Friday, November 23, 2012

Freight and Passenger Vessel Crews Can Now Get Essential Maritime Training from a UK Company

Scottish Based Agency Achieves First British HELM Accreditation
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE - As governments tighten up ever more on standards at work, many people are finding they can only access employment by staying abreast of current legislation and ahead of rivals in terms of the qualifications they hold. A major review of practices within the global shipping industry aimed at raising standards in the ocean freight and passenger sectors means that revisions in force since January 2012 regarding the IMO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (the STCW Convention) requires training bodies to be fully certified for the education of crew members globally.

As we reported in 2010 the “Manila Amendments” were adopted at a Diplomatic Conference in the Philippines aimed at ensuring that the necessary global standards would be in place to train and certify seafarers to operate the new generation of technologically-advanced ships for some time to come. The new measures mean improved security to prevent the acceptance of false documents by employers, revised hours of working and certification for seafarers with ensured competence on the new technologies associated with vessel management.

In addition there are requirements to prevent drink and drugs abuse, industry specific training for crew aboard specialised vessels such as LNG carriers and oil tankers, security training, particularly in the event of attacks by pirates, instruction in the adapted practices when navigating polar waters, etc. As 2017 approaches more and more training agencies will need to acquire the relevant accreditations and we have already reported the success of some agencies in countries outside the UK.

Now the British Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA), which is the organisation that implements the government's maritime safety policy in the UK has awarded a private company, the first in Britain, the Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM) accreditation at management level required to instruct on these complex issue. Previously only two academic institutions, the Oxford Aviation Academy and Warsash Maritime Academy have managed to achieve accreditation.

The company which has just received acknowledgement following the rigorous accreditation process is Aberdeen based training and safety consultancy WrightWay which conducts human factors training at a variety of locations in North America, Asia, Europe and the UK using a team of consultants with experience in many industry sectors including shipping, oil and gas, manufacturing, aviation and defence. Captain John Wright, the founder and managing director of WrightWay, comments:

“We are immensely proud to be the first British company to achieve this milestone at management level. This approval was the culmination of many years of lobbying within the industry and recognises the importance of human factors in ensuring that seafarers throughout the world work in a safer environment.

“This (accreditation) permits WrightWay to deliver the HELM management level course throughout the world. Being at the forefront of implementing this training is an apt recognition for the ground-breaking, loyal clients of WrightWay who invested in the training, long before the mandated obligation to do so.”

Photo: Captain John Wright