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PLAN AHEAD: Things to consider over the next year when scheduling or budgeting for training

PLAN AHEAD: Things to consider over the next year when scheduling or budgeting for training

Plan ahead to complete your USCG STCW Gap Closing Courses
Who? All STCW Compliant USCG Deck & Engineering Officers MUST complete their STCW 2010 Amended Training (called Gap Closing) and submit to the USCG and have restrictions removed to work internationally on the authority of STCW MMC after 1/1/17.
What? Deck Officers (operational Level) Leadership & Teamworking, ECDIS (or restriction)
Deck Officers (management Level) Leadership & Management, ECDIS (or restriction)
Engine Officers (operational Level) Leadership & Teamworking & ERM (engine room resource management)
Engine Officers (management Level) Leadership & Management, ERM (if not previously taken) and MEECE (Mgmt Electrical/Electronic Control Equipment)
When? Considering USCG processing times, I recommend finishing all training as soon as possible and definitely before fall 2016.
How? Contact your training provider of choice or check out the USCG website for a list of approved courses

Plan ahead to complete the STCW Safety Training Refresher Courses

All mariners serving internationally, regardless of flag or nationality, on vessels subject to STCW Compliance or requiring STCW Training will need to complete refresher or revalidation training to ensure that they have completed chapter six safety courses within the previous 5 years. The refresher/revalidation training you need will depend on the training you currently hold certificates for:
Basic Safety Training, STCW VI/1
Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats, STCW VI/2-1
Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats, STCW VI/2-2
Advanced Firefighting, STCW VI/3

Plan ahead to complete new requirements for MCA, USCG & Marshall Islands Upgrades

Most MCA CoC and USCG MMC upgrades will require some new training either now or very soon. You should set up a career counseling session to ensure that you are aware of any new requirements that will affect your scheduling and budgeting for the upgrade to your certification. In some cases, planning ahead can save you time and money J Upgrades are important for your career progress and income growth potential. Don’t postpone them because of the training required, just plan well in advance so you can spread it out.

MCA Upgrading to OOW 3000: Take your Efficient Deckhand (EDH) Course as early as possible. After 1/1/17 the MCA will require that OOW Applicants HELD their EDH Certificate for 18 months previous to getting their N.O.E. to sit the oral for OOW 3000. Note that for example, someone applying for OOW in January of 2017, they would have had to get their EDH training finished in June 2015 to meet that requirement, so this is relevant right now. In addition to the other training requirements, All OOW’s will now have to take the 3 day HELM (Operational) Leadership & Teamworking & ECDIS Courses. Note if you are sitting for an original Chief Mate including the OOW Oral, you will need both the 3 day HELM (O) Course and the 5 day HELM (M) Course.

Prerequisites for taking EDH: The purpose of the EDH Course is to improve upon the seamanship skills of crew members before they are sitting for an Officer of the Watch Level CoC. Keep in mind that this training is at the commercial level and is not restricted to yachts. The prerequisites for joining the course are excerpted from Marine Information Notice (MIN) 473, I have included the basics, refer to MIN 473 for a complete list. Taking EDH at the same time as your OOW training is too late!
Make sure to PLAN AHEAD and take it as soon as you meet the prerequisites listed below:

-Candidates must hold an MCA-accepted Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate and shore-based course, or hold a Yacht Rating with at least six months sea service and the Steering Certificate, or hold an STCW II/4 Navigational Watch Rating (NWR/RFPNW).

-Before an EDH certificate can be issued, the candidate must have accrued six months sea service on vessels greater than 15m

MCA Upgrading to MASTER 500/3000:
In addition to the other training requirements, all Masters will now have to take the 5 day HELM (Management Level), the ECDIS Course (if not previously taken) and complete an MCA (IAMI) Written Exam for Celestial Navigation within 1 year of the NOE, most candidates will need to take a Celestial Navigation Preparatory Course for successful completion of this exam.


USCG STCW Compliant MMC Upgrades: In addition to the other training requirements, all existing mariner upgrades completed before 12/31/16 will be based on grandfathering provisions for training, assessments, and exams, PLUS gap closing training. If you do not complete your upgrade before 1/1/17, the GRANDFATHERING PROVISIONS EXPIRE and you will be required to be trained, assessed and examined under the final ruling and meet any new sea service or prerequisite qualification before achieving your raise in grade. The change are extensive and therefore pre-planning to complete ALL qualified upgrades before this date is recommended.

MARSHALL ISLANDS STCW II/2 Compliant Master of Yacht Unlimited Tonnage Upgrades: Plan ahead by applying to the Marshall Islands Registry to identify the training and/or sea service you will need to sit for the new Capstone Course & Practical Exam to remove your tonnage restriction from your resume. Candidates completing this level will have the authority to sail on Yachts over 3000 tons (Marshall Islands or any flag accepting the Marshall Islands Credential).

Amy Morley-Beavers serves as the VP Regulatory Compliance/Academic Principal at MPT in Fort Lauderdale as well as Vice Chairman of the Merchant Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) appointed by the Secretary of Homeland Security as well as the Vice President of the Maritime Education Standards Counsel (MESC). She holds a Masters License and has been advising mariners on matters related to training, licensing and certification since 1986. You can send “Ask Amy” your questions or comments at