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New STCW Manila Amendments: Mandatory Security Awareness Training for all seafarers becomes effective 1/1/2014

In spite of regular reports in the news declaring that piracy is decreasing, the maritime industry still faces serious challenges to the security of its crews, cargoes and vessels. In order to enhance crews’ awareness of this issue the STCW Convention will require all crew members to participate in security related training from the 1st January 2014.

The STCW Manila Amendments introduced a new qualification for each crew member on board, regardless of their position, but linked to their duties. Chapter A-VI/6 differentiates between personnel on board with designated security duties and personnel in any other capacity.

Seafarers without designated security duties must still receive training in security awareness in accordance with the table of competences A-VI/6-1. They are required to provide evidence of having achieved the required standard of competence. Referring to the non-mandatory part B in the code, this training must be completed just once during their career.

Every seafarer with designated security duties is required to fulfil the competencies of table A-VI/6-2. They must be able to perform designated on board security duties, including anti-piracy and anti-armed-robbery-related activities. This includes the recognition of security risks and threats, regular ship inspections, proper usage of security equipment and maintaining the conditions as set out in the ship security plan. As mentioned in part B of the code the expression “with designated security duties” refers to those who have specific duties and responsibilities according to the Ship Security Plan. This training needs to be undertaken once during their career.

Both kinds of training will become mandatory from the 1st January 2014. Before the entry into force every “party”, meaning every Flag State, shall determine the requirement for existing seafarers on how to update their qualifications. The Code recommends either the possibility of approved seagoing service, but also mentions approved training in order to meet the requirements.
Meet the requirements
GL Academy is ready to assist ship owners and managers in finding the right solution for their crew. Based on the IMO Model Courses, two training courses are available:
The 2-day Security Awareness Training for Seafarers with Designated Security Duties provides participants with the knowledge required for seafarers with designated security duties in connection with a Ship Security Plan (SSP) to perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended, the ISPS Code, and section A-VI/6 of the STCW Code, as amended.
The GL Academy Training Certificate, received after successfully passing a final test, is recognized by major Flag States as a precondition for the issuance of a Certificate of Proficiency (CoP). The transitional provisions under STCW 1978, as amended, section A-VI/6 are only applicable for seafarers who commenced an approved seagoing service prior to 1st January 2012.
Until 1st January 2014, seafarers with designated security duties who commenced an approved seagoing service prior to 1st January 2012 shall be able to demonstrate competence to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities listed in column 1 of STCW table A-VI/6-2 by:

•    approved seagoing service as shipboard personnel with designated security duties, for a period of at least six months in total during the preceding three years; or
•    having performed security functions considered to be equivalent to the seagoing service; or
•    passing an approved test; or
•    successfully completing approved training

The 1-day Security Awareness Training for all Seafarers is based on the same principles as the 2-day course and enables personnel without designated security duties to achieve the standard of competence and level of knowledge required to contribute to the enhancement of maritime security through heightened awareness and the ability to recognize security threats and to respond appropriately.
Source: GL Academy Hellas
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