The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center issued the following news item on Dec. 13, 2019. To access the release on the agency’s website, click HERE.
The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention came into force on January 1, 2017. These amendments were incorporated into regulation as part of 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). The rule included provisions that impact seafarers serving on vessels subject to the STCW Convention (vessels operating beyond the boundary line). This notice concerns the requirements for Qualified Assessor (QA).
Assessments of competence for STCW endorsements must be signed by a Coast Guard-approved QA in accordance with 46 CFR 11.301(a)(1)(i) and 12.601(b)(1)(i). QAs must be approved by the Coast Guard either individually or as part of a Coast Guard-approved or accepted course or training program, as described in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 19-14 (Policy on Qualified Assessors).
Current policy allows for the acceptance of STCW assessments, performed for and signed by an assessor not approved by the Coast Guard, until December 31, 2019. Such an assessor must meet the professional requirements in 46 CFR 10.405(a)(3) to determine competence for the specific endorsement.
The Coast Guard is aware that as a result of the limited number of approved QAs, there may be a hardship on mariners trying to complete STCW assessments after December 31, 2019. In consideration of this, the Coast Guard will continue to allow STCW assessments to be signed by an assessor who meets the requirements specified in NVIC 19-14 until December 31, 2021. These assessments must be submitted to the Coast Guard as part of a complete application no later than June 30, 2022. Qualified military personnel need not be approved QAs and may continue to sign assessments after December 31, 2021.
Mariners are encouraged to obtain approval as a QA in accordance with 46 CFR 10.405(a). Additional information on obtaining approval can be found in NVIC 19-14 Enclosure (1). NVIC 19-14 may be viewed at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/NVIC/.
Mariners and other interested parties should contact the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division at (202) 372-2357 or MMCPolicy@uscg.mil with any questions or feedback.
Chief, Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing