IMO agrees training requirements for polar code

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) has agreed requirements for the training and certification of seafarers operating in polar waters.
The draft amendments provide training and certification requirements for officers and crew serving on board ships operating in polar waters in chapter V of STCW to reflect the training requirements in the Polar Code.
The STCW amendments will be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval and subsequent adoption.
The Polar Code was adopted by MSC 94 in November 2014. The Code plus the related SOLAS and MARPOL amendments are expected to enter into force on 1st January, 2017.
At the HTW second sub-committee meeting at the beginning of this month, three updated and revised model courses were validated. These were – Advanced Training for Oil Tanker Cargo Operations; Advanced Training for Liquefied Gas Tanker Cargo Operations and Maritime English.
An MSC-MEPC circular on guidelines for the development, review and validation of model courses was endorsed. These aim to update and standardise the process by which model courses are developed, reviewed and validated.
In addition, the sub-committee endorsed the provisions related to ECDIS training and the use of simulators in the draft MSC circular on ‘ECDIS – Guidance for good practice’, for approval by the MSC.
The Guidance, which incorporates and updates previously issued circulars relating to ECDIS, including advice on addressing operating anomalies, maintenance and training, had previously been endorsed by the sub-committee on Navigations, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR).
Another important feature, the review of the IMO guidelines on fatigue was initiated, with the meeting agreeing the work should be completed over the next two sessions. It was further agreed that the review should take a holistic approach, taking into account a risk based approach; the impact of fatigue at all levels (ie, all stakeholders); and that the outcome should provide practical tools for fatigue management.

IMO adopted Assembly resolution A.772(18) on fatigue factors in manning and safety, in 1993. This was followed with the development of comprehensive guidance on fatigue mitigation and management, including guidelines on fatigue in nine modules, which was issued in 2001. Last year, MSC agreed on the need to review and update the guidelines.
Draft Guidelines for Port State Control officers on the ISM Code was endorsed, for submission to the sub-committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) for review and then to MSC 96 and the MEPC for approval.


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