Marine Log

June 7, 2006

50 percent of maritime training providers underperform

Surveys covering 300 training providers reveal that 50 percent under-perform according to best practices regarding facilities, course content and instructor qualifications, the CEO of DNV, Henrik O. Madsen, told at a press conference at Posidonia in Greece..

And more than 50 per cent of seafarers admit that they break safety instructions frequently.

"This demonstrates that lack of relevant training and qualifications represents an important safety risk in shipping," said Madsen,

"To further improve safety at sea, the main effort must now be directed towards the competence and skills of both crew and shore-based organization. This is probably where the greatest room for improvement is presently to be found," said Madsen. "International requirements for qualifications and training can only make shipping safer if all parties perform in line with the intentions of STCW and other requirements. Our findings show that there is a gap between documented and actual qualifications, for instance when it comes to basic safety skills, and a need for much more focus on building a safety culture".

DNV has performed a survey of 4,000 seafarers based on an aviation industry questionnaire adapted to the maritime industry by the Danish Maritime Institute, University of Texas, Riso National Laboratory and DNV.

The survey shows that:

50 percent of the seafarers confirm that they break safety procedures frequently

The top 25 shipping companies have an accident frequency of only 15 percent compared to the bottom 25 companies

The average ship operator has a potential for a 70 percent reduction in accident frequency measured against the best performers.

"The present trend of increased mobility of crew members and reduced contact between the shore-based organization and the seafarers, makes it more demanding to build a genuine safety culture. The whole industry is engaged in a fight for talent, resulting in experienced and competent crew being in strong demand," noted Madsen.

"A systematic approach to competence has proven to be an important step taken by some of the key international shipping companies. Through a close cooperation with industry representatives, DNV has defined competence requirements for specific positions. Examples of already compleded standards include superintendents, electrical engineers and LNG cargo handling officers. When the relevant qualifications are defined, it becomes possible to measure if the crew members actually possess the required competence," concluded Madsen.