About the DPO CPD
The Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) continuing professional development (CPD) learning programme has been developed by The Nautical Institute (NI) and IMCA to provide valuable CPD and learning to DPOs who perform a safety critical role onboard offshore DP vessels. Currently, there is no compulsory form of CPD during the five-year period prior to the revalidation of the DPO certificate. Instead, DPOs only require proof of time in control of a DP station (being measured in DP days) to achieve the revalidation or successful completion of the DP Revalidation Course. IMCA and NI are excited to bring this CPD programme to the DPO community which will work to improve safety, performance and efficiency for industry participants and the DPO community more broadly. IMCA also operates a DP event reporting scheme with its members to collect and analyse data on DP incidents and other station keeping events, which is then published for the betterment of the industry. Through this process IMCA has discovered that human factors can be a significant causal factor (or reason) for undesirable DP station keeping events. Consequently, a DPO CPD programme will make significant improvements in the safety and risk management of these DP operations.
Technical Adviser – Marine
The learning programme will be accessible by all DPOs to ensure that their technical knowledge of the latest industry practices is up to date and measured though questions delivered through an application available on desktop and on mobile devices. This will ensure professional currency with the latest IMCA / industry guidance, DP safety bulletins, DP exercise and training drills, and help prevent knowledge and skill fade in the DPO’s role.
Ultimately, the introduction of this DPO CPD app will ensure that the employers of DPOs benefit because the personnel in charge of operating their vessels in very close proximity to offshore hydrocarbon and renewable energy facilities will have their professional knowledge, skills and technical currency maintained by virtue of the programme.
In order to execute the learning programme, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by IMCA and the NI for its development and operation; the two organisations being a natural fit for this CPD progamme. Both organisations have previously successfully collaborated on various initiatives and the combination of the two organisations for this project means that the learning programme can benefit from IMCA’s technical resource of DP best practices and the NI’s experience in the certification of DPOs.
The CPD App Content
The learning programme’s content is derived from more than 25 years of DP committee work by IMCA’s members creating a large volume of industry-leading guidance. The content is also derived from the considerable effort by the NI in the creation and regular updating of the DPO handbook.
The content is based on various modules of learning. Each module of learning contains courses based on 6 different categories as follows:
- DP Regulation & Guidance
- DP Functional Requirements
- DP Knowledge Enhancement
- DP Operations
- DP Redundancy Concepts
- DP Testing & Trials
Each category has a number of different course subjects, for example, “DP Operations” contains subjects such as:
- The Environment
- DP Operations Manuals
- DP logs and checklists
- Operational Planning and Decision Support tools
- SIMOPS [Simultaneous Operations)
- Different mission types
- Mission specific considerations
Each course subject may contain a number of lessons, for example, “Operational Planning and Decision Support Tools” will offer lessons on, ASOG, CAM, TAM, IMO guidance, etc. Therefore, there are many valuable individual lessons in each module of learning (e.g. Module 1 comprises 32 individual lessons). Each module should take around 4-6 hours to complete and has a pass mark of 80%.
A new module of learning is planned to be released approximately every 6 months and currently module 1 is complete with the content for many more modules already drafted. DPOs will start at Module 1 and then have access to the subsequent module after 6 months. The purchased module will be available to each learner for a period of 12 months.
Learning is supplemented by direct access via the app to key IMCA guidance related to the particular subject of learning.
Delivery of Course
The content has been designed for use on mobile devices. The delivery of the content is through the EddApp application software which is a mobile device learning management software. The application is available across a wide range of operating systems, for example, IoS and Android, and the app functionality provides offline capability meaning the content remains available without internet connection, an important factor for seagoing personnel.
Registration and payment for the app is undertaken via the NI Alexis Platform which is accessible by all DPOs who wish to purchase the CPD programme.