The 10th session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 10) took place from 5 to 9 February 2024, initiating a comprehensive revision of the STCW Convention and Code to address emerging challenges and technological advancements. The STCW Convention and Code establish minimum training, certification, and watchkeeping standards for seafarers worldwide, and the review aims to address inconsistencies and improve provisions based on experiences and new technologies. A two-step methodology for the review was agreed upon, with a focus on issues related to outdated training requirements, emerging technologies, digitalization, cybersecurity awareness, and psychological safety.
HTW 10 also agreed to develop training provisions for seafarers on ships using alternative fuels, such as battery-powered ships, in parallel with the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and Code. Additionally, a new module in the IMO’s online information database (GISIS) will be established for a trial period to make information on recognition of STCW certificates and the “certificate verification facility” available to all stakeholders. The committee also validated two model courses and planned for the validation of a new model course on “Personal safety and social responsibilities” to incorporate new competences to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault.
Overall, the session focused on addressing emerging challenges and technological advancements in the maritime industry through a comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and Code, as well as the development of training provisions for seafarers using alternative fuels and the validation of model training courses. The initiatives are aimed at ensuring the safety and competence of seafarers in response to the changing landscape of the shipping industry.