Industry leader, Seagull, has just released a new Bulker Industry Training Standard (BITS), which is a pre-defined competence management system designed specifically for the dry bulk industry.
According to the company, the BITS is a computer-based tool, designed for officers on board a ship with unique maintenance, cargo handling, and operating practices. The system can be used to give a benchmark for industry competence, and it is also adaptable for use with training standards developed by individual operators.
Seagull says that it worked with leading shipping organizations to create harmonized competency standards, and that they have developed electronic versions of the TOTS (Tanker Officer Training Standards) scheme and SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators) guidelines. The company has also created electronic versions of the ratings/cadets Training Record Books that are published by the International Shipping Federation.
This is the first Competence Management Tool for a non-tanker application for Seagull, and it even includes cargo-specific competencies for grain, coal, and iron ore. Seagull notes that other cargo types are planned for the next version of the program.
Said Managing Director, Roger Ringstad, “We believe building a competent crew through continuous training, gap identification and assessment is the key to improving ship performance. While there are plenty of high quality operators in the bulk industry, there is no universal standard for competence. BITS will help operators ensure that their dry bulk vessels comply with mandatory requirements by taking a ship-specific approach to improving the officer’s overall knowledge and competence.”
BITS remains in line with STCW conventions, covering competencies in Cargo Handling, Marine Engineering, Navigation, Controlling Operation, Electrical, Radio Communications, and Maintenance and repair. Additionally, the program links to Seagull’s other training modules and Competence Evaluation Standard (CES), using Seagull’s Training Administrator.
Seagull says that by the end of 2014, it will release six new training modules on bulk-specific topics.