STCW Cert BST

I know there is a ton of info on here regarding various aspects of STCW and newbies getting their credentials issued, but I couldn’t find an answer to this one:

I have all of my paperwork put together for my intitial issuance MMC (OS/Wiper/FH). I already have my TWIC. I am taking BST in about 3 weeks. I am not submitting my MMC paperwork because I was THINKING that I should submit my BST certificate with my MMC paperwork to obtain my entry level STCW credentials…but…I have read on here in an older post something about the REC won’t issue an STCW certificate to an entry level credentail, like OS…so I just need to hand carry my BST certificate with me.

If that is the case, then I can save time and submit my MMC paperwork…can someone clarify?

That is how I understood it and how I went about it. Carried my Crete until I could get my AB OSV and sent them in for that. I cant remember the exact wording but if you can get something that would bened to be endorsed on your rating they would accept them at that time. Sorry I can’t remember what it was. Might be the 2 day rfpnw training only. Anyway no problem carrying your certs. Just don’t loose them and remember they are only valid for one year unless you do manage to get them on your rating.

I thought BST was good for 5 years?

[QUOTE=gman1984;54941]I thought BST was good for 5 years?[/QUOTE]

I believe everything is good for 5 years except First Aid and CPR, I believe that needs to be done within a year

[QUOTE=gman1984;54937]If that is the case, then I can save time and submit my MMC paperwork…can someone clarify?[/QUOTE]

Submit your paperwork and check the box for STCW, the CG will request additional information at which time you can submit the course completion certificates and it [b]SHOULD[/B] be included on your MMC.

When the NMC issued an MMD, rather than an MMC, no, they would not issue a separate STCW certificate for BST alone. With the MMC those categories of STCW that you are compliant with are listed in your credential. Mine are on page 4, BST is VI/1. I am compliant with a number of STCW requirements. I have no STCW certificate, never have had.

I thought BST was good for 5 years?

So many of the REC’s had a comprehension problem with this subject that the Commander issued a Policy Letter, 8-03. It is listed as an informational notice that is no longer required because the particulars are specified in 46 CFR 11.202(b). I have taken the liberty of placing in bold a significantly relevant portion:

…of having achieved or, if training has been completed, having maintained the minimum standards of competence for the following four areas of basic safety within the previous five years upon assessment…

The sea service letter I submitted with my license application in 2009 included a section stating:

In accordance with 46 CFR 10.209©(6)(ii), this mariner has completed ongoing participation in training and drills during the validity of the license being renewed.

This qualifies as maintaining the minimum standards of competence. Basically, as long as you have worked in the last five years with a company that conducts periodic training, as already required by the CFR’s, you have “continuing competence”. No need to take BST every 5 years.

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[QUOTE=jmack383;54946]I believe everything is good for 5 years except First Aid and CPR, I believe that needs to be done within a year[/QUOTE]

You are correct, sorry I didn’t specify. And a follow up word of advice when you are dealing with schools and certificates. Before you pay for a class ask for a copy of their letter of course approval from the USCG. If they can’t provide a copy don’t pay, simple as that. Each course that you take is unique to each school so buyer beware. I have attached a copy from MPT for their unlimited RADAR so you can see what it is. The writing in the middle is what will be used to decide if your cert is valid and does what you think it should do. A recent revision from the USCG regarding the requirments for these certs has removed the mandatory requirement to take these courses, but a few such as RADAR are still required and some might come in handy because you get assessments along with the course (AS LONG AS THAT STATEMENT IS IN THE COURSE APPROVAL LETTER, see attached), ARPA is another, you might not be riding an ARPA vessel and you will need the ARPA assessments when/if you decide to upgrade. If you take flashing lights there will be a statement to the effect that the cert is valid for one year… etc, etc. So of this response deals with upgrades that you might not be focused on today but it does apply to ANY course that you take such as A/B, RFPNW, RFPNW training only, lifeboatman/PSC etc. Good luck. I can tell you from recent experience and a few hard lessons along the way that is it all confusing and at times frustrating but you can get thru it and each step along the way will indeed be sweet. Some will be a sense of accomplishment and others just a sigh of relief.

I believe everything is good for 5 years except First Aid and CPR, I believe that needs to be done within a year

I’ll just add that if it’s over a year old you have to give them a copy of your sea time. No big deal, went through this recently when I turned in all my BST stuff that I took 7 years ago when upgrading. The sea time is just to declare continued competence through ship board drills.

So,

Just to clarify:

  1. I can submit my new BST certificate with my MMC paperwork and get that listed in my book, yes?

  2. BST is good as long as you are working within the past 5 years?

  1. Yes

  2. Yes

I don’t think they will accept your BST for issuance on your OS rating. If you are emailing your package to them it wouldn’t hurt to try since you dont have to submit the originals. Your originals are the only proof you have BST and you won’t be able to sail legally without them. Don’t know how long it would take to get them back if they denied your request as I think they will.

BST is good for 5 years and onward as long as you can show 1 year of seatime seaward of the boundary line (inland time doesn’t count) and your seatime letter souls mention something to the effect that you have participated in all drills. That is the continued competency you must show to have your rating renewed for another 5 years, otherwise you must take it again.

Thanks everyone, sounds like I will give it a try and see if it will show up on my MMC…along the same lines, can you fax your MMC paperwork in and is this a good/bad method? I notice the Houston REC lists that as an option, but I’m not sure if it will just go into a black hole…so, I guess my last question (and I will leave everyone alone haha) is what is the most efficient method for submitting your MMC and/or most reliable, Fax, Email, or good old fashioned USPS?

I prefer email. I haves used it several times. You get a response that they received it within the day. Takes a couple of day for them to send it to Virginia.

[QUOTE=gman1984;54937]I know there is a ton of info on here regarding various aspects of STCW and newbies getting their credentials issued, but I couldn’t find an answer to this one:

I have all of my paperwork put together for my intitial issuance MMC (OS/Wiper/FH). I already have my TWIC. I am taking BST in about 3 weeks. I am not submitting my MMC paperwork because I was THINKING that I should submit my BST certificate with my MMC paperwork to obtain my entry level STCW credentials…but…I have read on here in an older post something about the REC won’t issue an STCW certificate to an entry level credentail, like OS…so I just need to hand carry my BST certificate with me.

If that is the case, then I can save time and submit my MMC paperwork…can someone clarify?[/QUOTE]

We do not issue “entry level” STCW endorsements. If all you have is your basic safety training, you cannmot get an STCW endorsement, and need to carry your training certificates as proof you have valid BST.

[QUOTE=jdcavo;55004]We do not issue “entry level” STCW endorsements. If all you have is your basic safety training, you cannmot get an STCW endorsement, and need to carry your training certificates as proof you have valid BST.[/QUOTE]

I stand corrected.

However, why shouldn’t they do so now with the MMC? I understand why they didn’t with the MMD, issuance of a second document was required. With the MMC it’s an additional 4 characters on a page that is already included in the credential? Including it would also alleviate the mariner of proving to potential employers that they are in compliance with STCW BST requirements should their certificates be older than 5 years because it’s part of a “current” credential (notwithstanding the lack of motivation on said individuals part for not obtaining an AB ticket or higher within 5 years of BST, but that’s another subject).

Given the mass confusion over the 5 year date that was on certificates, even on the part of REC’s, that was cleared up with Policy Letter 8-03 wouldn’t a departure from these separate certificates be beneficial to all involved?

So I am looking at various applications for OS positions and most of the applications ask if you have an STCW certificate…so how does one seek employment as an OS with BST if they cannot obtain an STCW certificate? I imagine checking “NO” on those boxes would be a show stopper/red flag. I was under the impression that upon receiving my MMC, TWIC, and BST Training I would be employable as an OS. And while I understand it is a tough job market I at least figured I would be ELIGABLE to throw my hat into the ring…what am I missing?

I have been dealing with this issue for some time. I am an upper level mariner but I work at a school who tries to help mariners through the licensing process. BST is for your STCW. It is not required for your AB. Only PSC is required to get your AB. Industry has for some reason been told that they need to get all thier crews with STCW and have BST. STCW is only if you are sailing international. You can sail domestic with just your AB. Why do you need STCW if your sailing domestic? What we deal with here in Alaska is the Alaska Marine Higway. They travel through canada on one run, But told all thier crews that everyone needs BST and thier STCW. most Unions are saying you have to have STCW, other companies that only saill within a small area of the state are saying they need this for thier deck crew when they dont. HR people in the offices of alot of companies have no real maritime knowledge and just see that requirements of the job are this STCW thing. If I were looking at resumes i would look towards the candidate with more training. I DO think its very valuable training and teach it on a regular basis. But I think its improtant for Mariners to know that STCW and BST is not Required by the Coast Guard but by industry and route. I have been sailing for 20 years and Im still trying to understand this process, how do we expect entry level mariners to understand this process?

as a side note your RFPNW is something that is only issued to Watchstanding ratings. so taking a RFPNW class at “entry level” wont do any good unless it can be applied to a credential within a certain period of time.

Capt Dano

Thanks for the info, but I am stil confused that if they will not issue an STCW with an OS rating when you have your BST certificate and you are applying to companies requiring STCW…what the hell? As an OS, BST is the only STCW requirement, so since having BST is apprently not enough to get my STCW certificate what else do I need to do?

I just don’t understand how companies can make positions available to OS applicants but then ask for an STCW certificate when we can only provide BST and no STCW certificate. I have heard so much conflicting info regarding getting an STCW certificate on my initial issuance of my MMC since I will completed BST in a couple of weeks that I am just waiting to submit my packet WITH the BST certificate and see what happens.

Bottom line is, when applications ask for STCW certificate and you are applying for OS and you have BST, you cannot say you have an STCW certificate…so…what is up with that?

Employers understand entry level ratings will not have an STCW certificate. Check “yes” and submit the copies if your BST training certificates. Applications are usually standard for all positions, so don’t fret it. You’ll have the required training and proof.

The way I see it its a miss understanding of the people doing the hiring and what is required for some of the other positions they have. Most mariners are having a hard time making heads or tails of it. I had a lengthy discussion with an unlimited master who is also having a hard time making sense of it all. Training is never a bad thing to have and the more card punches you have the better off you will be. Going ahead with the training like you are and then submitting the documents cant hurt. just dont send the originals. I just wanted to clarify earlier that BST is not required for your AB as most people think it is. People are spending Thousands of dollars and Months of thier time to get some of the other training thats needed for a license. Its the game we are in and unfortunately its always evolving and will probably be different next year.

I know for the company I work for, on any ISM classed vessel (which is pretty much the entire fleet now) you have to have the STCW endorsements for AB. If you are an OS/Wiper/FH they at least require you to have the BST training certificates. They give you a hitch or two before you have to get the BST, during which time you are not to be assigned any special duties on the Muster/Station Bill. They can’t use you as an AB even in Domestic Waters without the STCW endorsements issued by the CG.

In '01 & '02 I had a lot of different crew members remark that they’ve got their STCW, when all they really had is their training school class certificates. The personnel department and training school were not helping the matter because they were referring to the classes as “STCW Classes”. This may be he case that the OP was referring to on his application. I explained that the certificates received from the training school was not their actual STCW and then had to explain more to those that were an OS that they can’t get one anyway. There was also confusion amongst some on how long the class certificates were valid and how long you had before you had to submit them to CG for their official STCW certificate.