The Norway based Kongsberg Maritime, one of Scandanavia’s largest marine solutions companies, has announced the launch of a new ECDIS course designed to train captains and senior crew members of commercial vessels so that they will be able to further train and instruct the officers and crew members under their command.

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ECDIS, or Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems, is a computer based navigation system used by commercial vessels as an alternative to traditional paper navigation charts. ECDIS uses a combination of information from Global Positioning System (GPS) data and other sources of navigational information, such as radars and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) to determine the position of a vessel in relation to other vessels and land.

The ECDIS Instructor Training course has been initially introduced in Norway and Singapore, with plans to extend the training to other countries in the future if the pilot project goes well. The course has been created in response to the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations that require specialised certifications when using ECDIS navigation systems. The certifications require additional training modalities to ensure that every crew member that makes use of ECDIS complies with IMO regulations.

According to Tommy Edvarson Hvidsten, the product manager of the training department at Kongsbery Maritime, the new course includes a combination of technical training of the use of ECDIS systems as well as a number of additional components which allow captains of vessels to train their own crew members. The course is designed to decrease the travel and training costs required to train an entire crew, by allowing captains to train crew members on board the vessel rather than having individuals travel to separate on shore ECDIS training courses. The course aims to also allow crew members to comply with regulations rapidly and efficiently, with little cost to the parent company.

The course provides a realistic training experience in a safe and controlled environment, which allows participants to acquire the real life skills needed to operate the navigational system in any conditions, including emergencies and adverse weather conditions, said Hvidsten.

As well as receiving the materials necessary to train their own crew members, captains and senior personnel who attend the new Kongsberg course will also receive a certification of ECDIS training for themselves.

To date, two ECDIS courses have been carried out successfully, one in Singapore, and one in Norway, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from both the captains who attended the course and crew members who were later trained.


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