Decoding an STCW Deck Credential

To the right is the text from an STCW Deck Credential.  Mariners who hold STCW endorsements will find these listed on pages separate from their National Credential. The STCW portion of the credential specifically refers to the “International Convention on Standards of Training Certification on Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended.”

Popeye T. Sailor’s endorsements have been highlighted in red and translate as follows:

II/1 — Officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW) on vessels 500 GT and more. This is an “operational” endorsement. There is a limitation on Popeye’s endorsement to less than 3000 GT as can be seen in the bottom half of the document.  Popeye’s OICNW endorsement is valid for service on Uninspected Towing vessels. Two more notations on the OICNW credential indicate that the credential is not valid after December 31, 2016 on ECDIS equipped vessels. When Popeye completes an approved ECDIS course, that limitation will be lifted.  A second notation is less clear about why the credential will not be valid after December 31, 2016. This less specific limitation has to do with “Leadership & Teamwork Skills.”  P.T. Sailor can have this restriction removed in one of two ways: either by taking a course in “Leadership & Teamwork Skills” or by completing assessments to verify competency.

II/2 — Master 500 GT and more but less than 3000 GT.  II/2 is an endorsement that can apply to Masters of Unlimited Tonnage, but in Popeye’s case, the scope of this “management” level credential is limited to vessels less than 3000 GT, including towing vessels. To remove the two limitations on the credential, he would need to take an ECDIS class as well as an approved course in “Leadership & Management Skills.”  The bottom half of the STCW lists a separate Master’s endorsement valid on Offshore Supply Vessels of any tonnage.

II/3 — Qualifies the holder as both a Master and a Mate (OICNW) on vessels less than 500 GT.

II/4 — Ratings forming part of a navigational watch. The RFPNW is a requirement for any mariner serving in a deck watchkeeping capacity on board a vessel subject to STCW.

II/5 — Able Seafarer Deck.

IV/2 — GMDSS Radio Operator or GMDSS At-Sea Maintainer

VI/1 — Basic Training (formerly called “Basic Safety Training”)

VI/2  — Proficiency in Survival Craft

VI/3 — Advanced Firefighting

VI/4 — Medical First Aid Provider or Medical Person-in-Charge

VI/5 — Vessel Security Officer

VI/6 — Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties