STCW Training News

Update nr. 2

February 2021

In this STCW Training News Update:

  • What to consider before choosing STCW training or online courses
  • Some RBG online STCW training courses include a workbook: why is that?

  • Why you should book your refresher course early in 2021
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What to consider before choosing STCW training or online courses

You’ve noticed your certificate of proficiency is due for renewal in a few months. You know you’ll need to take a refresher training to complete the renewal. Now it’s time to find a suitable training institute where you can complete the refresher course. So, where do you start?

If you enter ‘STCW training’ into your search browser, you will see a plethora of providers offering courses. You might be tempted to book the cheapest and closest by. However, you may be doing yourself a disservice and making an unwise investment of time and funds by doing so.

Have you considered taking an online STCW course? Online training and courses are a practical and cost-effective solution, especially during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Choosing an STCW training course that is available online opens up the possibility of making a considered choice of all providers.

Selecting an STCW certified provider is essential. You should check the flag under which the training is recognised (click here to view the flags that accept Dutch certificates). It would be a shame to invest time and money in a training course that restricts your vessel or position options.

Once you have selected appropriate providers based on these two factors, you can separate the wheat from the chaff by looking at their level of experience in providing STCW training and courses. You may also consider their background; do they have experience at sea themselves? How has the training been developed? By following these three steps, you can be sure to choose a high-quality training course that serves you now and in the future.


Some RBG online STCW training courses include a workbook: why is that?

Alongside the online content, the following RBG online courses also include short workbooks: 

  • Designated Security Duties
  • Passenger Safety, Cargo Safety & Hull Integrity 

The workbooks provide an opportunity to put the theories learned into practice. The assignments are short and can be easily adapted to your work environment on board. 

For example, the Designated Security Duties online course has a workbook containing five tasks for on board. One of the tasks is to carry out the physical search, as demonstrated in the course. 


The Passenger Safety, Cargo Safety & Hull Integrity workbook consists of five open questions you then get signed off by the safety officer on board.

Putting theory into practice is ‘best practice’

The Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate (NSI) is responsible for recognising and supervising STCW training courses. In January 2021 the NSI issued an update to STCW approved training providers indicating forthcoming changes to guidelines concerning courses set up and offered as E-learning or computer-based. The changes will make it necessary to include practical exercises to support theoretical learning. These exercises should, preferably, be completed within three months of the online course. Although the emphasis is on practical techniques, like fire fighting, there are implications for all online training courses.

Find out more about STCW training and courses

Rood Boven Groen was one of the first training institutes to offer STCW training online and collaborated closely with the ILT to develop the online concept. As a leading provider of high-quality STCW training our courses are accredited under the Dutch flag. We can assist you with all your STCW training needs and offer personal adviceGet in touch with our team by sending us an e-mail to for more information.


Why you should book your refresher course early in 2021

On January 1, 2022 it will be five years since the Manila Amendments came into force. Therefore, it is logical that many refresher courses and certificate of competency renewals will be taking place this year. 

With the COVID-19 prevention measures restricting participant numbers, we are already noticing that demand for refresher courses exceeds availability. If you know you will need to take a refresher course this year, we advise you to book early!


Which courses need a refresher?

STCW refreshers

The STCW Code has named four general courses (i.e., those not specific to a ship type) that need refreshing every five years:

– Basic Training

– Advanced Fire Fighting

– Proficiency in Survival crafts and other Rescue Boats

– Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats

If you hold a certificate for one of these courses, you will need to refresh it every five years to keep it valid. 


Medical training

Whether seafarers sailing on European flagged ships are required to refresh Medical First Aid (MFA) and Medical Care (MC) courses is dependent on their position. Refreshing these courses is not an STCW requirement. However, standards about refreshing medical training are outlined in EU regulation 92/29/EEC. Both masters and crew members to whom the master has delegated medical supply use should refresh these courses every five years. A master doesn’t have to delegate this task, and even if they do, they are still required to update their own medical training. 

In summary: All nautical officers and engineers need to take a medical training course in order to acquire their initial license, but not all nautical officers and engineers need to refresh. If you are in doubt whether you need to refresh your medical training, consult your company.

In the Netherlands, MFA and MC are not available as refresher courses; if you need to refresh, you just retake the initial course.

Kind regards,
Team RBG