500 Gross Tonnage (GT) International Tonnage Convention (ITC)
As noted above, candidates for refresher and revalidation STCW courses include:
- Mariners with less than one year of sea-time in the last five years
- Mariners with soon-to-be expired BT and AFF certificates
After completing your USCG-approved STCW courses, you will request an STCW endorsement for your Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) to begin your career.
Questions? Contact a School Advisor
Types of STCW Training Programss
We offer several STCW courses in Baltimore, Maryland and Seattle, Washington. Classifications of our STCW training programs include:
- Basic: Includes our Maritime Basic Safety Training course for STCW, as well as additional studies for Crowd Management, Search and Rescue (SAR) and more.
- Advanced: Includes our refresher and revalidation STCW basic safety training program, as well as Hazardous Materials and more.
- STCW Refresher Course: Includes seminars covering drug and alcohol testing, HazMat, basic training revalidation and other role-specific topics.
Explore our STCW course list to see our complete curriculum.
STCW Course Locations
Our STCW course locations extend from coast to coast to meet the needs of mariners across the U.S. campuses that offer STCW basic safety training courses, including:
- Seattle, Washington
- Linthicum Heights, Maryland
If you require a refresher or revalidation STCW training program, we offer both STCW courses outside of Baltimore, Maryland and in Seattle, Washington. BST costs vary by course type, level and duration, as well as location and date. An STCW 95 training program, for example, carries a higher price than an STCW refresher or revalidation training program due to its length and design for a different skill level.
Find a USCG-APPROVED STCW Course Near You
At MITAGS, we provide merchant mariners with comprehensive, USCG-approved STCW courses that offer hands-on training, as well as firsthand experience with the latest technologies. This ensures that you’re not only a competitive candidate to regional and national maritime employers, but also an asset to any vessel. To learn more about our award-winning services and more than four decades of experience, or to discover an STCW course near you, browse our list of STCW courses or contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do STCW Courses Cost?
STCW includes many different course subjects, each with specialized requirements for training, course lengths, required materials and more. Prices vary by course and location, but most refresher and basic training courses range from $500 to $1700. Costs for advanced and specialized courses, which are longer in duration, may be higher. To find out how much the right STCW certifications for your job cost, navigate to our course page.
How Do I Get STCW Certified?
The simplest way to get STCW certified is to attend a maritime training school approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. After successful completion of training and passing all exams, send your results to the Coast Guard for your formal certificate, issued by the National Maritime Center. For upgrading STCW, the process is typically the same, unless your license exceeds 200GRT Near Coastal.
What Do I Need to Renew My License for STCW?
Basic training renewal requires 360 days of sea service within the last six months and successful completion of an accredited STCW refresher course. Mariners with fewer than 360 days of service need additional courses to renew STCW, including Basic Training, Proficiency In Survival Craft/With Lifeboats and Advanced-Firefighting refresher courses. These courses range between two and three days of instruction each.
How Long Is STCW Valid For?
STCW Survival and Fire Fighting certificates are valid for five years from the date of issue. If renewing within five years, we offer USCG approved STCW refresher courses. Mariners exceeding this period must re-complete Basic Training.
Do I Need an STCW Refresher Course?
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping requires seafarers to maintain STCW certification, valid for five years. Completing refresher courses keeps certifications valid. If you are approaching the five-year mark, talk to an advisor to schedule an STCW refresher course.