Centre for Seafarers

New Seafarer Certificate fully compliant with the STCW Convention now available

Pretoria: 02 June 2016

HOLDING STANDARDS: (From Left) South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, Register of Seafarers Mr Peace Moeketsi and Chief Examiner Captain Azwimbavhi Mulaudzi displaying the new seafarers' certificate now in use since May 2016.
HOLDING STANDARDS: (From Left) South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, Registrar of Seafarers Mr Peace Moeketsi and Chief Examiner Captain Azwimbavhi Mulaudzi displaying the new seafarers’ certificate now in use since May 2016.

Sustained high levels of competence by seafarers manning millions of ocean going vessels across the globe is the most critical factor in the safe and efficient operation of ships, and has a direct impact on the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

This, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) this week, is the basic rationale behind the release recently of a new seafarers’ certicicate conformant with international standards.

IMG_4707 (2)IMG_4705 (2)SAMSA Centre for Seafarers says the launch in May 2016 of the new Certificate is in compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) and the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations, 2013, as amended (MS (SMTC) Regs, 2013.

Chief Examiner at the Centre for Seafarers, Captain Azwimbavhi Mulaudzi says in terms of these conventions and regulations, the new certificate was scheduled for release at the beginning of May 2016.

He says: “The new certificate issuance responds to amendments to the STCW Convention 1978 by the 2010 Manila Amendments. These amendments were effective as of 1st January 2012. In terms of the amendments, from between 1st July 2013 and 1st January 2017 all seafarers are required to undertake additional training and hold the requisite certification according to the new standards.”

According to Captain Mulaudzi, the STCW Convention is one of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO)cornerstone convention. It is a comprehensive set of international regulations intended to ensure that the highest standards of seafarer competence are maintained globally. The STCW 2010 amendments are intended to ensure that STCW standards stay relevant, so that seafarers can continue to develop and maintain their professional skills.

IMG_6394To produce the new certificates featuring a set of new intricate security measures, SAMSA worked closely with the Government Printing Works (GPW) – the latter entrusted with printing in booklet form, two types of the certificate: a ‘Certificate of Competency’ and the ‘Certificate of Proficiency.’ At first glance, they look like the newest South African Passport.

According to Captain Mulaudzi, the certificate in booklet form distinguishes itself by high security features inclusive of a watermark with the SAMSA logo; a background watermark featuring a South African Vessel which is visible when the document is held to the light, as well as hidden elements such as invisible ink and micro-printed text, which can be verified only with the use of elementary tools.

He says: “These are all intended to prevent tampering, alteration, forgery and to allow for easy recognition of the genuine items and also to ensure that seafarers’ identities are protected.”

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NEW SOUTH AFRICA SEAFARER PROFESSIONAL BODY, IPSAM, CALLS FOR PUBLIC INPUT IN ITS NEW BRAND DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGN!

Pretoria: 04 November 2015

The institute of Professional SA Mariners (IPSAM) has embarked on a public campaign, through social media platforms, to solicit input and ideas on the development of its brand colours, development of its logos and related matters pertaining to its formal establishment.
MARITIME MOVES: SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele (Second Right) with three of the country's first set of learner seafarers to be placed on a South Africa registered commercial vessel, the Cape Orchid at Saldanha Bay in October 2015. The young cadets now have a dedicated professional regulatory institute to safeguard their professional interests inclusive of ongoing life long learning, the Institute of Professional SA Mariners (IPSAM).
MARITIME MOVES: SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele (Second Right) with three of the country’s first set of learner seafarers to be placed on a South Africa registered commercial vessel, the Cape Orchid at Saldanha Bay in October 2015. The young cadets now have a dedicated professional regulatory institute to safeguard their professional interests inclusive of ongoing life long learning, the Institute of Professional SA Mariners (IPSAM).

IPSAM is a State approved governing body for professional mariners in South Africa established in terms of National Qualifications Framework Act, (Act 67 of 2008).  It gained formal government recognition and approval following to formalization of its establishment two years ago facilitated by the promulgation of the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013 that year.

According to the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which houses and administers the new professional body, IPSAM’s coming into existence is yet another critical step forward in the country’s current campaign to rejuvenate, grow and develop the country’s maritime economic sector and facilitate its integration into the main economy.

SAMSA says the merchant shipping regulations approved in July 2013 entrusted the organisation with responsibility and accountability for establishment of a professional body for maritime sector educated and skilled people and upon which holders of certain maritime related certificates of competency shall be members.

Prior to establishment of IPSAM, the Chief Examiner’s Office at SAMSA headed by Mr Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi, was responsible for ensuring the competence of mariners through a process that held their qualification as competent seafarers.

SAMSA says the primary objectives of IPSAM are “to promote the seafaring profession in South Africa in order for the mariners to get the recognition they deserve; to promote professionalism, professional accountability and conduct of South African mariners; as well as to ensure their continued professional development.”

Said SAMSA: “The Institute of Professional South African Mariners, housed under SAMSA and operating in the Chief Examiner’s Office, has been brought into being to formalise the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of South African mariners.

“This will achieve a mechanism to register professional designations on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which will be issued by IPSAM on behalf of the Government of South Africa in accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping, 1978 as amended (STCW Convention).”

“IPSAM’s role, in partnership with the State and the maritime profession is to promote an appropriate level of education and training in the maritime profession to facilitate full recognition of professionalism, both locally and abroad. IPSAM enjoys full autonomy although it is accountable to the State, the profession and the public for the fair and transparent administration of its business in the pursuit of its goals.”

Well, go crazy and good luck!

Cadets at various stages of their training captured in camera while preparing for an exam in August 2015
Cadets at various stages of their training captured in camera on board the dedicated cadet training vessel, the SA Agulhas in Cape Town while preparing for an exam in August 2015

The call recently for public participation in the body’s brand development follows to a similar public call earlier in October 2015 wherein interested parties and individuals were invited to comment on four documents pertaining to IPSAM’s operations; an IPSAM founding report for submission to the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA), a proposed Constitution, a Code of Ethics as well as disciplinary procedures for the organization

With regards these documents, members of the public have until 31 November 2015, to submit their responses.

The “for public comment” documents issuance was soon followed by IPSAM’s public campaign through its Facebook page, calling in interested parties to contribute to the report – which is to be submitted to SAQA (See Marine Notice 21 of 2015), – as well as the intended creation of branding for IPSAM.

The latter process entails the development of a theme, composition of corporate colours and design of a logo.

The closing date for public participation is November 30, 2015 with designers of an approved brand package publicly acknowledge on or about the middle of January 2016.

“Well, go crazy and good luck,” says the organization in encouraging interested members of the public to get involved and get busy.

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