South Tyneside College (STC) is a large further education college in South Tyneside in North East England, with its main sites in the towns of South Shields and Hebburn. The college offers part-time and full-time courses for both young students and adults alike. The college is one of the largest merchant navy training colleges in the United Kingdom, and attracts students from as far afield as India and Africa.
The courses cover the whole spectrum of marine education including navigation, operations, mechanical and electrical engineering, communications and catering. The college provides training for cadets and trainees through to senior officer certification and degrees and also offers a diverse range of short courses for the marine, offshore and leisure markets. These include Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses and OPITO approved Offshore Survival training.
The facilities at STC’s Marine School includes: World class Marine Simulation Department containing two 360 degree full-mission bridges and 12 other integrated bridges; An integrated full-mission engine room and associated engine workstation rooms. The Department also houses an extensive VTS simulator system and fully equipped Navigation Aid Laboratory; A Marine Safety Training Centre which provides realistic survival training in the environmental pool, helicopter escape module and jetty with survival training craft; A Fire Training Centre with a full-sized smoke chamber; Extensive Marine Workshops and Laboratories; and A large Marine Learning Centre for the sole use of marine students.
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Your officers can only serve on a UK ship if they hold a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC) or a UK Certificate of Equivalent Competency (CEC). A CEC allows officers holding CoCs issued by certain non-UK countries to work as officers on UK-registered ships.
To obtain a CEC from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), you must be able to provide certain documents or evidence of qualifications to the MCA's Seafarer Training and Certification Branch. In some circumstances, you may also have to prove your competence in the English language.
The MCA checks that applicants for CECs are qualified to the same standards as holders of UK CoCs. To do this it considers the standards of education and training represented by the applicant's CoC and will issue a CEC if there appears to be no significant difference. However, where the MCA believes there is a difference in standards, it will assess individual applicants in the areas where the difference is apparent.
International maritime regulations set out minimum competency requirements for seafarers. These are designed to ensure that all crew members have the skills, knowledge and experience to complete their duties safely and effectively. Certificates of Competency (CoCs) are issued to seafarers who meet the requirements, enabling ship operators to ensure that their vessels are adequately crewed for safe operation.
A structured range of CoCs exist covering different duties and officer ranks. These divide broadly between deck department CoCs and engineering CoCs. Some CoCs relate to specific duties, such as radio operation.
Seafarer Certificates of Competency (CoCs) are only issued following a successful assessment and examination. This consists of practical, written and in most cases oral components. The purpose of the assessment and examination is to ensure that candidates meet the standards of competence required to undertake the various different functions associated with their particular level of responsibility. The required standards of competence are set out by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978 as amended - and its associated code - known as the STCW Code.