"SMSC &DNV have been developing a new scheme for the training & certification of DP Operators. According to DNV this will lead to a new and flexible way of achieving a DP Operator Certificate, containing a high quality and faster throughput than the existing schemes. What will this mean for the industry?
On June 6th this concept received the following evaluation from the Norwegian maritime Directorate:
“The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) considers the DNV concept, as stated in mentioned standards, [I]to be equivalent to international recognized standard[/I]. Therefore the NMA requirement is fulfilled when a person holds a valid DNV DP-certificate”.
So this means that the NMD considers the training scheme to be equivalent to the current Nautical Institute program. They will continue to recognize the NI certificate however & the 2 schemes will run in parallel.
The new training scheme is comprised of 4 levels, plus a preparatory step, that need to be completed for full certification:
[B]Level 0 – DPO Preparation/Self Study[/B]
Available online as a self study course or with the Onboard Training System (OTS) developed by SMSC, this step covers dynamic positioning theory & lays the groundwork for the further steps.
[B]Level 1 – DP Simulator Course[/B]
This consists of 5 days (40 hours) of DP simulation at an approved training centre. The focus is more about hands on experience & less on theory.
[B]Level 2 – DPO Experience[/B]
Coming in to the scheme where the NI would require 10 days of sea time, the DNV concept gives the candidate 3 options:
[li]Practical DP exercises carried out onboard ship using the OTS.[/li][li]20x4hr watches documented & reported on standardized SMSC reporting form.[/li][li]Volume training consisting of an extra 5 days on the simulator[/li][/ol]
[B]Level 3 – DPO Specialization Course[/B]
The candidate must now choose a simulator course that matches his or her chosen field. Currently there are 4 options:
[li]Supply, standby, anchor handling, cruise, well service, & accomodation[/li][li]Shuttle tanker[/li][li]Rov, diving, cable lay, pipe lay, trenching, dredging & rock dumping[/li][li]Rig[/li][/ol]
Each of these courses is 4 days in duration & prioritizes certain aspects of the DP system over others. For example with option 3 follow target & auto track would be covered in depth, while the shuttle tanker course will concentrate more on weather vane & approach technique.
[B]Level 4 – Examination & Certification[/B]
Graduation day! This is comprised of a theoretical & a practical assessment conducted by an independent unit at the simulation center. Upon successful completion the candidate will immediately receive their [I]type specific[/I] certificate. An important point to note here is that the candidate must also be a valid STCW ticket holder in order to receive the cert, although the course will be open to anybody.
If you are already in the middle of the Nautical Institute training scheme you will be able to slot into this one at certain spots. Individuals that have completed the DP Induction will be able to skip the first step & move right to the DP Simulator Course. For those of you with both the Induction & Advanced Simulator completed you will be able to jump right in at Level 2; DPO Experience. To get started at either of those stages however you will be required to pass a theory exam.
Finally, for existing unlimited DPOs there will be the option to challenge the final step. On successful completion of the theoretical & practical exam you will immediately receive your new DNV certificate.
[B]So what does this all mean?[/B]
Well the scheme certainly has the “faster throughput” advertised! For the mathematically inclined you will see that you could complete the entire program from newbie to DPO in exactly 15 days, plus a few days of self study at level 0. Nowhere is there a requirement for any actual sea time except if you choose the 20 x 4hr of DP watch keeping at level 2. And unless you already have a sponsor to complete the courses I would imagine that most people would just choose to go with the extra days in the simulator.
It is also handy that you can gain entry into the program using the NI scheme as a stepping stone. This could present a way for those stuck at the induction phase to get out of that rut & back on track to a full (type specific) ticket.
The possibility of seafarers using this accelerated program to “buy” their DP ticket is obvious & while simulations serve as excellent training devices they should not be a replacement for hands on experience. I think that although the NMD has decided that these tickets are equivalent to the NI certificate industry will decide otherwise. With the market already becoming flooded with eager prospects the ability to gain a certificate so quickly will likely just accelerate the problem & depress the market further.
What do you think of this new scheme?"
Quoted from this website - http://dynamicpositioningnews.com/2012/09/dnvs-dpo-certification-scheme/