Consilium, one of the worlds’s leading suppliers of fire and gas detection and navigation systems, has reached an agreement with well known training specialist Seagull to develop an ECDIS product-specific computer-based training package.
As mandatory ECDIS fast approaches, Seagull Managing Director Roger Ringstad said that ECDIS suppliers were increasingly realising the need for product-specific ECDIS training onboard ship.
“Shore-based ECDIS facilities can hardly offer the type of product-specific training that key Flag States are increasingly seeking, because there are too many different ECDIS makers and an unlimited number of software versions and system configurations,” he said. “ECDIS training has reached a crossroads and ship owners need to be ready for compulsory ECDIS. We are taking our generic ECDIS training package forward so that it can be product-specific in order to speed up the ability of ship owners to meet what will become statutory obligations.”
In order to replace paper charts, ECDIS systems must fulfil considerable technical requirements laid down in the International Maritime Organization ECDIS Performance Standards. New requirements for competence and training have been amended in the STCW convention. As well as including approved ECDIS simulator training, the standard opens up wider delivery sources of training, including onboard instruction.
To meet the requirements, the chart data in use must be official Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) compliant with the IHO standard, where these are available, while the graphic display on the screen must meet the equipment-independent specification. The equipment must also support the full range of navigational functions performed on traditional paper charts.
Approved by a number of Flag States, Seagull’s existing ECDIS onboard training course includes training in the use of ECDIS, chart projections, chart accuracy, chart types, chart datum, chart updating, sensor inputs and control, alarm and warning strategies, Radar and ARPA information on ECDIS, and route planning.
Under the agreement, Seagull will include the Consilium ECDIS CBT module in its library of CBT-modules as ‘Product Specific Training’ to meet the latest revisions to STCW, working on Seagull’s training system software.
“Used by qualified navigators an ECDIS increases the safety of navigation. However, in the hands of unqualified operators it may contribute to misunderstandings and even accidents. Understanding the philosophy, limitations and features of ECDIS is a must.”
ECDIS onboard training was both effective and cost saving, he said, since the seafarer was already in situ and did not incur any travel or accommodation expenses. At the same time the candidate would be trained in the use of the specific ECDIS system and equipment configuration onboard.
Consilium Marine & Safety President, Carl Adam Rosenblad said: “We have a demand from our customers that it must be possible to perform ECDIS training on board. By offering Consilium product-specific ECDIS training through Seagull, we will meet both our customers’ expectations and of course the IMO model course 1.27, and be certified to replace less efficient training ashore”
Seagull has more than 7,000+ vessels under subscription. Henceforward, the Consilium ECDIS CBT module will be available as part of the software released by Seagull, as well as being physically delivered and supported technically by Seagull.
Mr. Ringstad said: “This course is the same as the generic onboard ECDIS course from Seagull, but it has been amended with an Applications Trainer for the Consilium ECDIS, which will have the same assessment mechanism built in as the standard Seagull CBT modules, while the workbook will be the same as for the standard ECDIS course.”
Mr. Rosenblad said the new approach will make it easy for the existing customers operating Seagull onboard training to access the Consilium product-specific ECDIS CBT. “Orders may come from the Seagull sales network or from one of Consilium’s more than 20 offices worldwide, which will in turn pass on orders to Seagull. “Nearly all our ECDIS customers are running in paper-less mode to save costs and time, and in the same they will save by training the officers onboard”.
The training system, which will be available via an annual subscription per ship and upgraded for as long as the subscription is held, will be based on self-tuition by navigating officers while onboard under supervision by the ship’s Master or an approved assessor and supported by an ECDIS Onboard Workbook.
The ship’s Master or the approved assessor will confirm that the candidate has performed satisfactorily, endorse the course training records and send them to the Seagull Training Centre for assessment.
There, an instructor will verify that a complete set of documents has been received and that all training records and written responses to the workbook meet the required minimum standard, on completion of which the instructor will issue and submit to the vessel a course certificate.