Admiralty today announced the launch of a global promotion, sponsoring 100 bridge officers to undertake comprehensive ECDIS training in maritime colleges around the world.
The promotion offers bridge officers from anywhere in the world the chance to win a place on a generic ECDIS training course based on the IMO Model Course 1.27 (Operational use of ECDIS). The courses, which will be available from participating training institutions, will provide bridge officers the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of ECDIS-based navigation.
The promotion is open to qualified bridge officers of international trading ships, who can register online for their chance to win ECDIS training.
Admiralty is launching the promotion to highlight the need for comprehensive ECDIS training. Chief Executive of the UK Hydrographic Office, Ian Moncrieff CBE, explains, “We believe the maritime community needs to focus on mariner training and especially providing practical guidance on using ENCs to make the transition to digital navigation successful. As an industry, we need to equip thousands of mariners with the right skills to be confident and competent in the use of ECDIS. We have a duty to support the mariner and comprehensive training is the only way to overcome that challenge.”
The requirement for ECDIS training is acute. Recent research by SIRC1 demonstrated that bridge officers were least confident about the use of ECDIS, compared against four other key bridge technology systems. The research also showed that more than half of respondents had used ECDIS before completing any training ashore. In addition, the number of mariners who require training is significant; estimates range between 140,000 and 200,000 mariners to be trained in the next six years.
Ian Moncrieff continues, “The first deadline for the mandatory carriage of ECDIS comes into force in July 2012. We need to support bridge watchkeepers to ensure they are prepared for a new era of navigation. Clear and properly accredited training will ensure they have the skills to make digital navigation a success; improving both the safety of life at sea and bridge efficiency. We hope our promotion will contribute by starting that process for 100 mariners.”
The training promotion is part of a series of initiatives from Admiralty in 2012 to help deliver ‘Digital Navigation Insights’ as the shipping industry is making preparations for the mandatory carriage of ECDIS, introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The initiatives are aimed to help the maritime community confidently, safely and successfully, integrate digital navigation into ship and shore-side operations as the mandate comes into force on a rolling
timetable that begins in July 2012.
Source: UK Hydrographic Office, March 22, 2012; Image: ECDIS