The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has accredited the Qatar International Safety Centre (QISC) to be the first facility of its kind to provide specialised maritime training in Qatar.
The move comes within the framework of MoTC's compliance with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)'s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention 1978.
The accreditation followed a full audit process conducted by MoTC, represented by its Maritime Transport Planning and Licensing Dept., verifying QISC's compliance with all formalities and requirements laid down in the Convention, in addition to reviewing and approving the training materials to ensure that training and qualifications meet the level and quality required by the Convention.
The ultimate objective is to emphasise Qatar's compliance with all IMO conventions and standards, foremost of which are marine safety, marine environment protection, and protecting lives and property at sea.
QISC will provide maritime sectors workers in Qatar and from other countries with specialised maritime training courses on the techniques of personal survival, fire prevention, firefighting, elementary first aid, personal safety and social responsibilities.
Beneficiary trainees will obtain certificates that are recognised by MoTC and internationally as they are issued in a country, Qatar, which is an IMO member state and a Convention party.
QISC has been accredited in accordance with STCW Convention requirements and prerequisites.
"Accrediting QISC for training seafarers in maritime courses that are classified as mandatory by the Convention is unprecedented in Qatar.
QISC is now the first accredited center in Qatar to meet IMO requirements," said MoTC's Assistant Undersecretary of Maritime Transport Affairs Dr Saleh bin Fetais al-Marri.
Formerly, he explained, seafarers used to enroll at accredited training centers in other countries to take these courses.
This step, he added, "comes as part of MoTC's endeavors to develop Qatar's maritime transport services in terms of training and qualifying the sector's professionals and workers in line with IMO requirements."
This accreditation will be announced by the IMO, which, in turn, will reveal it to other countries and member organizations and entities, he added.
He also said that this is a good opportunity to encourage those who are interested in working in maritime transport affairs to visit the ministry and get updated on relevant prerequisites and requirements that they should know.
Maritime Transport Quality Assurance Director Mohamed al-Mutawa said that accrediting QISC came after verifying all quality criteria, which is a top-priority requirement of the STCW Convention.
On that Convention, he said, there is an article stating that each Convention party should commit to continuously overseeing the training, assessment and medical and technical certification procedures in such a way that ensures the fulfillment of all quality standards.
Port State Control Officer at MoTC Capt Khalid Elagib said that the mandatory courses are very important for meeting the requirements of the seafaring profession and are an integral part of mandatory certifications for captains, naval officers, naval engineers and all those who work on ships, in order to be licensed professionals.
Accrediting QISC, he noted, came after major efforts in collaboration with a universal rating agency to realising such an unprecedented achievement in Qatar.
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