International seafarer certification and training framework modernised
AMSA Chief Executive Officer Graham Peachey signed the marine orders on 21 February, following extensive industry consultation that included 370 submissions made on two consultation drafts by seafarers, employers, training providers and unions.
Four new separate marine orders will encompass the qualification and certification requirements under the Navigation Act 2012, one each for Master and Deck Officers, Engineering Officers and Ratings and an administrative order to reflect the common elements for each discipline.
'These marine orders meet the standards set by the International Convention on Safety, Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) that govern certification standards for the world’s 1.5 million seafarers,' Mr Peachey said.
'They also implement amendments to the STCW convention ratified in Manila.'
Mr Peachey said the marine orders will create new pathways for seafarers wanting to advance, providing more options for near coastal qualified seafarers to progress to positions on international trading ships.
'It will also maintain the reputation and integrity of Australian international seafarer certificates ensuring Australian seafarers continue to be highly respected and valued internationally, with additional new seafarer certificates to reflect contemporary industry occupations and practices safeguarding seafarer skills for the Australian shipping industry,' he said.
Certificates for integrated ratings in line with officers will now be renewable every five years subject to maintenance of contemporary seafaring experience.
'The new marine orders reflect modern seafarer competencies and contemporary education standards along with providing for assessment methodology that keep pace with increasingly sophisticated ships,' Mr Peachey said.
Requirements for oral examinations, auditing of course providers, the Engineer Watchkeeper certificates mandatory 36 month minimum timeframe and practical workshop training have been retained.
Marine Order 70 (Seafarer certification) 2014; Marine Order 71 (Masters and Deck Officers) 2014; Marine Order 72 (Engineer Officers) 2014 and Marine Order 73 (Ratings) 2014 are effective from April and supersede Marine Order 3.