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How to get an STCW Certificate

Fire safety training as part of STCW95If you looking for a new career and fancy working on a Superyacht, serving the rich and famous, then you’re going to need STCW certificate.

Even if you’re planning to work on a smaller or private vessel, your Captain may require you to be trained in the basics, which is exactly what STCW Basic Safety Training is all about.

Obtaining the certificate will open up a range of career opportunities in the yachting industry, so if you’re thinking about jumping ship and heading to the sunshine then you will need some basic training.

What is STCW?

Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers was introduced in 1978 to promote safety of life and property at sea. STCW Basic Training, as it is known, shows that the holder has achieved a minimum standard of safety training required to work on a commercial vessel. Around 160 countries are signed up to the agreement.  Amendments have been made to the convention in 1995 with major changes in 2010, known as the Manila amendments.

From January 1st 2014 seafarers entering the industry for the first time are required to complete Proficiency in Security Awareness, making you aware of security related issues on the high seas.

What qualifications are included within STCW?

The four basic modules within the STCW Basic Safety Training course are:

  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (PSSR)
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (FF&FP)
  • Elementary First Aid (EFA)
  • Personal Survival Techniques (PST)

And since 2014:

  • Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA)

You can choose to take each module separately – most take between a day and half a day to complete – or you can get them all done in just a week. The latter option allows you to get your STCW certificate as soon as possible, which means you can start searching for that dream job!

Flying Fish run STCW Basic Training courses throughout the year.

Are there any pre-course requirements?

No, we do advise that you complete your ENG1 Medical which is also a requirement for working on commercial vessels, including superyachts. Some of the training can be physically demanding so a good level of fitness is required.

How long is a STCW certification valid for?

From January 1st 2017 Seafarers must show documentary evidence that the holder has completed update training for Personal Survival and Fire Prevention and within the last 5 years. PSSR, EFA and PSA do not require updating.

What if I have no yachting experience?

You could start looking for a job with just your STCW Basic Training Certificates, but it’s recommended that you further your education beforehand. Having some additional skills will increase your chances of securing a great role aboard a Superyacht because there is a lot of competition out there.  If you want a job as a Steward/ess, you’ll need to look at our Superyacht Stewardess Course, which, by the way, includes STCW. The course takes around two weeks to complete, you’ll learn everything from food hygiene and general housekeeping to cocktail making and wine appreciation skills, including Powerboat and Jet Ski training! All invaluable skills on-board a superyacht!

Prefer to become a member of the deck crew? Then our Superyacht Deckhand Course is ideal. It covers all the qualifications you need, from STCW to the VHF radio operator’s licence, certificate to drive a small powerboat, Jet Ski and a lot more.

If you want to boost your employment chances even further, or you plan to move up in the industry as quickly as possible, completing a RYA Yachtmaster Course will put you ahead of the competition. No matter how much experience you have, the course will teach you a lot and help you secure the job role that you desire.

Obtaining your STCW certificates is the first step towards working on commercial vessels across the world. Put in the hard work and before you know it you’ll be making cocktails for A-list celebrities in the middle of the Caribbean, enjoying exclusive parties and travelling to places you never would have visited otherwise. Plus, the pay is pretty good too! If you’d like to know anything about any of our courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re more than happy to answer your questions.

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