Industry recognises revised IMO Model Course for ECDIS

Books, IMO, IT and Communications — By on October 1, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Industry recognises revised IMO Model Course for ECDIS

The IMO ECDIS Model Course (1.27) has been revised to ensure that navigators understand ECDIS in the context of navigation and can demonstrate all competencies contained in and implied by STCW 2010. The new publication is entitled Model Course (1.27) 2012 Edition and is now available from the IMO (

Leading industry organisations (note endorsements) wish to bring to the attention of all mariners, ship owners, managers, training providers and Authorities that competency in the use of ECDIS is essential for maritime safety, and following this revision, any Generic ECDIS Courses of less than 40 hours including robust evaluation, will not meet STCW requirements. The industry notes with concern that there are Administrations that are accepting courses that do not meet this IMO Guidance, which could cause ECDIS training compliance issues for seafarers and owners.

The industry ECDIS Training Group also notes the conclusion of a recent report by the UK P&I Club (ECDIS – Navigational and Claims issues) that “With traditional damage defences of navigational error, heavy weather and crew negligence now being subjected to additional scrutiny, the ECDIS revolution may be the catalyst which sparks a new cycle in the claims sector and one which may be even more costly than the introduction of the technology itself.”

The primary change to the model course is a more detailed account of the time needed to address each element of training and assessment. Other issues include: Part A – Course framework – instructor-trainee ratio limited to 1:12. If more, an assistant instructor is required – minimum qualifications for instructors are included. Part B – Course outline and timetable are divided into 5 areas with 37 topics totalling 40.0 hours. More prescriptive design. Last afternoon includes evaluation – written and simulator. Part C – Detailed teaching syllabus – Each of the 37 topics are divided into sub-sections, with each prescribing the learning objectives required under that topic; the learning objectives are described more explicitly. Part D – Instructor manual – guidance for instructors – learning objectives in Parts A, B and C given in better detail so that every topic is covered.  Simulator exercises – guidance functions and task groups and expected outcomes.

Additional Note: At the IMO’s 43rd meeting of the STW Sub Committee in May 2012, the initial Model Course 1.27 (2000 Edition) “The Operational use of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)” was revised and updated in order to ensure that such courses prepare students adequately for the Generic use of ECDIS.

This change supports the Industry’s previously defined definitions of ‘Generic Training and Familiarisation’ (published Feb 2012 forums/ecdis/index.cfm):


1. Flag Administrations are recommended to review their endorsement of training centres delivering Generic ECDIS Training in accordance with the IMO Model Course.

2. All shipowners and operators should ensure that any future ECDIS training meets the criteria of the updated Model Course (1.27 2012 Edition).

3. Mariners are recommended to ensure that any future ECDIS Generic Courses meet or exceed new requirements set out in Model Course 1.27 (2012 Edition). A copy of the new Model Course 1.27 (2012 Edition) can be purchased from the IMO, or authorised IMO Publication distributors.

Training definitions: Generic ECDIS Training: ECDIS training to ensure that navigators can use and understand ECDIS in the context of navigation and can demonstrate all competencies contained in and implied by STCW 2010. Such training should ensure that the navigator learns to use ECDIS and can apply it in all aspects of navigation, including the knowledge, understanding and proficiency to transfer that skill to the particular ECDIS system(s) actually encountered on board, prior to taking over navigational duties. This level of training should deliver the competencies at least equivalent to those given in Model Course 1.27 S

Familiarisation: Following the successful demonstration of competencies contained in the Generic ECDIS Training, familiarisation is the process required to become familiar with any onboard ECDIS (including backup)in order to assure and demonstrate competency onboard any specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigational watch.

Supported by: Intertanko IGP&I OCIMF BIMCO InterManager IFSMA IMPA The Nautical Institute

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