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IV of the STCW Annex, and the associated sections of the STCW Code, address qualifications for radio operators, and those who perform radio duties on seagoing ships relating to the function of radio communications.




Caution Statement
Parts that make up the Whole
An International Agreement
Commentary on Chapter I:
General Provisions
Commentary on Chapter II:
Master and Deck Department
Commentary on Chapter III:
Engine Department
Commentary on Chapter IV:
Radiocommunication & Radio
Commentary on Chapter V:
Special Training for Personnel
on Certain Types of Ships
Commentary on Chapter VI:
Emergency, Occupational Safety,
Medical Care and Survival Functions
Commentary on Chapter VII:
Alternative Certification
Commentary on Chapter VIII:
Regulation IV/l - Application

The requirements of this regulation are linked to the requirements for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)* under SOLAS Chapter IV. Radio personnel on ships not required to comply with the SOLAS provisions on GMDSS are not required to meet the provisions of Chapter IV of STCW. These personnel, however, must comply with the relevant requirements of the International Telegraphic Union (ITU) Radio Regulations (as Annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention).

Regulation IV/2 - Certification of GMDSS Radio Personnel

The first paragraph of this regulation requires that everyone who is placed in charge of or who performs radio duties on a ship required to participate in GMDSS must hold an "appropriate certificate" - i.e., the ITU Radio Regulation certificate must be suited to the area of operation and incorporate knowledge required by the STCW Convention. (*Note: GMDSS is a satellite-based system that allows rapid and convenient ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications for search and rescue purposes, and for access to maritime safety information, including navigational and meteorological warnings. Regulation IV/16 of SOLAS provides that: "every ship shall carry personnel qualified for distress and safety radio communication purposes to the satisfaction of the Administration. The personnel shall be holders of certificates specified in the radio regulations as appropriate, any one of whom shall be designated to have primary responsibility for radiocommunications during distress incidents.")

The second paragraph sets out the requirements a candidate must complete approved education and training, and meet to acquire a certificate for service in this capacity. The candidate must meet the minimum age requirement and must meet the standard of competence and other requirements of section AŚ IV/2 of the STCW Code.

Section A-IV/2 of the STCW Code specifies the minimum standard of competence in the form of a four-column table for the function of radio communications, at the operational level. The tables are formatted in the same way as those in other sections. There are no standards of competence set out for the management or support levels under this section. However, section B-IV/2 of the STCW Code provides guidance on training and certification of GMDSS personnel, including persons designated to perform functions for at-sea electronic maintenance of GMDSS equipment.

Section B-I/12 of the STCW Code provides guidance on the performance standards for GMDSS communication simulation equipment which may be used to train or assess the competence of candidates for GMDSS radio operator certificates.