Training and professional development needs to be addressed at the highest level if we are to continue to improve maritime safety, concluded attendees at The Nautical Institute’s 2017 Command Seminar series.
At the most recent event, held in Cyprus, attendees emphasised that it is important to ensure continuity in the maritime profession, making sure that seafarers make the most of new technology, while maintaining existing skills and knowledge. “New technologies will be used to support the Master’s decision, but mentoring and training need to be intensified in the new context of digitalisation,” said speaker Captain Alexander Legowski of OL Shipping.
Over the course of 2017, more than 500 people from a broad spectrum across the industry, from cadets to sailing Masters and senior industry figures, have attended The Nautical Institute’s five Command Seminars. The seminars were based around the theme of navigation accidents and their causes, looking in some detail at how the industry can best cope with the changes expected over the next 15 years. Concerns include:
• The need to address the human element in maritime incidents
• The problem of fatigue, and false reporting of working hours
• Challenges of increasing automation on board ship, including autonomous vessels
• Ensuring training is properly carried out – and that the results are monitored.
The Nautical Institute will be working through its position at the IMO and through its professional networks to produce and implement resolutions to these issues. Measures already put in place to address these issues include providing formal professional training for navigation assessors, the establishment of an ice navigator qualification, and the relaunch of its flagship Command Scheme, which provides Masters and aspiring Masters with a thorough grounding that goes well beyond the minimum STCW standards.