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IMO accepts IMCA paper as basis for updating DP guidelines

Published on 3 February 2017

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to continue using the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) document covering The training and experience of key DP personnel as the basis of the IMO Guidelines for Dynamic Positioning System (DP) Operator Training (MSC/Circ.738).

The IMCA guidance (IMCA M 117) has recently been revised and earlier this week IMO Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 4) agreed to revise MSC/Circ. 738 to reflect the revision. In addition, the Sub-Committee decided to make a reference of IMCA Guidance in the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Code.

“IMO’s circular 738 is the established international standard for DP operator training since 1996. The guidelines have successfully provided the framework on which vessel operator training and competence schemes are based,” explains IMCA’s Policy and Regulatory Affairs Manager, John Bradshaw.

“Since MSC/circ.738 was first published in 1996, DP has evolved to being employed for a wide range of position keeping operations, with systems being fitted on much larger numbers of new vessels and on an increasingly diverse set of vessels, from offshore units to shuttle tankers and passenger vessels.

“MSC/circ. 738 has been working well but needed amending slightly to reflect changes in current training and operating practice. More particularly, the amendments to the IMCA Guidelines take account of the additional dynamic positioning operator (DPO) training schemes that are now available and set out more clearly the roles that are considered to comprise key DP personnel. It also reflects changes in operating practice, such as the increased focus on competence assessment and the more formalised concept of Continuing Professional Development (CPD),” added IMCA’s Marine Technical Adviser, Andy Goldsmith.