STCW 95 and Onwards

As of  1 January 2013, however, STCW is no longer the basic training course considered entry level to working at sea; it’s now mandatory for anyone wishing to begin or further their career at sea.

STCW 95 and onwards: Colossal announce 2013 STCW 95 course dates

The wide-ranging amendments to the STCW rules, agreed by the signatories in Manila in 2010, are intended to ensure that STCW standards stay relevant, in order that seafarers continue to develop and maintain their professional skills.

The Manila amendments entered into force on 1 January 2012.

As of  1 January 2013, however, STCW is no longer the basic training course considered entry level to working at sea; it’s now mandatory for anyone wishing to begin or further their career at sea.

Anyone wishing to work at sea, be it as a deck hand on a superyacht or a dancer on a cruise ship, has to have successfully completed STCW certification.

The Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention was drafted in 1978. Almost 20 years later the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the convention dramatically. The 1995 modifications saw a number of significant changes to the original convention and, given the fact that they did not require ratification, the modifications were adopted immediately and created an STCW Code that set stringent standards for mariners to meet.

The 1995 Amendments required all mariners to obtain certification, however, as of 2 weeks ago, it is a legal requirement for all employed or engaged, regardless of the capacity, on board a ship to train for and meet the requirements of the STCW 95 Certificate.

One of the companies offering STCW 95 certification is Colossal Training. Based just outside of Blackpool, the company has grown exponentially since being setup by former Royal Marine Lee Kirton.

Following a successful career in the Royal Navy and thereafter Fire Service, Natalie Smith joined Colossal as Head of Training. According to Smith, Colossal are able to offer highly qualified training at very competitive prices due to partnerships with local facility providers as well as agreements with emergency services.

Our costs are contained due to our partnerships, for example we run the practical exercise of the STCW 95 Fire Prevention and Fire fighting modules locally at Blackpool, there are no long mini-bus rides like with some companies thus limiting the expenditure,” Smith added that “We recognise the fact that personal development has a considerable financial impact on the individuals that come to us for training thus we do whatever possible to maintain the price of training within the reach of those who require it.

Blackpool may seem an unusual location for a company specialised in maritime training but, as Smith explained, “We are situated within driving distance of a number of large urban conglomerates, this means that those participating in our courses can return home each evening thus saving the expense of staying overnight in a hotel.” According to Colossal’s training manager, this is one of the factors that give the company an edge over other facilities based on England’s south coast.

If you consider that Colossal’ STCW 95 course is conducted over 5 days you can see the advantage of coming from Preston or Manchester to Blackpool rather than spending almost a week in a hotel on the south coast,” Smith also believes that “The fact that all of our trainers are not only fully qualified but are ex armed forces or emergency service personnel means that coming to Colossal really means getting the help from the experts.”

Founder Lee Kirton is adamant that “Our selection process and constant training of staff guarantees the best results, trainers at Colossal have the knowledge and experience that ensures the highest standards. That’s what I wanted to achieve when I formed the company and that continues to be our standard.”

Kirton firmly believes that investing in facilities, equipment and highly specialised training staff pays dividends, according to Colossal’s founder “The fact that we’re fully accredited by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, with whom we maintain a close relationship, coupled to the investments that we’ve made in our designated maritime training centre, equipment and selecting the best trainers, means that participants in our courses can be confident that they’re in good hands

Kirton believes that Colossal’s attention to detail and the extra services that course participants receive have paid dividends. “We’ve noticed a lot of people coming to our courses who found out about us through recommendations.

As an example Kirton told MSR that “Participants that attended our Ship Security Officer courses not only received an insight into Anti-piracy free of charge but we keep their details on file and were often able to recommend them to some of the private maritime security companies,” adding that “The PMSCs are happy because we’ve conducted a first level screening and the lads are happy as a recommendation from Colossal carries a certain weight.

Although strongly focused on courses for maritime professionals, Colossal Training also cater for close protection operatives and medics, as well as business travellers requiring personal safety awareness training.

Details of Colossal’s STCW 95 courses can be found here: Colossal Training

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