Due the ongoing confusion surrounding the 2010 Manila Amendments, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued MIN 535, to update MIN 520, which clarifies the requirements for seafarers to undergo what is known as ‘refresher’ training. 

The Professional Yachting Association (PYA) has highlighted several important points of clarification included in the Marine Information Note. This includes the extent to which training certificates from other flag administrations will be accepted by the MCA.

The MIN also states clearly that everyone applying for a new Certificate of Competency (CoC) or revalidating an existing CoC must submit documentary evidence that they have completed initial training or refresher training for Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats and Advanced Fire Fighting within the last five years, with some seafarers also needing Fast Rescue Boats. 

For those crew holding the non-STCW Advanced Sea Survival, which can be used in lieu of PSC&RB, it must be updated every five years. While this is acceptable for use on ships not equipped with davit launched lifeboats, the MCA would recommend all seafarers hold an STCW PSC&RB due to potential problems of Port State Control Officers outside of the UK no accepting Advanced Sea Survival. 

The MIN gives further details of what evidence seafarers must have with them when aboard and states that crew do not need to refresh Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities, Elementary First Aid and Medical First Aid. It also confirms that if crew hold a UK CoC, they do not need to do the full courses again, just the refresher courses, as long as these were undertaken before the 1 January, 2017 deadline, or within the five years since the original training was undertaken.

Image courtesy of UKSA

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