The industry addresses behavioral competency, assessment and verification


INTERTANKO and OCIMF just announced the first edition (2018) on “Behavioural Competency Assessment and Verification for Vessel Operators”, where, once again, it is clearly stated that the major contributing factor for incidents is still the human factor.

STCW 2016 has already introduced soft skills in addition to technical skills as a prerequisite to address safety onboard vessels and these were leadership, teamwork, communication and decision making. Now, more soft skill competencies are introduced in addition to the above, such as situational awareness and associated behaviours, which need to be developed in the context of a continuous improvement process leading to the desired level of performance. It is now recognized that assessing soft skills competence together with technical competences will contribute to establishing and enhancing a behaviour-based culture and therefore achieve performance excellence.

To objectively achieve the assessment of seafarers on soft skills, the industry introduces with this guide, specific indicators to be used against observed behaviours and requested that assessors take specialized training so that they will be able to undertake the task and meet the requirements set therein. Furthermore, it provides a framework on competency management.
DNV GL's Maritime Academy is offering to that end, a two-day Training for Assessors course aiming to transfer the necessary knowledge and skills to support trainees when called upon to manage, supervise and conduct the assessment of seafarer competence in accordance with the above.

The topics discussed in detail are:

  • Shipboard assessment system
  • Competence-based assessment
  • Assessment methods
  • Communication skills
  • The on-board assessment process
  • Reporting and feedback
  • Uniformity of assessments
  • Conduction of a practical assessment session (Role Play)

The last but one item – uniformity of assessments – is of great importance as it seems to be an issue raised by “all shipping companies”. The case of quite different evaluations of the same person coming from different assessors is often and seems to originate – amongst others – from the different perception of the role of the assessor as well as scope of the assessment procedure itself. Thus, the need for training to that respect is imminent and should also be combined with the general assessment principles of impartiality and personal development.

Those who successfully complete the course will be able to perform on board assessments as well as undertake all the responsibilities expected of assessors within their field of expertise, as per IMO Model course 1.30 (On-board Assessment).

The course incorporates also important elements of the IMO Model Course 3.12 (Assessment, Examination and Certification of Seafarers).

Furthermore, DNV GL offers a Certification of companies’ Competence Management Systems against Standard DNV GL - ST - 0049:2014-08 , so as meet the requirement for “auditing or external verification”.