Seagull Maritime AS is launching the shipping industry’s first Container Industry Competence Standard (CICS), a unique assessment and training system covering container vessel operations. The programme brings new consistency to competency on-board containerships, following a similar breakthrough from Seagull in the dry bulk sector last year, and earlier competence management system developments for the tanker industry.
Container Industry Competence Standard has drawn on cooperation with Rickmers Shipmanagement GmbH, one of container shipping’s leading operators, which offered key insights into cargo handling competencies specific to container vessel operations. The programme has already been widely piloted and is now available for all container operators.
Using the competence-based methodology found in the STCW convention, the Seagull programme offers a tool to guide operational training and verify the competence of deck, engine room and electrical officers. It is appropriate for containerships of all sizes, ranging from feeders to super-post-Panamax ships, to improve crew knowledge and competence, as well as support compliance with international regulatory requirements.
Bent Christoffersen, Seagull Maritime Director Training Content, says: “We believe the container shipping industry will be receptive, as this is a sector where any risk of damage generally involves high value cargoes. Owners know that it is not sufficient simply to abide by the rules; they need to demonstrate higher standards. Container Industry Compliance Standard is not so much regulation-driven; it is a response to an operator need for greater confidence that there are no gaps in competence and amongst the officers on their vessels.”
The new programme covers various job roles and topics, including stowage and planning, safe cargo operations and maintenance. As part of the Competence Manager within Seagull’s Training Administrator, it links to Seagull’s modular e-learning library and Competence Evaluation System to offer a complete training and assessment package for individual officers. Assessment records follow officers from ship to ship within the company and can be monitored by shore-based management.
Electronic records of all completed tasks/assessments are available on-board and online for individual officers and their supervisors. Once an officer has completed all Container Industry Competence Standard assessments, the assessor verifies the level of competence, so that any gaps can be identified and additional training recommended.
Competence profiles are specified for both operational and management positions on-board, offering the seafarer a motivating and effective career planning tool to identify promotional requirements. Container Industry Competence Standard has been designed to be easy to use both on-board and ashore, and can be tailored to company-specific competency requirements.
“Container Industry Competence Standard is a complete competency assessment and training programme,” says Mr Christoffersen. “Where the training has already been completed, it also allows companies to assess training effectiveness and identify any shortcomings that need addressing.”