Is it time to require the Training for Instructors course to become mandatory under STCW?

Quentin Cox

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Pick up almost any shipping related newspaper or journal published currently and there will inevitably be included a tragic tale of a shipping casualty. The efforts to reduce the casualty statistics are immeasurable as are the theories and approaches to the management of safety in our industry. There has already been much debate about the purpose, function and effectiveness of the IMO?s STCW code and convention but whatever our individual opinions, it is the code by which the industry must abide. In its foreword it mentions ?minimum global standards of knowledge, understanding, experience and professional competence?. The current status of the Training for Instructors course is that as mentioned as a reference in Section A-I/6 of the STCW Code, it ?may be of assistance in preparation of courses?. The existing requirements of trainers and educators of the code might be loosely interpreted as having knowledge of a subject and have received guidance on how to deliver training. Is this requirement sufficient? In the trade press, alongside the tales of woe relating to avoidable accidents, there are almost as many articles associated with apparently innovative approaches to training and management, directed not only at reducing these accidents but also endeavouring to improve performance. So can we ask the question, to which standards are our seafarers trained? Is it a standard which merely complies with the regulatory standard, inducing a ?culture of compliance?? Or is it a standard well over and above mere regulatory requirements, where tasks are completed efficiently and cost-effectively, as well as safely, in order to present a commercially competitive organisation. This paper discusses, argues and counter-argues the contention and concludes with the proposal that at very least, the debate should be re-opened.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Maritime Lecturers Association 20th Conference, 2nd to 5th July 2012, Terscheling , Holland.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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