DNV GL boosts role of simulators in DP training

APRIL 30, 2014 —  DNV GL has introduced a new recommended practice for the training of dynamic positioning (DP) operators. Based on the latest training and certification principles, it defines the role that simulators can play in giving candidates better and more efficient training.

Given the differing duration and frequency of DP operations, the recommended practice (RP) does not define a blanket sea-time requirement in days. Instead, learning goals are used to define the training experiences required. Simulator training can reduce sea time requirements by up to 50 percent.

"Dynamic positioning can be considered a high risk activity involving a team of people working together on high technology equipment. Realistic simulation, including time on full mission simulators, plays an important role in how they learn to deal with situations that rarely occur at sea," says Aksel Nordholm, DNV GL's manager for Simulator Certification. "As long as all operational aspects are included in the training, such as communication and cooperation with others, simulators enhance competence and reduce training time."

Major players in the offshore industry collaborated on the development of the new RP which covers: competence development, sea-time/onboard competence building, competence assessment, certification and re-certification.

"Teekay is very satisfied with the great work carried out by DNV GL and their partners to finally launch the new certification scheme for dynamic position competence," said Torbjørg Undem, head of Marine Human Resources at Teekay Shipping Norway. "Teekay greatly welcomes this certification scheme which we strongly believe will both enhance the quality and competence of DP personnel, and also facilitate a better flow of new competence to the market. DP competence is needed today, and the need for qualified personnel is expected to grow significantly. With this robust scheme provided by DNV GL, we are optimistic that the entire industry will benefit in the years to come."

Stig E. Wiggen, CEO, Ship Modeling & Simulation Center, Trondheim, Norway adds hails the new recommended practice as "a giant leap forward with regards to quality in all aspects of DPO certification," and says it is "the first real proof of competence for DP operators."

The RP provides guidance to flag states and other parties looking to establish an independently validated certification scheme. It refers to existing DNV GL standards and certification activities and provides detailed input for training and test centers.

The combination of the RP and related DNV GL standards helps flag states meet anticipated STCW DP operator requirements currently covered in Part B (guidance) but expected to be moved to Part A (mandatory) in the near future.

Mark Pointon of the International Dynamic Positioning Operators Association welcomed publication of the Recommended Practice, saying: "We hope that it will be adopted as the universal mechanism that ensures a consistent standard of DP Certification globally for DP Operators."