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Report from the IMO’s latest Human Element Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) is now available for British Marine members to download

Published on: 03 March 2022

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ICOMIA has now published a report following the 8th session of the Human Element Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) held virtually from 7 to 11 February 2022.

The key items of interest to our members discussed at the meeting are as follows:


Electronic certificates and documents of seafarers – Further work on the draft amendments to the Standard of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention and Code as well as the draft guidelines on the use of electronic certificates and documents of seafarers were referred to the working group on human element and maritime training for finalisation. Having considered the report of the working  group, the Sub-Committee agreed the draft STCW amendments and guidelines which will now be submitted to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for approval.


The draft amendments to the STCW Convention and Code and the draft guidelines can be found at annexes 3, 4 and 5 respectively of the report of the human element working group in attached document HTW 8/WP.7.


Development of measures to ensure quality of onboard training as part of the mandatory seagoing service required by the STCW convention – Following the submission of several papers relating to this in previous HTW meetings the Sub-Committee agreed to establish a correspondence group with the following terms of reference:

  1. Prepare a work plan to develop measures regarding the assurance of quality of onboard training required by the STCW Convention, including identification of expected goals, effectiveness and consequences of any measures to be adopted.
  2. Consider the proposals for the development of non-mandatory provisions relating to the quality of onboard training, as set out in documents HTW 7/10/1 and HTW 7/10/2, and advise the Sub-Committee, accordingly.

Guidelines on safe operation of onshore power supply (OPS) service in port for ships engaged on international voyages - Draft guidelines for the operation of OPS were approved at the 7th session of the Ships Systems and Equipment (SSE) subject to consideration of the personnel, training and familiarisation provisions in the draft interim guidelines to be discussed at HTW8 where it was agreed that the guidelines should only address familiarisation, as training is already covered through different STCW competencies and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. HTW 8 further noted the need to address an inconsistency in the definition of “high voltage” between the draft interim guidelines and Regulation I/1.1.44 of the STCW Convention. The draft interim guidelines will be submitted to MSC 105 for consideration and approval. The draft amendments to Section 6 of the guidelines can be found at annex 7 of the report of the human element working group in attached document HTW 8/WP.7.


The application of casualty cases and lessons learned to seafarers' education and training – Recognising that important lessons can be learned from maritime accidents and casualties, the Sub-Committee has been working on a set of guidelines which can formalise the approach to learning lessons with a view to reducing the human-element related risk. The draft guidelines, which can be found at annex 2 of the report of the human element working group in attached document HTW 8/WP.7, were agreed at this session and were referred to the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III) to complete the links to relevant websites for casualty investigation, including IMO’s GISIS module on marine casualties and incidents: https://gisis.imo.org/Public/MCI/Default.aspx


Seafarers’ psychological safety, mental health and well-being (including sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) – Dominica submitted attached document HTW8/3/5 “Upgrade model course 1.21 on Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities” in response to recent research which reveals that feelings of isolation, uncertainty, bullying and victimization are increasing within the maritime industry. The Sub-Committee agreed that this was a matter for urgent attention and noted that enhancing the course on Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities would be the correct approach to raise awareness of these issues. Following the discussion of the topic in the plenary session it was agreed that before undertaking a review of the model course it would be necessary to amend the relevant requirements in the 1978 STCW Convention and with this in mind, the Sub-Committee invited submissions of relevant proposals to the Maritime Safety Committee for consideration.



The full ICOMIA report with all the supporting IMO documents embedded at the bottom of the report is free to download for British Marine members from the British Marine website here.