ECDIS Training Overview

ECDIS Training - An Overview

Training is one of the key elements in regards to ECDIS compliance. It has been an area of confusion, mis-understanding and mis-interpretation. Basically there are two components which make up training for ECDIS compliance. ECDIS regulations require that the master and all watch keepers on ECDIS-fitted ships are trained in both generic and “type specific” or familiarisation ECDIS training

  • - Generic Training – This should follow the IMO model course 1.27 (40 hours duration) for bridge officers to satisfy the IMO Standards for Training Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW).
  • - Type Specific / Familiarisation Training – equipment or type specific training for a particular make and model of ECDIS needs to be carried out according to the IMO’s International Safety Management (ISM) Code. 

The ECDIS Training Group does not refer to type specific in its terminology wording, preferring the term familiarisation which is in keeping with the IMO regulations. The ECDIS Training Group is an industry focus group, organised and coordinated by the Nautical Institute, is a consortium of leading international shipping organisations with members such as BIMCO, InterManager, INTERTANKO, OCIMF and the International Chamber of Shipping which has issued Industry Recommendations for ECDIS Familiarisation with the aim of promoting clarity on generic training and familiarisation in relation to ECDIS. The guidance contained in the publication offers practical advice in conjunction with a familiarisation checklist that lists specific details and tasks that officers of the watch (OOW) should perform with competency in and these guidelines should be imported into companies’ Safety Management System procedures. ECDIS familiarisation is defined as:

The process required to become familiar with any on-board ECDIS (including back up) in order to assure and demonstrate competency in relation to a specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigation watch. 

You can view the familiarisation check list here which covers Initial Preparation; Basic Operations; Charts; Navigational Tools and Functions; Route Planning and Route Monitoring; updates, corrections and alterations.

Users of ECDIS need to be competent and have confidence in the operation of the specific electronic navigation equipment on board the vessel in order that they are familiar with their duties concerning safety, security and protection of the marine environment in relation to the operation of ECDIS in accordance with the ISM Code and the STCW Convention Regulation I/14. Familiarisation must be complementary to the generic training also required  

Other considerations in terms of training are “train the trainer” style courses. Having your own internal ECDIS trainer will ensure that you have an in house ECDIS specialist to supplement the external certified training and to  ensure that crew members are continually assessed on their competencies. It is the responsibility of the ECDIS manufacturers to provide companies and training organisations with the materials to attain this.  

 

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