Seagull has released the Bulker Industry Training Standard (BITS), a predefined competence management system for the dry bulk industry.
BITS is a computer-based evaluation tool to enhance the competency of officers onboard a ship type whose maintenance, operating and cargo handling practices can be unique. As well as providing a benchmark for industry competence, BITS can be adapted to reflect advanced training standards developed by individual operators.
Seagull has worked with leading shipping organizations on harmonized competence standards, developing electronic versions of the Intertanko TOTS (Tanker Officer Training Standards) scheme and SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators) competence guidelines. It has also devised electronic versions of the cadets/ratings Training Record Books published by the International Shipping Federation.
BITS is Seagull’s first Competence Management System tool for a non-tanker application. It includes coverage of cargo specific competencies for coal, grain and iron ore, with additional cargo types to be incorporated in the next version.
“We believe building a competent crew through continuous training, gap identification and assessment is the key to improving ship performance,” said Roger Ringstad, Managing Director, Seagull AS. “While there are plenty of high quality operators in the bulk industry, there is no universal standard for competence.”
In line with STCW, BITS covers competence in: Navigation; Cargo Handling; Controlling Operation; Marine engineering; Electrical; Maintenance & Repair; and Radio Communications. It links into Seagull’s training modules and Competence Evaluation Standard (CES) via the Seagull Training Administrator to offer a complete training and assessment solution for officers.
“Carrying bulk cargoes require specific attention to particular risks related to ship stability, cargo hazards and damage to the ship structure,” Ringstad said. “While these topics are addressed by STCW, BITS brings more rigor and precision to expectations for competence.
“BITS will help operators ensure that their dry bulk vessels comply with mandatory requirements by taking a ship-specific approach to improving the officer’s overall knowledge and competence.”
BITS specifies competency profiles for junior and senior positions onboard ship, providing individual officers with a simple and effective competency development and career planning tool to identify promotional requirements and motivate progression. Managers ashore gain a full overview of the seafarer’s development and competence. The Competence Manager section can be edited to reflect company-specific competence requirements.
To support the new Bulker Industry Training Standard, Seagull will release six new training modules on bulk-specific topics before the end of 2014.