There is a dispute at the company I work for regarding an OS being able to hold an STCW. Can an OS hold an STCW certificate if he/she has completed all the requirements for it? Can they hold the certificate without RFPNW as long as they are not used in a watchstanding capacity?

Has anyone ever heard of a 6 month STCW for OS’s?


There is no STCW rating for an OS, but they have to have the BST to fill an OS spot on the Station Bill.


That is the rub. Are they allowed to fill a spot on the station bill w/o STCW? Some say yes, Roy says no.


There is no STCW to get. NMC will not issue a STCW certificate to an OS regardless if they have BST…unless something changed that I’m not aware of. You can usually bank on the exact opposite of what Roy says 75% of the time.


Anchorman is correct. The key is whether the person is assigned duties on the Station Bill or not. If they’re a part of the crew (from OS to Master) and/or are assigned any duties on the Station Bill then they must have BST.


OS? I haven’t seen an OS in years. Do they still make 'em?


At one time I thought I saw something refering to an OS Special. This would be an OS that has the RFPNW but is NOT an AB. Maybe, J.D.Cavo can shed some light on that.


Whewther or not you need STCW depends on whether you have designated duties for safety and emergencies, and the main test of that is if your position is on the station bill. nGenerally, if you are on it, even with duties “as directed” you probably need BST.
If all you have is BST, you can’t get an STCW certificate and need to carry proof of the BST cfourses. You can qualify for RFPNW as an OS. In the pre-STCVW past, some ships could carry “Specially Trained Ordinary Seamen” in place of some ABs. What that was vague, but now it’s more apparent, it’s an OS who holds RFPNW. Getting lifeboatman or Proficiency in Survival Craft as an OS will also get you an STCW certificate.
James D. Cavo

Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division

USCG National Maritime Center

[<font color="#3354aa]James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil</font>](mailto:James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil)