12/26/2017: Update to Qualified Assessor requirements

The National Maritime Center posted a notice on its website Dec. 21, 2017 announcing an update to Qualified Assessors requirements.

The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention came into force on January 1, 2017. These amendments were incorporated into regulation as part of the final rule titled “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements” (78 FR 77796). The rule included provisions that impact seafarers serving on vessels subject to the STCW Convention (vessels operating beyond the boundary line). This notice specifies the requirements for Qualified Assessor (QA).

Assessments of competence for STCW endorsements must be signed by a Coast Guard-approved QA in accordance with 46 CFR 11.301(a)(1)(i) and 12.601(b)(1)(i). QAs must be approved by the Coast Guard either individually or as part of a Coast Guard-approved or accepted course or training program, as described in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 19-14, “Policy on Qualified Assessors.”

NVIC 02-14, Grandfathering and Transitional Provisions for Merchant Mariner Credentials,” Enclosure (2), allows for the acceptance of STCW assessments, performed for and signed by an assessor not approved by the Coast Guard, until December 31, 2016. Such an assessor must meet the professional requirements in 46 CFR 10.405(a)(3) to determine competence for the specific endorsement.

The Coast Guard is aware that as a result of the limited number of approved QAs, there may be a hardship on mariners trying to complete STCW assessments after December 31, 2017. In consideration of this, the Coast Guard will continue to allow STCW assessments to be signed by an assessor who meets the requirements specified in NVIC 02-14 until December 31, 2019. These assessments must be submitted to the Coast Guard as part of a complete application no later than June 30, 2020.

Mariners are encouraged to obtain approval as a QA in accordance with 46 CFR 10.405(a). Additional information on obtaining approval can be found in NVIC 19-14 Enclosure (1).

Mariners and other interested parties should contact the Customer Service Center at IASKNMC@uscg.mil or 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) with any questions or feedback.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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