The path of diploma in Ukraine
Ukraine has acceded to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, by means of adoption of the Law of Ukraine № 464/96-ВР of 1.11.1996.
Ukraine became a Member State of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and a country that signed the main international regulations on safety of maritime navigation adopted within the framework of the IMO, including the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (the STCW Convention).
Under the Order of the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine, in February 1998 in Odessa there was established the Seafarers’ Training and Certification Control Agency, headed by the professor of the Odessa State Maritime Academy – V. Golubiev, to fulfil the requirements of the STCW Convention.
In December 1999, the Agency was reorganized into the state enterprise for attestation and registration of shipboard personnel that was headed by the Candidate of Technical Sciences V. Yerofieiev.
Time has shown that the body for management and organization of activities of such a complex mechanism must be located in the capital, where there are all bodies of the executive branch of government.
In pursuance of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 83 of 31.01.2001, in July 2001 the Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers was established and located in Kyiv.
The Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers was headed by:
- Rear Admiral O. Shchyptsov (2001–2002, 2010–2014);
- Captain I. Tykhonov (2002–2010);
- Captain V. Pikulyk (2014-2016).
As a result of location in the capital, under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and under constant collaboration with subdivisions of the Ministry of Infrastructure and other ministries, the Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers has done a lot of work, during its existence, to improve the national system of training and certification.
Current organizational structure of maritime education, training, competency assessment and certification system, including the issue of medical certificates of seafarers
The formation of state policy concerning the quality of education, training, certification and medical examinations of seafarers is related to three bodies of state authority: the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Functions on state and general management regarding training and certification of seafarers, specified by Articles 10 and 51 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine, have been assigned to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine (Ministry of Infrastructure) is a central executive body, whose activities are governed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Infrastructure is the main body in the system of central executive authorities regarding development and implementation of state policy in the field of maritime and inland water transport, and according to assigned tasks, also:
- takes part in activities of international organizations, develops and concludes international agreements, and performs functions of the Maritime Administration of Ukraine;
- generalizes the practice of application of legislation on matters within the competence of the Ministry, develops proposals to improve the laws of Ukraine and acts of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and submits them to the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in accordance with the established procedure.
Under the legislation, the Ministry of Infrastructure, in order to organize its activities, facilitates the fulfillment of international agreements of Ukraine, takes measures, within its authority, on the implementation of the provisions of international agreements, to which Ukraine is a Party, in the national legislation.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MESU) is liable for the compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention in respect of seafarers’ education at higher and vocational maritime education institutions.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, pursuant to the Regulation on the Ministry, shapes and ensures the implementation of state policy, regulates, specifies prospects and priority development areas in the field of education and state supervision (control) of the activities of education institutions, regardless of their subordination and types of ownership; develops and approves standards for specific professions; provides regulatory and academic basis for functioning of education institutions; performs licensing and accreditation of higher education and post-graduate education institutions.
The MESU is liable for the development of state educational standards, for the curricula of education programmes, qualification level of tutors, as well as qualification level that can be obtained by students who study regardless of the level of a maritime education institution – an academy, university, college or vocational school.
The requirements of the STCW Convention, as amended by the 2010 Manila Amendments are implemented into the curricula of all maritime education institutions.
State educational standards set requirements for the content, scope and level of educational and professional training in Ukraine. They are the basis for the evaluation of education and qualification level of citizens regardless of forms to get education. State standards of education are developed separately regarding each education and qualification level and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Industry standards are developed for each education and qualification level of specialist training for each area and specialty, for each qualification.
Industry standards are approved by the MESU.
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MHU) provides development and implementation of state policy on health, development of state policy on medical service quality control.
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine pursuant to the Regulation on the Ministry develops and provides implementation of state policy on health, specifies medical fitness of a seafarer to serve on board ship. Article 52 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine stipulates that “Persons, who were qualified as fit according to their state of health, are allowed to work on a vessel. The conclusion on fitness for work on a vessel according to the state of health is given by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in compliance with the rules established by the Ministry”.
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine in accordance with the tasks assigned to it, among other things:
- specifies medical fitness of the seafarer to work on board ship;
- approves the annual list of health institutions that are entitled to conduct a medical examination of seafarers and issue medical certificates;
- performs control and supervision over the compliance of legislation on health care.
The State Inspectorate of Ukraine for Safety of Maritime and Inland Water Transport (SISMIT) , which is formed by the Decree of the President of Ukraine № 447/2011 of April 8, 2011, is the central executive body, whose activities are governed and coordinated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine through the Ministry of Infrastructure. According to the List of central authorities of the executive branch of government, other state bodies responsible for fulfilling the obligations arising from the membership of Ukraine in international organizations, the SISMIT together with the Ministry of Infrastructure is liable for obligations arising from the membership of Ukraine in IMO.
The SISMIT under the Law of Ukraine “On Transport” and Regulations on the SISMIT provides overall management and monitoring of certification of maritime fleet specialists, and supervises the conduct of training, refresher and updating training, and certification of shipboard personnel of seagoing vessels, operating onshore enterprises of maritime and inland water transport, whose work is related to safety of navigation.
The Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers (ITCS) is a state organization and operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
The main tasks of the ITCS are:
- analysis of national and international experience in the field of training, assessment of competence and certification of crew members on seagoing merchant vessels;
- proficiency endorsement for seafarers at permanent state qualification commissions (SQC) and also endorsements for seafarers’ documents that attest their qualification;
- representation and protection, on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, of Ukrainian interests in the field of training, assessment of competence and certification of seafarers at IMO.
Regulation I/10 of the STCW Convention obliges all seafarers serving on board ships entitled to fly the flag of other countries to have evidence attesting the recognition of a certificate by this country. Such endorsements shall be issued only if there is a Memorandum on the recognition of certificates between a country that issued the certificate to a seafarer and a country that recognizes the seafarer’s certificate. The ITCS issues such endorsements on behalf of the Maritime Administration of Ukraine.
The implementation of policy on education, training, assessment of competence and certification of seafarers is carried out on the basis of and for the compliance of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, acts and decrees of the President of Ukraine, acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and relevant orders of the central authorities of the executive branch of government and aims to maintain a high level of standards and their continuous review and improvement.
All actions of the Maritime Administration of Ukraine are aimed at improving the quality of the training system and maintain it on a level no lower than international standards, raising the prestige and competitiveness of Ukrainian seafarers on the international maritime market and improving the image of Ukraine as a maritime nation in the world.
At present Memoranda on recognition of Ukrainian certificates of seafarers have been signed by 53 countries.
Memoranda on recognition of certificates of seafarers from other countries have been signed by Ukraine with 19 Member States of the International Maritime Organization.
Ukraine also confirmed its status of a country that fully meets the requirements of the STCW Convention at the European level: the European Union on the consideration of the results of an inspection carried out by the European Maritime Safety Agency in 2010, extended the recognition of Ukraine in relation to its education, training and certification of seafarers, as such that meets the requirements of the Convention. The relevant official confirmation letter on extension of the EU recognition of Ukraine in May 2013 has been sent to the Ministry of Infrastructure (Department of State Policy in Maritime and River Transport) by Fotis Karamitsos, the Director of the Directorate D –Logistics, maritime & land transport and passenger rights of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission.
Coordination arrangements of ministries, departments, institutions and organizations to ensure compliance with the requirements of the STCW Convention
General supervision of the management system is conducted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine through the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health, in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations develop common policy and coordinated position regarding the standards of maritime education, training, assessment of competence, certification and medical examinations of seafarers.
Seafarers obtain education and training at maritime education institutions and training centres.
Prior to entering a maritime education institution, a medical examination of candidates is conducted to define compliance with medical standards set by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, regulations for determining medical fitness of persons to serve on board ships in accordance with the requirements of regulation I/9 of the STCW Convention.
The attestation of graduates of maritime education institutions is conducted at meetings of State Examination Commissions (SEC) of a maritime education institution. The establishment procedures, organization and SEC activities are specified by the MESU. Graduates who have passed state exams and also defended a thesis project (work), SEC decides to confer qualification according to the obtained specialty and issues a certificate of higher education or a standard certificate or a certificate of vocational education.
The assessment of competence and confirmation of qualification of seafarers are conducted at State Qualification Commissions established by the Inspectorate for Training and Certification of Seafarers. Thus, the validity of documents on education, qualification and training issued to seafarers at SQC is always verified at the State Register of Documents on Higher Education and the common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents. It is necessarily specified that provided medical certificates are valid and issued by medical institutions approved by the MHU.
The list of mandatory training courses required for awarding a certain rank to serve in the respective capacity of an officer or ship’s crew on seagoing vessels is specified by the Ministry of Infrastructure.
From July 1, 2013 training centres conduct training under programmes approved by the SISMIT that comply with the applicable requirements of the STCW Convention, taking into consideration the Manila Amendments.
All training centres carry out their activities in the system of training standards and are subject to state supervision by the SISMIT and approval of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The list of approved training centers, approved areas and scope of training is set by the Order of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The list of health care institutions for medical examination of seafarers and issue of standard medical certificates for seafarers is specified by the MHU.
Pursuant to the requirements of regulation I/11 of the STCW Convention, officers, in accordance with the Provisions for awarding ranks of officers of seagoing vessels, shall undertake refresher training at higher maritime education institutions, defined by the MESU and the Ministry of Infrastructure, for being awarded or confirmed the next rank.
Refresher training programmes have been developed for a certain level (management and operation) for navigators, ship’s engineer officers, ship’s electro-technical officers and radio specialists approved by the MESU and SISMIT, and include recent amendments to the national and international regulations as well as relevant technologies and recommendations for safety of life at sea and marine environment protection.
After the successful confirmation of qualification at the SQC, a seafarer is entitled, within 12 months from the date of the SQC meeting, to obtain a certificate of competency or certificate of proficiency on awarding a rank/confirmation of qualification and an endorsement to this document from a harbour master.
According to Article 51 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine, deprivation of a rank and withdrawal of the certificate or qualification certificate is allowed only at a court resolution.
Suspension of the endorsement to the certificate and extraordinary assessment of competence of officers of seagoing vessels is envisaged in the event of:
- identification of the involvement of an officer in a marine casualty;
- identification of an incompetent officer, whose actions or inaction which constituted a direct threat to the safety of people, property at sea or marine environment;
- identification of evident non-compliance of the officer’s knowledge or skills with the capacity held;
- non-fulfilment of lawful demands of authorized officials by the officer and eventually there was a threat to the safety of people, property at sea or marine environment.
The SISMIT, the Ministry of Infrastructure and other central executive authority submit written notice of seafarers’ violation of the requirements of the STCW Convention and national requirements while serving on board ships. The ITCS prepares an officer’s personal data file. The endorsement, the effect of which is suspended, together with the relevant documents (materials) contained in the file, are stored at the ITCS in the personal data file of the officer. Information on suspension of the endorsement to the officer’s certificate is entered in the common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents. Based on the acquired information, the ITCS conducts extraordinary competency assessment of the person, whose endorsement to the certificate is suspended.
Pursuant to paragraph 2 of regulation I/5 of the STCW Convention, there are taken appropriate measures to prevent fraud and other unlawful practices involving certificates and endorsements issued, as follows:
- Article 358 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine envisages criminal responsibility for forgery of documents and the use of a knowingly forged document. The provisions of this article fully concern certificates and endorsements for officers and ratings of seagoing vessels;
- according to the Regulations for Vessel Control for Safety of Navigation, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine № 545 of 17.07.2003, registered at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on 23.03.2004 under № 353/8952, certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency of all crew members, issued under the STCW Convention, are verified on ships flying all flags;
- in order to prevent forgery of seafarers’ certificates and endorsements, one uses printing protection means of the specified types of documents as well as the procedure for mandatory verification of each of these documents for validity at the common State Register of Seafarers’ Documents of Ukraine during each application of the seafarer to obtain, exchange or extend confirmation of such documents.