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IMCA schemes designed to improve DP safety

Published on 11 October 2022

Two schemes run by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) – the IMCA DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme and their Key DP Personnel Continuing Professional Development (CPD) App (run with The Nautical Institute) – have a vital role to play in addressing the pressing issue of dynamic positioning (DP) becoming less safe, with human factors widely seen as the overwhelming cause.

IMCA Contact

Graeme Reid
Technical Adviser – Marine

“We shared the worrying fact about increased numbers of events and incidents due to human factors with delegates at our DP Conference earlier this year, it is based on reports made to our DP Station Keeping Event Reporting Scheme – the only scheme of its nature in the industry”

explained Graeme Reid, IMCA Technical Adviser – Marine

“The scheme collects and analyses data on DP incidents and other station keeping events which is then published for the betterment of the industry. Through this process IMCA realised that human factors can be an increasingly significant causal factor (or reason) for the undesirable DP station keeping events.

IMCA’s DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme, launched in 2019, is an output of a cross-industry workgroup comprised of DP vessel owners/operators, training providers, DP consultants, major energy companies and other relevant organisations. The scheme sets an industry recognised level of knowledge for DP Practitioners responsible for developing, witnessing and reporting on DP trials in addition to those responsible for the management of the DP vessel assurance processes. Information on the scheme is at

Graeme Reid added:

“The scheme focuses on two categories – DP Trials and Assurance practitioners; and a Company DP Authority. The recommendation to be IMCA accredited is now within a number of our 50+ DP guidance documents, for example, IMCA M190, M166 and IMCA / MSF 182. A specific question on the use of accredited practitioners has also been added to the eCMID question set.”

Feedback on the scheme continues to be positive and vessel owners/operators and charterers are requesting accredited personnel more frequently within tenders and contracts. A selection of feedback is detailed below:

“We want IMCA accredited DP practitioners in our marine assurance process – we cannot afford mistakes and have no other means of assuring competency of those we place trust in to undertake this function” Energy Company

“Being accredited brings me closer to the DP committee and increases my awareness of technical and operational developments when they occur. I like the regular newsletters” Company DP Authority

“This is a great and independent means of accrediting my DP consultants – it gives us competitive advantage” – DP consultancy

The Nautical Institute and IMCA Key DP Personnel CPD App, a learning programme, launched in May 2021, is designed to make significant improvements in the safety and risk management of DP operations.  A third module is due to be launched in the coming weeks for the growing scheme.
Further information is at Key DP Personnel CPD – IMCA (

“We need more people pressing to become accredited; and more individuals eager to use the DP CDP App. Knowledge and understanding of key issues are vital for the safe and efficient operation of DP vessels”, said Graeme Reid.