In addition, bridge officers are also required by STCW (Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping) to be competent to carry out their duties, so ECDIS training on ships equipped with ECDIS is effectively mandatory too.
While ECDIS is expected to make navigation simpler, safer, and more efficient, this will only happen if the bridge officers can use ECDIS confidently and competently. This message was reiterated again in February, when the Nautical Institute (NI) and a group of eight industry associations came together to stress the importance of both training and competence to digital navigation. The group developed and published a guidance document entitled, Industry Recommendations for ECDIS Training.
There are plenty of useful sources of information to help you prepare. Our 9 Stages guide to ECDIS integration and a recent blog post from the guest editor of our blog, former Deputy Editor of Lloyd’s List, Neville Smith, are great places to start.
The integration of ECDIS into fleets is a complex project that has taken several early ECDIS-adopting companies longer than they originally planned. To remain compliant, shipping companies and crews must be ready to meet the new requirements. For many, that process has already begun.