If you want to work in tankers, cruise ships, cargo vessels, or any type of vessel, BT with COP is one of your tickets.
Basic Training (BT) is one of the fundamental certificates needed for every person who wants to work on ships. It was formerly known as SOLAS Training or Basic Safety Training and Instruction (BSTI).
BT-R, BT-U, and BT Full Course
Much has changed since the Manila 2010 Amendments. The year 2013 was chaos. As we remember well, almost all our STCW Certificates were getting major overhauls.
Rallies in front of MARINA’s office broke out. The introduction of the Certificate of Proficiency (COP) created confusion too. This left many seafarers frustrated and discombobulated.
Basic Training was divided into three separate but identical courses namely the Refresher, Updating and Full Course.
The introduction of BT-R, BT-U, and BT Full Course caters to different sea services for seafarers. You might get confused as to which training to take but I’ll explain that below.
So Which BT Should You Take?
Lately, there has been much confusion about which type of Basic Training to enroll in. Choosing between BT-U, BT-R and Full Course can cost us money and time.
Because training centers would assume that our previous BT COP is old thereby pointing us to take the Full Course.
In fact, a two-day refresher or updating course may be enough. I already fixed this problem in my previous blog post.
Basic Training Sub-Modules
In order to get the certificate and COP, seafarers must undertake the competencies stipulated in Section A-VI/1 of the STCW Code.
These are the mandatory minimum requirements for familiarization and the basic safety instructions for all seamen.
Basic Training is divided into four sub-modules which are listed below.
1. Fire Prevention and Firefighting
Understanding the basic chemistry of fire. The seafarer must know what to do when discovering smoke or fire. Furthermore, he must show basic knowledge in using the various fire fighting appliances.
This course is vital since there are different approaches to the different classes of fire.
2. Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
This module aims for safety awareness among self and other crew. It stresses the importance of cultivating a safety culture on board.
Moreover, PSSR tackles proper communication, good human relationships, and respect for individual rights.
3. Personal Survival Techniques
PST sets minimum competence for survival training at sea. This module trains seafarers on the proper donning of life jackets, immersion suits, and thermal protective aids.
He will familiarize the operation of survival crafts and their equipment, location devices, and radio equipment. Furthermore, he will learn a particular swimming technique that prolongs survivability while in the water.
4. Elementary First Aid
As onboard accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, seafarers must have the ability to conduct basic first aid while on the scene. He must know what to do when encountering a medical emergency before any professional help arrives.
Basic Training – Certificate of Proficiency (BT COP)
Completing your Basic Safety Course is not enough. Even if you acquire the certificate for this training, you still need to apply for a Certificate of Proficiency in MARINA.
COP and Certificate of Completion are completely different documents. You must apply for a COP before you are allowed to work on board.
What is a Certificate of Proficiency (COP)?
A Certificate of Proficiency or COP means a certificate, other than a certificate of competency, issued to a seafarer under the authority of the Administration.
This certificate states that the relevant requirements of training competencies or seagoing service under the STCW Convention have been met.
Simply put, a COP is a document that functions as proof of your competence. MARINA issues this certificate and assures the inspecting authority that the bearer is proficient.
STCW Convention appoints the Administration, in our case MARINA, to issue this certificate.
Why is the Certificate of Training Completion not enough?
This is one question I also asked instructors and fellow seafarers. When MARINA first introduced the COP, confusion reigned all over the place.
Even on board, it was the talk of the town over the VHF. We can’t help but comply (and pay for another training). Again, we felt that training centers were milking our pockets.
Here I will explain why Certificate of Proficiency is mandatory.
There are lots of training centers from all over the country- and the world. Even though they share the same syllabus for this course, they issue different formats for your certificate.
Training centers function as educational grounds for practicing the different modules in each course.
However, international organizations and maritime inspectors do not recognize them. They were not given that authority according to the agreement.
Our Administration, in this case, MARINA, assures any inspecting authority that the bearer is competent and trained proficiently. As you have noticed, all our COPs do not indicate any training centers but from MARINA itself.
Aside from standardizing the format of all COPs to avoid confusion, this is also a REQUIREMENT of the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments.
Requirements for Basic Training – Certificate of Proficiency (BT COP)
The Basic Training COP is valid for only 5 years. Therefore, seafarers of all ranks must renew their COP before its expiration.
To get the full details of the requirements, head on to MARINA’s MISMO. All the requirements listed here will be uploaded and verified online.
- Certificate of BT Full Course taken or completed WITHIN TWO (2) years before the date of application
- Uploaded first page of Passport OR Seafarer’s Identification Document (SID); OR any valid government-issued ID bearing the Full Name and Birthdate PLUS Birth Certificate as Proof of Identity.
- Valid Medical Certificate in PEME format from DOH-accredited medical clinic with seafarer’s signature. NOTE: MUST BE ENCODED by the concerned Medical Facility for Overseas Workers and Seafarers (MFOWS) in your MISMO Account.
- Colored 2×2 inches picture in a white polo with collar, white background and taken within the last six (6) months, NO SHOULDER BOARD and NO name tag; Frontal straight pose, showing your full face; Expression should be neutral with both eyes open and mouth closed, no hair covering the eyes; Heavy make-up and lip color must be avoided; Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other accessories are not allowed. *
For Revalidation/ Renewal
- Valid BT COP *No need to upload. This will be verified in the system.
- Uploaded Certificate of Seagoing Service for a period of at least 12 months within the last 5 years or 3 months within the last 6 months immediately prior to the application date. NOTE: MUST BE ENCODED by the concerned Local Manning Agencies in your MISMO Account.
- Uploaded Valid Medical Certificate in PEME format from a DOH-accredited medical clinic with seafarer’s signature. NOTE: MUST BE ENCODED by the concerned Medical Facility for Overseas Workers and Seafarers (MFOWS) in your MISMO Account.
- Colored 2×2 inches picture in a white polo with collar, white background and taken within the last six (6) months, NO SHOULDER BOARD and NO name tag; Frontal straight pose, showing your full face; Expression should be neutral with both eyes open and mouth closed, no hair covering the eyes; Heavy make-up and lip color must be avoided; Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other accessories are not allowed.
- SIRB/SRB (seaman’s book) first page and pages with entries showing approved seagoing service indicated in the company sea service certificate (upload in order of issuance).
- Certificate of Training Completion for Refresher on Basic Training (BT-R) taken or completed within two (2) years before the date of application.
- If DOES NOT MEET the required SEA SERVICE, upload Training Completion of the Full Course provided the COP to be revalidated is VALID.
Expedite Processing (Issuance or Revalidation)
The list provided here includes the respective requirements for each item above (issuance and revalidation). Additionally, the following documents are also required.
- Request Letter submitted by the Local Manning Agency to MARINA.
- Certified True Copy of VERIFIABLE Flight Details (departure should be within 2 days).
- Original or Certified True Copy of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
- Original or Certified True Copy of Contract of Employment (duly approved by POEA).
Lately, MARINA issued STCW Circular 2018-05 which stipulates rules for RE-VALIDATING your COPs. It focuses more on giving time frames for your sea service experience.
More importantly, it sets specific deadlines for filing your Certificate of Proficiency INCLUDING Basic Training.
Here are the following.
- Approved seagoing service for a period of at least 12 (twelve) months in total within 5 (five) years, OR
- 3 (three) months in total within 6 (six) months prior to the date of re-validation: AND
- Completed an approved Refresher Course in Basic Training within 6 (six) months before application for re-validation of the COP OR
- If the applicant for re-validation does not meet the required seagoing service, he must complete an approved course in Basic Training within 6 (six) months before application for re-validation of COP.
Steps for Application and Renewal Process of Your BT COP
Walk-in applicants are no longer allowed. MARINA encourages all seafarers to secure an online appointment through MISMO and I personally think it’s much better that way.
- First, applicants must register in the MARINA Integrated Seafarers Management Online System through https://online-appointment.marina.gov.ph/. Fill out the details needed.
- If you already have a MISMO Account, you can log in and start choosing the training you want to file COP for.
- Select the type of certificate that you want to process.
- Complete the documentary requirements.
- Pay the corresponding fee to accredited Bayad Centers.
- Wait for a confirmation message that you will receive through SMS.
- Check to see if your BT COP is approved and ready. Print it as your physical record.
Fees and Release Dates
- Regular Processing – Php200.00. Within 5 working days.
- Expedite Processing – Php600.00. Within the same day.
Did you find this post useful? If you have any questions, feel free to hit the comment below.
May the winds be in your favor.