Standards for Training and Certification of Watchkeepers


Sea Education Association is offering USCG approved training courses November-December at their Falmouth, MA campus.  Space is still available in all courses although a few of the courses are filling up quickly.   Housing is available on campus free of charge and members of Tall Ships America receive a 10% discount on course tuition.  Not a member? Become one today!

Course offerings and dates are described here (PDF).




SEA is offering the following courses in Woods Hole this December:

Leadership and Managerial Skills: November 28 – December 2

Bridge Resource Management: December 13 – 15

Basic Training: December 13 – 17

Wilderness First Responder / USCG Medical Care Provider: December 6 – 12

Wilderness First Responder Recertification: December 3 -5

More detail on the classes offered (PDF)

For more information visit or email These classes are filling quickly this year! SEA offers a 10% discount on courses to members of Tall Ships America. Housing and lunch are provided for all courses.

Not a member? You can sign up on our website

The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice reminding mariners of various 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention that will enter into effect on 1 January 2017. These include STCW gap closing requirements; ECDIS limitations; renewal of certain STCW endorsements; and qualified assessor issues. (6/3/16) [].

via Bryants Maritime Consulting



The US Coast Guard issued Change 2 to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04-08 entitled “Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials”. The major changes include guidelines for issuance of separate medical certificates (implementing recent changes to STCW); guidance for evaluation of applicants taking various medications; and guidance concerning the medical review process. NVIC 04-08, Change 2 (25 April 2016)

Via Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

The regulatory changes that became effective on March 24, 2014, require additional training and/or assessments for certain Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) endorsements. These “gap-closing” requirements must be met by mariners who hold STCW endorsements issued under the previous regulatory requirements. Mariners who submit applications without evidence of meeting gap-closing may have their STCW endorsements limited to “Not valid after 31 Dec 2016”. STCW gap-closing requirements do not affect limitation or retention of national endorsements.

Read the STCW Gap-Closing Bulletin to learn more about what the gap-closing requirements are, to whom they apply, and how the NMC will process complete applications without gap-closing requirements for the STCW endorsement.


 The Coast Guard has issued the first of several bulletins discussing the implementation of the U. S. Qualified Assessor Program established in the final rule titled “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements” (78 FR 77796).

A Qualified Assessor (QA) is a person that the Coast Guard deems qualified to evaluate whether an applicant has demonstrated the necessary level of competence in the task for which the assessment is being made. For more information, read the Qualified Assessor Program Bulletin.

USCG – mariner security training certification

The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin stating that, in line with IMO STCW.7/Circ.21, it has adopted a modified enforcement posture for security awareness training and seafarers with designated security duties certification on subject US vessels until 1 July 2015.  This is contingent upon a mariner’s compliance with 33 CFR §104.220 and §104.225.  MSIB 06-14 (3/21/14).


USCG – updated NOAD schema

The USCG National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) issued a notice stating that on Tuesday, 22 April 2014, an updated NOAD schema, versioned 3.4, will be released that incorporates improvements in vessel response plan data reporting.  When NOAD Schema 3.4 is released on 22 April 2014, NOAD Schema 3.2 and older versions will no longer be supported.  (3/21/14).


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