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    IMCA's guidelines for training DP personnel updated

    Publications // April 13, 2006

    The offshore industry is in agreement that trained and experienced key dynamic positioning (DP) personnel are essential for a safe and commercially successful DP operation. 

    The challenge is always to find the most cost-effective method to achieve a satisfactory level, and the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) initially took up this challenge by publishing ‘The Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel’ in early 1996.

    “Now, ten years later, this widely used publication has been updated to reflect current best practice,” explained IMCA’s chief executive, Hugh Williams. “As before, details on formal training courses to be attended by DP operators and others are included, together with a structured familiarisation procedure for personnel joining a vessel or starting a new project; and there is guidance on refresher training too."

    “The guidelines are designed for vessels engaged in operations where loss of position could cause major damage, economic loss, severe pollution, or even loss of life,” Williams explained. 

    The updated review includes input from a range of members and organisations including the Nautical Institute. The formal training courses to be attended by DP operators are defined in content, verification and approval, as are the practical experience and certification requirements. Training for watchkeeping marine engineers and electronic maintenance staff (EMS) is specified.

    “The International Maritime Organization referenced the previous edition in their Maritime Safety Circular MSC/738, ‘Guidelines for Dynamic Positioning (DP) Operator Training’. The updated version has been submitted to the IMO and will be the subject of an introductory paper at their next Maritime Safety Committee, ” explained Williams.

    Copies of the updated guideline (IMCA M 117 Rev 1) are available from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521 and can be ordered online at or from At £5.00 for members and £35.00 for non-members. 


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