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U.S. Coast Guard update on requirements pertaining to Qualified Assessors and completion of STCW assessments

The following article was posted December 21 by the U.S. Coast Guard's National Maritime Center and is available online. Information for AMO members and applicants interested in becoming Qualified Assessors is available on the STAR Center website.

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 specifies 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).

NVIC 02-14, (Grandfathering and Transitional Provisions for Merchant Mariner Credentials), Enclosure (2), allows for the acceptance of STCW assessments, performed for and signed by an assessor not approved by the Coast Guard, until December 31, 2016. 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, 2017. 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 02-14 until December 31, 2019. These assessments must be submitted to the Coast Guard as part of a complete application no later than June 30, 2020.

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 02-14 and NVIC 19-14 may be viewed on the National Maritime Center website. Mariners and other interested parties should contact the Customer Service Center via or 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) with any questions or feedback.

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