I do not hold an OOW certificate. Can I still apply for a DP certificate?
Before 1 January 2012, it was not a statutory requirement for DPOs to hold a minimum OOW certificate to be able to become a certified DPO. The DP Operators training programme was open to all ranks, provided they could meet the required watchkeeping DP sea time.
However, since 1 January 2012, the OOW certificate has become a minimum requirement for DPOs taking the Induction /Basic course for the first time on or after this date. Minimum Qualification Requirement The Nautical Institute implemented the following criteria for entry onto the DP Operators Old Offshore Scheme:
Prospective DPOs not meeting the above requirements will be able to apply for certification, if they commenced training prior to the implementation date (1 January 2012) and all elements have been completed within a 5 year period at the time of application.
*Marine Vocational qualification: is a non-STCW Certificate of Competency issued by a white list Maritime Administration for use in the administration’s local waters only.
Am I ready to apply for a certificate?
Please ensure ALL sections of your logbook are dated within the last five years and have been completed correctly by reading the DP Operator Certificate Information document and DP Logbook Guide or Black DP logbook Guide, depending on which logbook type you own. These documents can be found on our website.
Please apply online via the NI Alexis Platform website before sending your documents to the DP Department for processing. Your completed application documents must be received by The Nautical Institute within this five year validity period.
If you send your application documents to the DP Department without firstly applying online and/or having ALL of the sections properly completed and/or with ALL of the supporting documents enclosed with your application, as required by the scheme, The Nautical Institute reserves the right to return your documents unprocessed.
Where can I take/retake my Basic/Advanced course(s)?
Please visit our website for a list of Accredited DP Training Centres and contact them directly for course information, including costs.
I took my Basic/Advanced course(s) over 5 years ago. Is this OK?
No. Both the DP Basic/Induction and DP Advanced/Simulator courses, along with your DP sea time, remain valid within a 5 year period of the date that your application is received by The Nautical Institute. Therefore, you should aim to complete the whole DP training programme within this period otherwise, you will be required to retake any expired course(s) †. You will not be able to enter any course dates which are over five years old on the online application.
† You are required to redo your 30 days seagoing DP familiarisation (Section B) after retaking the Basic/Induction Course if it is over 5 years old or will be over 5 years old by the time your reapplication documents are received by The Nautical Institute. If any of the dates in your Section C match expired entries in Section B, then your Section C must also be redone. Additional Seagoing Familiarisation Declaration forms are available on our website.
Can I take my Advanced course directly after my Basic course (Back to Back)?
When taking these courses for the first time, it is a mandatory requirement for you to complete at least 30 familiarisation DP sea time days between the DP Basic/Induction and DP Advanced/Simulator Courses and a minimum of 30 DP days after the DP Advanced/Simulator Course. If you have previously completed the DP Basic/Induction and DP Advanced/Simulator Courses but need to retake both courses due to them being expired, you are permitted to take them back to back.
Why must I complete 30 DP sea time days after each course?
You are required to complete 30 DP sea time days after each of the following courses when taking them for the first time:
This is to enable you to validate and put into practice what you have learnt on the course(s). *The seagoing DP familiarisation period (Section B), plus Section C, must be completed AFTER the Basic/Induction Course and BEFORE the Advanced. Failure to complete the minimum requirement of days between these courses will result in your application being rejected and you having to complete/redo the seagoing DP familiarisation period and if applicable, the Advanced course followed by a minimum of 30 watchkeeping DP sea time days.
† Ideally, the required minimum 180 watchkeeping DP sea time days experience should be completed after attending the Advanced course. We do, however, recognise that due to company work schedules this is not always possible. Therefore, if you do accumulate all of the required watchkeeping DP sea time to qualify for a certificate before attending the Advanced course, you are still required to complete at least a further 30 watchkeeping DP sea time days AFTER the course. If you are repeating the Advanced course you do not need to complete the 30 watchkeeping DP sea time days after the course.
‡ A Sea Time Reduction Course can be taken directly after the Advanced Course without the need to complete 30 days between these courses. Please see ‘Making an application manually eligible’ in the Troubleshooting section of the Old Offshore Scheme - Online Application Guide.
Is sea time accrued on board any DP equipped vessel eligible to gain a DP certificate?
No. Only familiarisation and watchkeeping DP sea time gained working as a DPO on board vessels officially classed as DP by one of the classification societies will be counted towards your required time. Copies of the classification certificate should be on board the vessel and at your company headquarters. The list of class notations can be found on our website. The following types of sea time cannot be used towards the DP time required to gain a DP certificate under the Old Offshore scheme.
Are all of the vessels on your database DP classed?
While we make every effort to maintain our vessel database to keep it up to date, there may be some instances where vessels listed have had their DP status changed, e.g. upgraded, downgraded or even lost their DP status completely. We also have DP unclassed and DP0 vessels listed on our system as they can be used under the New Offshore Scheme to gain an Unclassed DP Certificate.
Our online application system, however, is designed to only allow entries to be saved where the dates and DP class entered match the classification certificate details we have received for a particular vessel. If you find that the vessel is not showing on the ship list, or that an error message “Fail to validate ship and DP class” appears, this means that we do not have the information available on our database for the application to be completed. To rectify this issue, please obtain a copy of the vessel’s classification certificate that is/was valid for the dates you are trying to enter into your application. This can be emailed to the DP Department and will be checked before being added to our database. Please also send a copy of the classification certificate if you find that the vessel name or DP class is different to what is held on our system.
You can also check the details of vessels held on our database by entering the vessel name or IMO number in the correct field of our online vessel classification checker.
We recommend in all instances that you check the classification certificate of any DP vessel that you serve on board to ensure that it has been officially classed as vessels without an official DP notation and DP0 vessels cannot be used towards gaining a DP certificate under the Old Offshore scheme. INSERT SCREEN SHOT
I have watchkeeping DP sea time on board a vessel equipped with POSMOOR. Can I use this to gain a DP certificate?
No, DP sea time accrued on board vessels with this type of system are not currently approved by The Nautical Institute for use in gaining an initial offshore certificate. DP sea time on board POSMOOR equipped vessels can be used to revalidate an existing certificate. Please read the DP Accreditation and Certification Scheme Standard for further details.
I have not completed all of Section C during my 30 DP days familiarisation period. Is this OK?
All of Section C should be completed during the initial 30 days DP familiarisation period. We do recognise that this may not always be possible due to operational requirements. Therefore, additional trips can be entered in Section B of your logbook to meet the minimum requirements set out below. Requirements: If you are unable to complete all of the activities within the time entered in Section B, you must write a note in your logbook with an explanation as to why you were unable to complete the activities in the required period. This should be written on page 7 - item 8, if you own the older style Blue/Green logbook or on page 20 of the newer style Black A5 size logbook. You must, however, complete a minimum of 50% of the mandatory activities in Section C, within the seagoing DP familiarisation period. The remaining Section C activities must be dated within DP sea time entries recorded in Section B or E of your logbook. All mandatory items are listed as follows:
1.1 Controlling Vessel movements using - Manual controls jointly and individually
1.2 Controlling Vessel's movement using - Joystick control
1.3 Setting the Vessel up on D.P.
1.4 Manoeuvre V/L in Auto D.P. Mode
2. DP CONTROL SYSTEM
2.1 General understanding of Dynamic Positioning System installed on vessel
2.2 Use of the desk facilities
2.3 Use of the reference input systems
3. DP COMPUTER SYSTEM
3.1 Power Supplies
3.2 Emergency Power supplies
3.3 Alarm signals
6. UNDERSTANDING & USE OF PROPULSION UNITS
(a) IN MANUAL CONTROL
(b) IN D.P. OPERATION
7.1 SHIP'S PRIMARY & AUXILIARY SUPPLY ALTERNATIVE GENERATING & DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS
7.2 UNDERSTANDING & USE OF UPS SYSTEMS
My Section C has been block signed. Is this OK?
No. All completed items must be dated and signed individually. If any items in Section C of your logbook have been block signed please ask the Master who originally signed the Section C to correct this. If it is not possible to get the original Master to re-sign the relevant entries, you should arrange to have a new Section C (Seagoing Familiarisation Watchkeeping Declaration) form completed by the marine superintendent/vessel manager responsible for the vessel the Section C is signed off on. The marine superintendent will also need to provide the following in writing:
Can I use watchkeeping DP sea time as my DP familiarisation?
Only DP sea time recorded in Section B of your logbook can be used towards DP familiarisation, therefore you cannot use watchkeeping DP sea time logged in Section E for this purpose. The only DP sea time that can be moved is familiarisation DP sea time in excess of the required 30 days. This additional time can be entered as DP Watchkeeping Experience, (Section E) when applying online. However, to avoid queries with your application, please ensure that the familiarisation DP sea time remaining in Section B matches the dates in Section C (Seagoing Familiarisation Watchkeeping Log).
Do I have enough sea time to qualify for a certificate?
Please cross-check your DP logbook with the confirmation letter(s) given to you to verify your DP sea time. We can only accept DP sea time that is verified by both of these items towards the time required to gain a DP certificate. When submitting your application, the system will tell you whether you have entered enough time to be eligible. Please note that eligibility is not a guarantee that you will be issued with a DP certificate, this cannot be determined until your original physical documents have been received and fully processed.
Can I reduce the amount of practical sea time required to qualify for a DP certificate?
You can reduce the amount of practical sea time required by taking an approved sea time reduction course. Please read DP Operator Certificate Information for a detailed explanation on sea time reduction courses and their restrictions.
Does DP experience gained before the DP Induction Course count?
A maximum of 30 DP sea time days gained prior to attending the DP Basic/Induction Course can be counted towards the required watchkeeping DP sea time to gain a DP certificate. This time must be dated within the previous five years to us receiving your application and must be confirmed with a letter from the Master of the vessel bearing the vessel stamp or be recorded in your Discharge Book. A DP sea time confirmation letter must also be provided.
These 30 days allow employers to continue the practice of evaluating prospective DPOs prior to attending the DP Basic/Induction Course.
Please note that DP sea time gained prior to attending the DP Basic/Induction Course counts towards your required watchkeeping DP sea time only and cannot be used for the DP familiarisation period in Section B. It must also be dated within five years of The Nautical Institute receiving your application for a DP certificate.
Can I use DP sea time gained whilst my logbook is in The Nautical Institute office?
No, you are unable to use any DP sea time gained during the period your logbook is being held by the Institute for processing as stated on page 11 of the Dynamic Positioning Operator Certificate Information document. If you need further DP sea time to gain a certificate, upgrade a Limited to a Full/Unlimited or to revalidate an existing certificate, this must be accumulated and entered in your logbook after the logbook has been returned to you.
I have more than the required DP sea time days recorded in Section B (Seagoing DP Familiarisation) of my logbook. Can these additional days be used to make up my watchkeeping DP sea time?
Yes. DP sea time in excess of the 30 days required for seagoing DP familiarisation can be counted towards your watchkeeping DP sea time.
When using the online application process, please enter these additional days in the DP Watchkeeping Experience section as the system does not automatically take excess days entered in Seagoing DP Familiarisation into account when calculating your qualifying watchkeeping DP sea time days.
Please ensure that your entries in Section B that match the dates in the Seagoing DP Familiarisation Watchkeeping Log (Section C) are not moved to DP watchkeeping.
I have more than 150 days recorded in one entry in Section E (DP Watchkeeping). Is this acceptable?
The Institute understands that normally no one stays on board of vessels continually for 150 days. As a result, The Nautical Institute requires the DPO to break down these dates.
Only dates you are involved in DP operations should be recorded in your logbook. If you own an NI black logbook, your dates on DP must be broken down and listed in the ”Dates Worked on DP” tables on the DP familiarisation and/or DP watchkeeping pages. If you have more than 150 DP sea time days recorded in one entry in either Section B (Seagoing DP Familiarisation) or Section E (DP Watchkeeping) the DP sea time confirmation letter provided by your company must verify this and state that all of this time complies with our definition of a DP day *.
Please note our online application system allows a maximum of 150 days per entry. Any trip recorded in your logbook over this amount should be split into two entries or more.
One unique DP sea time entry is not acceptable in the new logbook. The new logbook requires that all DP sea time to be broken down according to the use of DP operations.
*DP Day: Is any day you have performed as a DP operator when the vessel is engaged in DP operations. (A minimum of one hour per day is accepted).
I only have a confirmation letter for my DP watchkeeping. Is this enough?
No. ALL DP sea time which is to be considered for your application must be verified by a confirmation letter. This means that both your familiarisation DP sea time and watchkeeping DP sea time must be verified by the company(ies) you have worked for; past and present. This letter must meet ALL the criteria as set out by The Nautical Institute.
My company will not give me a DP sea time confirmation letter. What should I do?
If you are unable to obtain the correct sea time confirmation letter for any qualifying DP sea time, you will need to redo this time. Please note that if you are redoing familiarisation DP sea time, this time will need to be entered in the Seagoing DP Familiarisation section, (Section B) and a new Section C must be completed during this time. Additional Section C (Seagoing Familiarisation Declaration) forms are available on our website. The Nautical Institute provides an option for statutory declarations, judged on a case-by-case basis.
Why has my DP sea time confirmation letter been queried?
There may be a number of reasons why a confirmation letter may be queried. The letter must match the following criteria:
Please note that digital signatures, photocopies and emailed scans will not be accepted. Original signature must be provided.
We also conduct random checks on letters received as part of our verification process.
All confirmation letters should be written and signed only after the company has checked and confirmed the DP sea time through internal logs and data. The confirmation letters cannot be signed based only on the information in the logbook. This information may be requested by the NI for additional checks on applications.
What documents do I need to send when applying for my certificate?
Please provide the following for your application:
A link to this form appears on the main My Account Homepage of your online account once you have successfully submitted your application and made payment by credit card/debit card/PayPal Please ensure that you complete the checklist and enclose all of the mandatory items required. Failure to enclose the required documents and/or complete the PDF checklist will result in your application being rejected.
To verify ALL DP familiarisation and DP watchkeeping entries – this should be done according to the criteria mentioned above.
Copy required if your DP Basic/Induction Course was taken on or after 1 January 2012. The copy of your certificate or licence must be the same one that was presented to the training centre upon commencement of the scheme. • Original Limited DP certificate If you are applying for an upgrade from a Limited to a Full DP certificate.
The Nautical Institute reserves the right to request additional documentation from specific countries as part of our verification process.
If you have added a company address for the return of your documents, you must also include a full contact name and job title or department for a member of shore staff at the given address with whom your documents can be left for safekeeping e.g. Joe Bloggs Attention: A N Other, Crew Department… This is to avoid your documents going astray once they reach their destination.
Is there a fee for processing my application?
Yes. The current price can be found here. It is mandatory for all applications to be paid for by credit card, debit card or PayPal at the end of the online application process. This fee includes the cost of returning your documents to you by courier. Please do not send in your own personal prepaid courier envelopes.
Does The Nautical Institute make a profit from its DP training scheme?
No. The Nautical Institute Dynamic Positioning training scheme is a not-for-profit scheme that exists solely to meet the needs of the DP industry. The scheme is subject to review by the Dynamic Positioning Training Executive Group (DPTEG), a pan industry forum of training providers, trade organisations and professional associations. DPTEG seeks to ensure that the scheme remains effective in providing the DP industry with competent DP Operators.
What happens when I send my application to The Nautical Institute?
Your account is updated as ‘Received and In Process' and our system will generate automated emails to notify you of the following processing stages of your application:
Please ensure that you check your inbox and junk/spam box often as we will also contact you by email if a query has been found with your application.
I have not applied online. Will my documents still be processed?
No, they will not. Please refer to “I am having trouble with the online application. Can I send in my logbook without completing this?”
How long will it take to issue a certificate?
The average time to have an application processed is approximately 3-4 weeks from the time of receipt. However, this time cannot be guaranteed and it may take longer if a problem has been found with your application. Please read the documents recommended on page one to ensure you have completed your logbook and application correctly. Please also read “What documents do I need to send when applying for my certificate?”
How do you send the logbook and certificate back?
Documents will be returned by courier as this service is prepaid by the applicant during the online application process.
Can I have a copy of my certificate emailed/faxed to me?
It is The Nautical Institute’s policy not to forward copies of issued certificates to DPOs. Once the certificate is printed, it will be despatched back to the address on the application and the certificate details can be checked online via our certificate verification checker.
What is a certified copy?
A certified copy is a photocopy of a document e.g. Birth certificate that has an endorsement or certificate to verify it is a “true copy” of the document presented to the authorised signatory.
The Nautical Institute requires certain document copies submitted with applications to be certified to ensure they are a genuine copy of the original, such as Discharge Book pages and STCW Certificates of Competency. If the document has multiple pages, EACH page must be certified and stamped.
The following is an example of the wording required on certified copies.
We accept certified copies signed by
I am having trouble with the online application. Can I send in my logbook without completing this?
If you do not apply online, but send your logbook to our office, your application will not be processed. The Nautical Institute will return your documents to the address in the logbook via standard post (if no courier payment is received) and will not accept any responsibility for documents lost in the post. Please visit the Alexis Platform website to complete your online application before sending your documents to us for processing. You will already have an account on our system if you match any of the following criteria:
Please note that if you applied previously using the online application system on the nautinst.org website that your login details have changed. Your username would now be the email address you registered with us when you created your online account. If you do not know your login details, please use our 'forgotten your password?' option. The Old Offshore Scheme – Online Application Guide is available on our website. It contains step by step instructions to assist you in completing your online application before sending your physical documents to us via post/courier for processing.
I have registered online but have not received my login details. What should I do?
Please do not register more than once on the system. If you have not received your login details please contact the DP Department for assistance.
I do not know my customer number. How can I find it?
Your customer number is no longer needed to log into our online application system. To do this you will need to enter the email address you registered with when you created your online account. Once you have logged in, you will find your customer number on your account below the photograph area.
I cannot find the vessel to select on the online application. What should I do?
If the vessel is not showing on the online application, or the system is not allowing you to save your DP sea time because of the selected vessel, please email a copy of the vessel’s classification certificate to email@example.com where it can be checked and then added to the system.
You can also check if a vessel is on our system as well as its DP class and the dates the classification certificates held on our system are valid for by entering the vessel name or IMO number into the online vessel classification checker. If you wish to enter DP time for dates outside of the ‘From’ and ‘To’ dates listed, you will need to provide a copy of the classification certificate for that period.
My payment is showing as unsuccessful. Why is this?
There may be a number of reasons for a payment showing as unsuccessful on the website. Please check the Credit Card Payment Checklist for more help.
I have not received my PDF form. What should I do?
The PDF Checklist is no longer sent to applicants via email. It becomes available on the ‘My Account’ Home page once you have completed the payment for your application. A new heading called ‘Downloads’ will appear with a link called ‘PDF Checklist’ below. Click on the link to open the checklist. Once you have printed and completed it, attach a scanned copy to your account before sending the original with your physical application documents to the NI for processing. If the link is not showing on your Home page, please check the payment details are showing at the bottom of the page. Please read the Old Offshore Scheme – Online Application Guide for full instructions.
I cannot complete the online application. What should I do?
Please read the Old Offshore Scheme – Online Application Guide, which is available on our website. If after reading the guide you are still experiencing problems completing the online application, please contact the DP Department for assistance.
I have not received my certificate and logbook. What should I do?
Once we have despatched your documents, you will receive an automated email from us informing you of this.
Please provide a telephone number and email address, where you can be easily reached, as our couriers will contact you if they are experiencing problems delivering your documents to your designated address. They will also send an email to you with your tracking number.
I have lost my certificate/logbook. How do I obtain replacements?
If you have lost your logbook/certificate, you are required to provide a police report AND affidavit to The Nautical Institute.
Please complete the application form and credit card form and send them via fax or post to The Nautical Institute.
ALL applications for replacements of stolen or lost documents must be accompanied by a police incident report and affidavit.
Prices for replacement documents can be found on the application and credit card forms located in Forms and Documents in the DP Help Page Offshore section.
I am the Master applying for my DP certificate. Can I sign Sections B, C, E and F myself?
It is acceptable for you as the Master applying for your certificate to sign-off Sections B (Seagoing DP Familiarisation) and E (DP Watchkeeping Experience) yourself as your DP sea time record will be verified by your employer in the DP sea time confirmation letter. However, Sections C (Seagoing Familiarisation Log) and F (Suitability of officer to undertake full watchkeeping responsibility on board a DP vessel) cannot be self-signed. Blue/Green Logbook Section C: If there is no suitable person to sign the tasks and the declaration in section C, then you may sign them yourself, however, you must provide an additional Seagoing Familiarisation Declaration signed by one of the following authorised signatories:
Section F: The certified DPO should write their certificate number next to their name. Should a certified DPO not be available on board, one of the following personnel who is knowledgeable about your capabilities as a DPO is also authorised to sign the form:
Section C: If you are the Master applying for your DP certificate then you should only sign the DP Familiarisation log (pages 21-27 only) yourself if no other suitable person is available (i.e., if you are the Master and trainee DPO, and there is no other DPO on board that can verify your training). In this case the Competent Officer’s sign off on page 28 of your logbook must be completed by one of the following authorised personnel who has knowledge of your capabilities as a DPO:
(Please note that the certified DPO is required to hold a valid DP certificate to be able to sign this section). A letter of explanation should also be provided by the authorised signatory and included with your documents when you apply to us for your DP certificate.
Section F: If you are the Master applying for your DP certificate then you cannot sign this form yourself. Instead you should have it signed by one of the following authorised personnel who is fully aware of your capabilities as a DPO:
Please note that if the Relief Master or Operations Manager signing the Section F do not hold a DP certificate they should only sign this after obtaining feedback from the certified DPO on board. The certified DPO is required to provide his name and DP certificate number for verification purposes. "
Why has the signature on my PDF Checklist form been queried?
The PDF checklist must be signed by the applicant. The applicant is the person whose name appears on page one of this document.
The page of the PDF application form that needs to be signed is a declaration verifying that the information provided by the applicant is true and correct. It is therefore important that we have the correct original signature of the applicant on this document that can be matched with the signature on his/her Section F form and Certificate of Competency, where applicable.
How can I obtain Junior or Senior DPO Certification?
The Nautical Institute does not have a definition for different levels of DPO. We consider a "Trainee DPO" to be a person who is working toward the award of a DPO certificate and a DPO as someone who holds a valid DPO certificate.
IMCA has produced definitions for Trainee, Junior and Senior DPO in its document M117 "The Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel". These are intended as general guidance and are not necessarily adopted by companies. Companies assign levels of DPO status to suit their own operational needs and charter requirements.
My logbook is full. How do I obtain a new one?
If you have not yet been issued with a DP certificate please contact The Nautical Institute. Please note if you hold an older style A6 size Blue/Green Logbooks (issued up to 2012), you can use the additional DP watchkeeping pages 16-21 even if you have not yet been issued with a DP certificate. You will be required to show your completed logbook in order to purchase a new one.
For certified DPOs who have been issued with a Full/Unlimited NI DP certificate, you can purchase a Revalidation logbook from The Nautical Institute via our website to continue logging your DP time. We also accept DP time recorded in IMCA logbooks for the following purposes:
If you are upgrading your Limited DP certificate and own an NI black logbook as your sole logbook or as an additional one, your DP sea time needs to be recorded in either the NI black logbook or Revalidation logbook for it to be accepted.
Can I replace my old logbook with a new style one?
If you own an old style Blue/Green logbook, you cannot replace it with the newer Black logbooks, which were issued between 1st January 2013 and 31 December 2014 under the Old Offshore Scheme. Grey logbooks are only available to DPOs who are on the New Offshore scheme and burgundy logbooks are only available to those on the Shuttle Tanker scheme; both these schemes started in 2015.
I have an old card certificate. Can I change it to a new credit card size certificate?
Yes. If you would like to replace your old card certificate with a new plastic credit card size certificate you can order a replacement by completing the DP application and credit card forms available on our website. The additional charges listed on the forms are applicable for all replacement certificates. Please note that the new certificate will contain the same information as on the current one and will not alter any of the dates. In order to replace your certificate please upload a passport standard photograph onto your Alexis Platform account and send the following documents into our office:
The new printed certificate will be sent out via courier and the old certificate will be retained by The Nautical Institute.
How do I upgrade my Limited certificate?
Please read the requirements on how to upgrade your Limited DP certificate in the document titled DP Section F Upgrade Guidance. Once you have applied online for your upgrade, please post the following items to The Nautical Institute for processing:
Please enclose only original documents as photocopies will not be accepted and will delay your application.
How long is my certificate valid for?
Since January 2012, the Institute has been printing a validity date of 5 years from the certificate date issued on the certificates in preparation for the revalidation programme.
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