"STCW Code" (《培訓規則》) means the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Code published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as in force from time to time.

The IMO Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention) is a comprehensive set of international regulations intended to ensure global maintenance of the highest standards of seafarer competence.

The shipping industry depends on competent, well-trained seafarers to ensure safety of life at sea, maritime security, efficiency of navigation and protection and preservation of the marine environment. In order to align training standards with technological advancement and operational requirements that entail new shipboard competencies, the STCW Convention had to be amended accordingly. The revised STCW Convention aims to provide the international standards necessary for training institutes and trainers to develop the much-needed skills and competencies for today’s seafarer.

In 1995 the STCW Convention was significantly amended. The latest code update in 2010 is referred to as STCW, as amended or STCW 2010 that represents the most current revisions; it is also commonly known as the Manila amendments for the location of the most recent signing and adoption of the revisions in 2010.

The convention gives minimum legal standards for qualifications and training at sea, in short everyone working on-board must receive familiarisation and basic safety training or instruction in accordance with section A-VI of the STCW Code. Seafarers qualified in basic training shall be required every five years, to provide evidence of having maintained competence, to undertake the tasks, duties and responsibilities listed in tables A-VI/1-1 and A-VI/1-2 of the STCW Code.

The STCW 2010 was effective as of 1 January 2012. There is a transition period until 2017 when all seafarers must be certified and trained according to the new standards.