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STCW…….. What is this course?

STCW…….. What is this course?

We often get asked here at Seascope what is an STCW course?

People who have worked away at sea or offshore would more than likely be familiar with this term. But for many people who are new to working at sea or maybe considering it as a new job are often left confused when they come across the term STCW.

What is STCW?

STCW stands for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.  STCW is a course/qualification that anyone looking to work away at sea on most vessels is required to have before they can look for employment. The duration of the course is usually less than 1 week. The basic STCW qualification is made up of 4 training elements:

Personal Survival Techniques (PST)  – Learning processes such as abandoning a ship, launching a life raft, how to upright a life raft in the sea, using life jackets correctly and other life saving techniques.

Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting-   Understand the theory and practical elements for fire prevention and fire fighting skills to the causes of fires on board a ship, and how to deal with them both safely and efficiently.

Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities (PSSR)- Becoming aware of your own safety and well being along with other people on board a ship such as fellow colleagues and passengers.

Elementary First Aid (EFA)- Learn and understand the theory and practical skills to basic first aid and life saving techniques.

*Some vessel companies may require you obtain other elements towards your STCW qualification such as Crisis Management, Human Behaviour & Security Awareness.


The qualification you receive lasts for 5 years and can be re-validated and updated with a refresher course that takes just 2 days to complete. For more information on STCW please visit the International Maritime Organization website http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/HumanElement/TrainingCertification/Pages/STCW-Convention.aspx



Skills For Life

As you can see all the theory and practical knowledge you learn during the course will have you well equipped to deal with any unfortunate and life threating events that occur away at sea. But what you learn is transferable to other future job roles and you can apply these skills to normal day to day situations and who knows, you could potentially save somebody’s life!



We are fully approved by the Maritime Coastguard Agency to provide STCW training in our Liverpool training center and also our Antibes, France training center. If you are interested in booking onto a course or would like to find out more information please call our office on:

0151 709 3290 or email us:  [email protected]




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