The DPO CPD learning programme has been developed by The Nautical Institute (NI) and IMCA to provide continuous professional development and learning to DPOs who perform a safety critical role onboard offshore DP vessels. Currently, there is no compulsory form of CPD during the five-year period prior to the revalidation of the DPO certificate as DPOs only require proof of time in control of a DP station, measured in DP days, to achieve the revalidation or successful completion of the DP Revalidation Course.
IMCA also operates a DP event reporting scheme with their members to collect and analyse data on DP incidents and other station keeping events, which is then published for the betterment of the industry. Through this process IMCA recognises that human factors are a significant causal factor (or reason) for many undesirable DP station keeping events. Consequently, a dedicated DPO CPD will make a significant improvement in the safety and risk management of DP operations.
The learning programme will therefore target all DPOs to ensure that their technical knowledge of the latest industry practices is up to date and measured though questions delivered through an application available on desktop and on mobile devices. This will ensure professional currency with the latest IMCA / industry guidance, DP safety bulletins, DP exercise and training drills, and help prevent knowledge and skill fade in their role.
Ultimately the introduction of this DPO CPD app will ensure that the employers of DPOs benefit from having the personnel in charge of operating their vessels in very close proximity to offshore hydrocarbon and renewable energy facilities, maintaining their professional knowledge, skills and technical currency.
In order to progress the learning programme, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by IMCA and the NI for its development and running; the two organisations being a natural fit for this. Both organisations have previously collaborated on various industry initiatives and it is an obvious route to ensure that CPD reaches a large proportion of DPOs via the NI and thereby benefits IMCA’s members who own and operate the DP fleet. The combination of the two organisations for this piece of work means that learning programme can benefit from IMCAs technical resource of DP best practices and the NI’s relationships and existing certification of DPOs.
The learning programme’s content is derived from more than 25 years of DP committee work by IMCA’s members creating a large volume of industry-leading guidance. The content is also derived from the considerable effort by the NI in the creation and regular updating of the DPO handbook.
The content is based on modules of learning. Each module of learning contains courses based on 6 different categories as follows:
Each category has a number of different course subjects for example “DP Operations” contains subjects such as:
Each course subject may contain a number of lessons, for example, “Operational planning and Decision Support Tools” will have a lesson on, ASOG, CAM, TAM, IMO guidance, etc. Therefore, there are many individual lessons in each module of learning. By example, Module 1 has 32 individual lessons. Each module should take around 4-6 hours and has a pass mark of 80%.
A new module of learning is planned to be released approximately every 6 months and currently module 1 is complete with the content for many more modules already drafted. DPOs will start at Module 1 and then have access to the subsequent module after 6 months. The purchased module will be available to each learner for a period of 12 months.
Learning is supplemented by direct access via the app to key IMCA guidance related to the particular subject of learning.
The content has been designed for use on mobile devices. The delivery of the content is through the EddApp application software which is a mobile device learning management software. The application is available across a wide range of operating systems, for example, IoS and Android, and the app functionality provides offline capability meaning the content remains available without internet connection, an important factor for seagoing personnel.
Registration and payment for the app is undertaken via the NI Alexis Platform which will be a familiar platform to DPOs certificated by the NI.
You can sign up for the CPD modules through your Alexis Platform DP account. Please note that you do not need to hold an NI DP Certificate, only an account on the Alexis Platform with the NI. You can log in or sign up for an account using the DP Login option at the top of the page.