Published on 24 September 2013
Simulators are used increasingly in the marine contracting industry, in particular for training and competence purposes, but also for work planning/mission planning purposes including engineering development, procedure development, technical assessments, research and asset risk assessment.
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has published a revision to ‘Guidance on the use of simulators‘ (IMCA C 014 Rev 3).
“This document, originally published in 2010 and updated in August 2011 and then again in June 2012, and now once more in 2013 – proof of the increasing use of simulators in our industry – provides guidance on the use of simulators in training and competence,’ explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler.
“The front section of the guidance document covers general issues such as definitions, the types of simulator and their appropriateness for training and competence assessment purposes. This latest revision sets out scenarios for use in training on dive panel simulators as well as further guidance on how time on a simulator can count towards gaining panel time for both trainee Diving Supervisors and assistant Life Support Technicians, reflecting the latest update of IMCA offshore diving supervisor and life support technician certification schemes.”
The use of simulators for training and education purposes is common practice in certain areas of the oil and gas industry, particularly in the areas of equipment familiarisation and emergency response exercises. The level of realism of each simulator will directly impact the effectiveness of the learning experience for the trainee.
The use of a simulator in a structured training programme can provide trainees with valuable practical hands-on experience in a safe, controlled environment. Training programmes should endeavour to include a blended approach to learning to ensure that essential knowledge and behavioural skills are taken into consideration.
“As with any computer-based workstation activity, health implications of extended exposure should be carefully managed including regular breaks,” adds Jane Bugler.