DNV certifies first IMO IBS/INS course

14 Oct 2010
Furuno INS training centre

Furuno INS training centre

Furuno INS Training Center was recently the first training centre in the world to have the training course ‘IMO Model Course 1.32 Operational use and understanding of IBS, including INS’ certified by DNV SeaSkill.

“The navigation systems are becoming more and more sophisticated and provide a wider range of information to the user. Many tasks that were handled manually in the past are now automatically processed, and other systems like power management, engine automation, etc., are all integrated. It is a new era in navigation, and the navigators have to get acquainted with this new technology”, Ken Helle Jensen (training manager in Furuno INS Training Center) says and he continues, “Recent grounding accidents indicate that the introduction of IBS/INS and ECDIS creates a challenge to the skills and capabilities of the operators. A short familiarisation training provided by the manufacturer is not always enough if the crew does not have prior experience in operating integrated navigation systems.”

Furuno decided in 2005 to raise the level of training provided by Furuno, by establishing Furuno INS Training Center in Copenhagen. During 2005 Furuno INSTC developed its own ECDIS training course based on the IMO Model Course 1.27 and received, as the first manufacturer in the world, certification from DNV SeaSkill to validate the compliance of IMO Model Course 1.27. The decision to make the ECDIS training comply with IMO Model Course 1.27 was the recognition of the challenges to the navigators created by the introduction of ECDIS onboard the vessels.

“We have to realise that using IBS/INS and ECDIS demands a different approach to the daily navigation tasks because everything is electronic. The navigation charts have been changed from paper charts to ENC and the collection of data is now being done by a common reference system. This puts a new responsibility on the shoulders of the navigator, because he has to ensure that the IBS/INS should be correctly set up and the ship’s parameters have been updated to the latest state before departure. He also has to verify that the performance of the IBS/INS is correct and that the data provided by the system is valid at all times”, Jensen states.

This five day training course introduces the operation of integrated bridge systems (IBS) and integrated navigation systems (INS) to the navigators and certifies them in the use of IBS and INS. The training course combines theory and exercises and provides the navigator with insight into the operation of IBS and INS, how the system works, the rules and regulations governing the IBS/INS operation, how to use and benefit from it in the daily navigation of the vessel, and how to assess the performance and the information provided by the IBS/INS.

“In 2009 we decided to install our second full mission simulator with four planning stations and a second class room to be able to meet the increasing demand for ECDIS and INS training courses”, Jensen explains. “Because the training course is generic the certification of the navigator is independent of the brand of IBS/INS that the navigator uses in his daily work. “We try to address all the tasks involved when operating an IBS/INS during the training course, and we try to create different scenarios, including malfunction of the system and critical situations, to prepare the navigators for real life situations and how they can verify that the system is providing valid data at all times, and which countermeasures to take in case the system breaks down or start creating erroneous data”.

“All training courses are concluded with an assessment of the trainees to establish the knowledge they have gained during the training. They have to pass a test to receive the certificate”, Jensen continues. “It is important for the trainee and for the ship owner to be able to establish what knowledge has been gained by the trainee during the training course, and thus we have included the assessment at the end of the course. The assessment tests and the level required to pass the tests have been verified by DNV SeaSkill. We also use it as an indicator of the quality of our training, because the number of trainees passing the tests indicates a high level of learning amongst the trainees”.

“We have had a good cooperation with DNV SeaSkill during the certification of our ECDIS IMO Model Course 1.27 and IBS/INS IMO Model Course 1.32, and they have been a good sparring partner to us during the process.”

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