ClassNK Issues First Approval for Maritime Training
NYK Shipmanagement ECDIS course first to be recognized by top class society.
ClassNK issued its first approval for maritime training programs to an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) course offered by NYK Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd. (NYKSM). The approval of the course, which certifies that the course fulfills International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards, follows ClassNK’s entry into the training program certification field as part of a broader expansion of the classification society’s activities announced earlier this year. In recognition of NYKSM becoming the very first such organization to receive ClassNK certification, ClassNK Executive Vice President Koichi Fujiwara presented NYKSM CEO Tomoyuki Koyama with an official certificate of approval at a special ceremony held in Singapore on 21 September. “This first certification for NYKSM’s ECDIS training course is not only a bold first step in ClassNK’s growing efforts to support the maritime industry, it is an important step towards training a new generation of highly trained and skilled seafarers, and ensuring a safer future for our entire industry,” said Mr. Fujiwara.
Requirements for the installation of ECDIS systems will be phased in from 1 July 2012, after which vessels will be obligated to navigate using ECDIS as their primary chart system. In line with these requirements, Captains and deck officers will be required to undergo ECDIS training modeled on a 40-hour, five day course developed by the IMO. In order to prepare its seafarers for the new requirements, NYKSM prepared simulations based on actual ECDIS equipment and began developing its ECDIS training program at the beginning of this year, before turning to ClassNK to certify that the new course lived up to the strict standards of the IMO. Alongside the dramatic growth of the world’s commercial fleet, the introduction of ECDIS and other technical systems is causing a technical revolution in ship operations, and high quality training programs are increasingly recognized as a necessity not only for maintaining highly trained crews, but also ensuring safety at sea and protecting the marine environment.
In recognition of the importance of crew training programs, ClassNK began establishing rules and procedures for certifying maritime training programs earlier this year, and the certification of NYKSM’s ECDIS training program represents the first real milestone in ClassNK’s rapid expansion into this new field. “From the certification of training courses such as NYKSM’S excellent ECDIS course, to providing training for instructors at maritime academies, ClassNK is developing a full range of services to support the maritime industry.” said Mr. Fujiwara, adding: “The challenge of training and maintaining skilled crews of seafarers is one of the most important challenges faced by our industry today, and as the world’s largest classification society, ClassNK intends to be part of the solution.”