That system would actually have far more integrity than the current one as applied at many schools. The independent testing center near you would not only NOT know the answers to help you cheat but THEIR reputation is based on you not cheating, not on you passing.
That’s the system Florida DBPR Uses. Administered by a company called Promisor
Onboard training courses are offered by several companies.
Here is one such:
For those who are looking for shore jobs, here is a range of available courses:
Given how low ITF wages are, how do foreign mariners afford to pay for all these courses.
A lot of us spend $5000 a year on courses. It’s a lot of money for us. How does a $2000 a month mariner afford all these courses. Some of the foreign courses are cheaper than US, but others are more, or about the same as here in the US.
ITF wages are minimum. Lots of mariners are paid a lot more than the minimum.
Some may get sponsored by their employers, whether that be direct Owners, Ship managers or just Crewing agents.
I most European countries all the necessary courses goes into their basic education per STCW requirement, or in countries that has them, Academies, which fully or mostly free.
Refresher courses are usually sponsored for those on permanent employment, but may be required to be current for new hires, seasonal hired crews, or contractors etc.
I assume that the companies. like Seagull, who offer these courses are mainly paid by companies, or through Government sponsored re-education schemes.
Even as a freelance Consultant/Surveyor I have never paid for any courses, such as Survival, HUET, etc. and I have gone through many over the years.
Obviously the ways things are done in the US are very different from Europe and most other places.
I didn’t find any actual pay scale, but here is a link to a model agreement between Norwegian Shipowners Association and the Polish Seamen’s Union for employment on non-Norwegian registered vessels owned by Norwegian companies (regardless of flag I believe):
PS> I don’t think they are paid ITF minimum wages though.
I may have been a bit flippant in my comment re the abandonment of radar endorsement recerts but we are talking about a one day class mariners had to make time and spend money for.
It could be done in less time with fewer stale coffee breaks and if everyone including the instructors cut out the BS and the sea stories. Forcing mariners to travel to a class lasting a matter of hours is an extra burden on those whose training expenses come out of their own pocket.
There’s gotta be a way they can bundle it with something else.
BTW regarding the lead line reference. There were a couple of questions my first license exam about lead line markings. I remember it because I hadn’t studied lead lines and it came out of left field.
A good project for MARAD would be to develope “blended learning” STCW courses, and make the study material and practice exams available on line for free. We could study on our own, and just go to school for the pool, fire field, and what not exercises. Three weeks of STCW courses could be condensed to a week of classroom time at a school. The exams should be at an independent testing center.
Change requirement to 10 years or 8 years, the last radar re cert i took was useful, as a collision avoidance mini simulator, included chart plot work. i enjoyed it. Remember some unlimited license holders out there do not get the opportunity to actually navigate high traffic areas or any traffic areas while underway…
If there is any continued refresher training I would expect it to be primarily on five year cycles.
And yes blended learning would be fantastic, especially if there was an effective and cost efficient method to assure the integrity of the training (that means ‘you’ really did do that online training you claim to have done).