The International Maritime Organization (IMO) held its second session of its sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 2) from 2 to 6 February, 2015.

Revision of the guidelines of fatigue were proposed having agreed that the 1999 guidelines required updating following recently available scientific research. It was proposed that a risk-based approach and the impact of fatigue at all levels should be taken into account in an initial review. It was also proposed that the outcome should provide practical tools to deal with fatigued management, however it was agreed that this would be discussed in further detail as its own agenda item in HTW 3.


Revisions to the guidelines on fatigue management were suggested

A set of proposed amendments to the STCW Code were reviewed and will be reviewed further at HTW 3. It has been agreed that the training will consist of emergency familiarisation, safety training for communication with passengers during an emergency, crowd management training, crisis evaluation management and human behaviour training and passenger safety, cargo safety and hull integrity. What has not yet been agreed, however, is who will receive this training. A correspondence group has consequently been set for further work towards HTW 3.

Those in attendance also worked towards creating a mandatory code for ships operating in polar waters. Draft amendments to chapter V of the STCW Code were prepared and included the following: the requirement of a certificate of proficiency rather than simple documentary evidence; the setting up of separate requirements for STCW training and the ISM Code and Polar Operation Manual; and that the required service area should not be limited to the polar area and that experiences in areas considered equivalent to the polar area should also be accepted. These amendments are set for approval in June 2015 and adoption in May 2016, with an expected entry-info-force date of 1 January, 2018. These included.


Revision of the guidelines of fatigue were proposed having agreed that the 1999 guidelines required updating following recently available scientific research.



There is a gap between the entry-into-force dates of the Polar Code (1 January, 2017) and the amendments to chapter V of the STCW Code, and as such the following will be included on the cover page of the draft resolution for the amendments: the IMO “urges parties to implement these amendments at an early stage”.

The draft guidelines for Port State Control officers on the ISM Code were revised and include clearer definitions of ‘failures’ and ‘serious failures’, as to address action being taken by the management company and vessel’s personnel in judging whether the relevant failure is linked with ISM Code non-compliance.

A consolidation of ECDIS-related IMO circulars was also revised, and draft guidelines were discussed regarding PPSC officers on certification of seafarers and rest hours, however this will be discussed further at HTW 3.

Lloyd’s Register Marine has summarised the session and its outcome in a report that can be downloaded here.