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IMCA launches awareness campaign regarding new rules for DP

Published on 17 May 2023

Dynamic positioning is in IMCA’s DNA, dating back 30 years to the organisation’s predecessor, the Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA), which hosted the first DP Seminar.

IMCA recently published IMCA M 261 Dynamic Positioning Station Keeping Review – Incidents and Events Reported for 2022 (DPSI 32).

In March, new rules were shared by the Nautical Institute (NI) promoting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to DP Operators (DPOs) as a way to update their certificates. There are now two options alongside at least 150 days of sea time. First, attending a five-day onshore NI DP Refresher course and subsequently completing the online NI examination. Or secondly, to be enrolled in an NI-accredited CPD programme, such as IMCA’s Key DP Personnel CPD App, and completing the online NI exam.

IMCA Contact

Richard Purser
Technical Adviser – Marine

To support the industry in understanding the changes, and what it means in practice for DPOs, vessel owners and others, IMCA has launched an industry awareness campaign which will run over the coming months. This started with the publication of a set of FAQs outlining the changes and with detailed information on IMCA’s DP Key Personnel CPD App.

“In 2022, 170 DP station keeping reports were received from 106 different DP vessels”

IMCA’s DP Conference in 2022 featured healthy discussion by attendees on safety and improving delivery. Some of the DP events shared in IMCA M 261 reveal that human factors continue to play their part, and this is why CPD, alongside the ongoing promotion of IMCA guidelines, are vital tools to improving our industry’s performance as a whole.

The Key DP Personnel CPD App is designed to satisfy vessel owner/operators that their crews meet CPD requirements according to IMCA M 117 – The Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel, which, by default, is also an IMO requirement. The scheme also promotes safe DP working practices for the benefit of all in the DP community.

IMCA M 261 also reveals that in 2022, 170 DP station keeping reports were received from 106 different DP vessels – an average of 1.6 reports per vessel. We continue to urge all vessel owners and operators to contribute to our DP event reporting programme for the benefit of all in the industry.

DP event data collected by IMCA provides insights into the sector’s performance as a whole. Due to the efforts of those who take the time to submit their DP station keeping event reports, we can share this with the entire DP community. Not only do we share the anonymised information and data, but it can result in IMCA amending and/or promoting specific Codes of Practice and Recommended Practice. We also use these to influence the content in our CPD app, ensuring it is always up-to-date and based on real-life situations.

Equally important is the reporting of ‘DP observations’ and ‘DP undesired events’ which, when collated from across our industry, can reveal ongoing issues that may have remained undetected. It can also help reveal deficiencies within FMEAs or hidden failures which only become apparent after a more significant event occurs. It is only by sharing this information with the industry that will we be able to learn and apply lessons across the entirety of the offshore sector.

Richard Purser is Technical Adviser – Marine at IMCA. This article originally appeared in Offshore Support Journal.