THE INTERNATIONAL Maritime Organization is looking to modernise seafarer training standards and address bullying and harassment in the maritime industry.

The IMO sub-committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping agreed on a roadmap for a review of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the accompanying STCW code.

The STCW convention sets out minimum training, certification and watchkeeping requirements for seafarers.

The goal of the review is to adapt existing global standards to reflect “new trends, developments and challenges” in the maritime sector.

At a session at IMO headquarters last week, the sub-committee agreed that 22 areas of the convention and code would be reviewed, including emerging technologies on ships, e-certification, mental health and gender sensitisation.

This would be submitted to the upcoming meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108) for approval.

The sub-committee also discussed efforts to tackle bullying and harassment on ships.

MSC 108 is expected to adopt draft amendments to the STCW code to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The sub-committee agreed on a two-step methodology which would start with a review of the convention and code to identify gaps, followed by a revision stage to develop amendments to address those gaps.

It also launched a new module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System focusing on STCW.

The platform would facilitate communication and information sharing to support parties in carrying out their obligations under the STCW convention.

Training for future fuels

Also at the latest session, the sub-committee discussed the development of training provisions for seafarers on ships using alternative fuels.

There is also discussion around training for future fuels at the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, which has launched a survey inviting seafarers to share their views on ammonia.

According to UK-headquartered maritime union Nautilus International, the centre is asking for seafarers to share their thoughts around the safety of ammonia and its relevance to decarbonisation of shipping.

The survey aims to understand safety concerns and competence gaps.

“The results will inform future training recommendations and guidelines that could contribute to a modification of the [STCW],” Nautilus said.

“The responses will also guide future publications and guidance needed to ‘enable the ammonia fuel pathway’.”

The anonymous survey closes on 24 February.