Foreword In June 2010 a diplomatic conference in Manila adopted a set of far-reaching and comprehensive amendments to the 1978 International Convention on Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers – known to us all more conveniently as the STCW Convention – and its associated Code.

This instrument has been described as one for the four pillars of the global maritime regulatory system, along with two other IMO Conventions, SOLAS and MARPOL, and ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention.

The amendments adopted mark the first major revision of the instrument since those adopted in 1995, which completely revised the original 1978 STCW Convention. The shipping industry depends on competent, well-trained seafarers to ensure safety of life at sea, maritime security, efficiency of navigation and protection and preservation of the marine environment.

The revised STCW Convention aims to provide the international standards necessary for training institutes and trainers to develop the much-needed skills and competencies for today’s seafarer. The ITF has produced this guidance to help seafarers understand the revisions and locate the information that is of most relevance to them. I support this effort to make the Convention requirements accessible to all and trust that this guide will support the achievement of the objectives of the STCW Convention and Code. 

Koji Sekimizu

Secretary-General, IMO