Basic Training (formerly BST) after five years

What happens the day after five years has passed from the most recent Basic (Safety) Training? BT is listed on an MMC without an expiration date but I figure that doesn’t necessarily mean the BT is valid for the duration of the MMC. Right?

I ask because a company has recently started rushing people out to ships by interpreting inconvenient stuff to be less inconvenient. In this case a mariner was assigned to a ship with a valid BT that was set to expire a short time after. The mariner wanted to take BT renewal but was denied.

I told the mariner he should tell his captain his STCW was no longer valid and maybe report the violation to the USCG. I don’t think he’ll do that which means, if I’m not mistaken, he’s shipping on invalid credentials. Right?

I believe you are mistaken. The BT is valid for the duration of the MMC. When it comes time to renew his MMC he will need to have taken BT within 5 years of its (MMC/STCW) renewal.

1 Like

I agree with you that BT is needed to renew or upgrade an MMC.

BT is also required every five years as of the 2010 Manilla Amendments which went into force in 2017. (Actually the requirement is to complete PST, FP&FF, AFF, PSC&RB every five years which we call BT.)

Take me for example. I last took BST in 2015. Therefore my BT needs to be renewed in 2020. I renewed my MMC in 2017 which lists BT. My MMC needs to be renewed in 2022. That shouldn’t mean my BT is also valid threw 2022. Right?

More troubling, I looked threw the digital training records of the crew we get from the office. In most cases the BT date matches the MMC date - including mine showing valid threw 2022 which should be incorrect. This means there is no way for me or the office to know who has a valid BT and who doesn’t without asking everyone to produce their paper certs. This likely means there are several crew aboard without valid BT (we have about ninety crew onboard).

That leads to my question about what happens if the BT is past five years?

(If I’m wrong then so be it. I want to know that I’m not wrong before I escalate this officially.)

We are ruled by the issue and expiration dates on our MMC not the dates we took the respective classes to renew it. The issue date resets the 5 year clock to zero as far as when we need to start taking classes again. Within the 5 years, moving towards the expiration date we need to get the classes out of the way.

In that case we could go almost ten years before renewing BT, FRB, radar (soon) if timed right. Doesn’t sound right. I’m wondering if that’s written somewhere. Anyone have references?

It’s been my experience that MSC and MARAD vessels require a valid BST cert before you sign on. All of the other vessels I’ve been associated with only check your MMC for the BST.

No, as I said the credential issue date resets the 5 year clock to zero as far as when we need to start taking classes again. Courses taken before that date and used for renewal can not be used again.

With regards to your situation; you will need to take BT classes prior to your MMC renewal in 2022. Whether you do it the first year of issue, the last year, or somewhere in between is up to you. In the mean time your credential is good to sail on until its expiration date as long as your have the accompanying medical and drug free certificates.

The radar renewal requirement is already toast if I remember correctly.

Excerpted from ‘The Manila Amendments to the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code.’ Feel free to read the gobbledygook on pages 180-184 in the document below.

Basic training

2 Seafarers employed or engaged in any capacity on board ship… [shall receive appropriate approved basic training]

3 Seafarers qualified in accordance with paragraph 2 in basic training shall be required, every five years, to provide evidence of having maintained the required standard of competence, to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities listed in column 1 of tables A-VI/1-1and A-VI/1-2.

Here’s where it gets messy:

We must provide evidence every five years.

To provide this evidence we must do the stuff in the tables. Doing the stuff is how we provide evidence. Again, by doing the stuff in the tables the evidence is provided.

The stuff we must do is listed under the column called “Methods for demonstrating competence”

A few of the methods for demonstrating competence are things like “safely jump from a height into the water” and “right an inverted liferaft while wearing a lifejacket.”

Therefore the requirement is to do stuff like safely jump from a height into the water every five years. By not doing the stuff every five years we are not providing evidence. We would be in violation.

Turning in a cert/ renewing a document isn’t listed as a way to provide evidence.

Can anyone show me documentation that I’m wrong or that my understanding is mistaken?

Contact the NMC I am done here.

The contacts for the NMC’s Customer Service Center are:
Phone: 1-888-427-5662
Fax: 1-304-433-3416

I think the issue is that (as @Chief_Seadog says) in the US, we are considered compliant by having BT in our MMC and it only has to be revalidated/refreshed (depending on your seatime in the last 5 years) prior to renewal of the MMC. However in other countries, the local PSC may interpret the requirements the way @DeckApe is saying. By contacting the NMC, they will only tell you what they (the USCG, US PSC) require.

I’ve written the NMC. I’ll post the reply when I get it.

For those who ship overseas and are subject to port inspections, has anyone had their BT certs checked?

For those who check into union halls or company HR, do any of them check BT cert dates?

I work foreign and never been asked for my certificates. I just took the classes a few months ago and have been through ABS, USCG, PSC, and OVID. never had to produce anything but my license and TWIC


I was wrong.

Reply from NMC:

Good morning,

You do not need to meet any Basic Training renewal requirements until your next MMC renewal.

Your MMC and all endorsements, including Basic Training, are valid through XX-

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Have a great day!

I guess I’ll renew just before my BT, FRB, AFF, radar hit the five year mark and get 9.9 years out of it. So strange.

Right :facepalm:…Be sure to let us know how that works out.

You have to carry the course certificate for your radar refresher at all times to show that you took it within five years.

Remember the changes for radar observer endorsement in MMC Policy letter 03-19. A course certificate won’t work after July 2024.

Edit: won’t work? It’s already not required.

1 Like

Not accurate. One is no longer required at all as long as you have the radar endorsement in your MMC.

Not anymore.

No, that’s not accurate. If you have Radar Observer in your MMC, that is all you need until you renew the MMC. What has changed, and apples for the next five years, is that you can show you are good for radar without having the endorsement in your MMC, with a course certificate. if you have the endorsement in your MMC you are good without course certificates, now and for the indefinite future (ie beyond 2024).

1 Like