The Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) are internationally recognized rules that direct the knowledge and skills mariners need to perform their jobs safely. Any mariners working aboard ships that operate in international waters must hold appropriate STCW endorsements.
There are two factors that determine which STCW training courses are required. The requirements will vary depending on the mariner's position on board (Master, Mate, AB, Steward, Engineer...). The master will need a lot more training than the AB. The second factor is the vessel. An oil tanker will require very different crew training than a passenger vessel.
The STCW Code has 6 chapters. The most relevant for the yachting and small passenger vessel community are Chapter II (2) and Chapter VI (6). Chapter II covers the requirements for a ships Deck Officers and Chapter VI cover requirements for Emergency, Occupational Safety, Security, Medical Care, and Survival Functions . Below are tables describing both chapters.