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Thursday, January 27, 2022

DNV Publishes Standards for Remote Control Vessel Operators

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 29, 2021

(Photo: DNV)

(Photo: DNV)

Classification society DNV has introduced the shipping industry’s first competence standard for vessel remote control center operators (RCCO). The standard is supported by a new recommended practice that offers a certification scheme for RCCOs. Together, they provide a framework for training, assessing, and certifying personnel working in remote-control centers that support or manage operations at sea.    

Intelligent software systems and enhanced ship-to-shore-connectivity have laid the groundwork for the growth of remote solutions and autonomy in shipping. Unmanned vessels are already expected to begin operations in the near future.

Ensuring that these vessels operate at an equivalent level of safety is essential to building confidence and realizing the potential of these technologies. However, despite the technical solutions being in place, competence requirements for those monitoring, supporting and/or controlling these ships have not been defined.

The new DNV competence standard for remote control center operators (DNV-ST-0324) and the supporting recommended practice (DNV-RP-0323) change this. They were developed in collaboration with Kongsberg Maritime, Wilhelmsen, as well as the University of South-Eastern Norway, and the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

“Making sure that shore-based staff are prepared for autonomous, remote-controlled or remotely supported operations at sea is a big challenge,” said Torsten Schröder, SeaSkill Service Manager, Competence & Learning at DNV Maritime. “Because when it comes the wider application of these technologies, trust in the systems, and the people managing these operations is paramount. This is why we are so pleased to have developed the RP with expert partners from across the industry. Having a wide range of expertise was essential to devising a uniform and controlled approach to the training, assessment and certification of RCCOs.”

The recommended practice, DNV-RP-0323, gives guidance to centers conducting examinations of remote-control center operators and issuing personnel certificates as a certification body. It also covers the competence building process for candidates before undertaking an RCCO examination, for example learning programs and practice sessions in the centers themselves.

The DNV SeaSkill standard ST-0324 provides a foundation for the entire process. It lists the required competencies for the operation of autonomous or remotely controlled and/or supported ships.

It also covers competency in emergency handling and resource management within a remote control center (RCC), communication with 3rd parties on behalf of the ship under remote-control and man-machine interaction.

RCCO certificates can be registered in an existing DNV online database, making it possible for interested parties to verify qualifications and validity of an RCCO certificate.

To ensure transparency in this emerging field and build trust among users and the public, examination centers, certification bodies, as well as the training centers, their RCC simulators and learning programs for RCCOs can also be certified by DNV.

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