Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - DockTalk Untitled Page

Welcome to the Forum


In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.

RSS Feed Print
STCW95 training & minimum educational standards
Septic tank
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:28 AM
Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 79

Lets talk about the potentially sensitive subject of minimum educational standards for crew, because it is important people have sufficient potential to get on with the job and possess minimum language, numeracy and literacy skills. Firstly STCW95 training is not a substitute for a basic education and the sooner people realize this the better. It is very difficult to troubleshoot and bypass problems when you don’t understand how things work and are incapable of reading a manual, interpreting a drawing or following basic instructions. For impetuous newbies the benefits of training are significant, because it literally takes them from the street and puts them on yachts well before they understand what they are in for. Competency based training means minimum standards have been achieved, however bridging the gap between satisfactory and expert without a basic education is difficult because basic learning skills are not there. Extensive experience does help out on the job, but it means zero when sitting a written exam. I’ve seen far too many greenhorns plateau in their career because they literally can’t read, perform basic arithmetic or spell. Yachting needs to separate the dreamers from the achievers and set reasonable entry level standards for newbies.
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:40 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277

In the US, most of the State Employment departments have one or two hour, web-based placement tests that job seekers have to take. There are also US National testing services that provide the same information. This is one of them


They are basically a "practical" intelligence test - indicates how well you will do in "real life"


Maybe the STCW folks should consider incorporating something like it into their standards?




Capt Kaj
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 3:13 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83

Hi Septic tank. Youré right, it is a potentially flammable topic! But in reality, look at a more serious side, that of onboard safety. You can do all the drills you like, but when a foreign crew member is called upon to undertake a task in an emergency situation, and because of the language difficulty doesn´t understand your commands, then it all falls to custard.

How many yachts have many different nationalities? I had 23 crew once with 9 different nationalities and languages and probably 9 different religions! English was the spoken language onboard, however with 9 different interpretations, hey presto you have a potentially dangerous situation waiting to flare up all at the wrong time.

Despite informing crew that English was the only language spoken, they usually always fell back into their own language. You don´t see that in the airline industry. We must align ourselves more with the airline industry to bring a sense of uniformity throughout the yachting industry. I have to agree, there should be a standard literacy exam and qualification like any university pre-entry exams. Why not! Hell, how many people do you see in shops these days that are able to count the change back to you?? None I hear you say! They all look dumb founded waiting for the cash register to inform them how much to give back.

I will suggest to the yachts Flag  State that they incorporate into the ISM code a minimum standard of spoken and written English that must be attained prior to employment.

Capt Kaj

 Average 0 out of 5