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One year on! IMCA DP Practitioner accreditation scheme

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Mark Ford, Technical Director, IMCA

One year on! IMCA DP Practitioner accreditation scheme

The International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) Dynamic Positioning (DP) Practitioner Accreditation Scheme, launched on 1 May 2019, has received close to 1000 enquiries in its first year.

The Accreditation Scheme is the output of a cross industry workgroup consisting of DP vessel owners/operators, training providers, DP consultants, major energy companies and relevant organisations. This workgroup was tasked by IMCA’s Marine Division Management Committee in 2018 to devise a scheme to improve consistency and conduct of DP Trials. Additionally, the scheme set an industry recognised level of knowledge for DP Practitioners responsible for developing, witnessing and reporting of DP Trials in addition to those responsible for the management of the DP assurance processes.

One of the main aims of the scheme is to reduce DP events across all sectors by ensuring DP Practitioners have achieved and demonstrated a high level of skill given their involvement in DP testing and trials at all stages of the vessel design and operation. This scheme ensures that DP Practitioners have a level of competence that ensures any potential hardware or software issues can be accurately identified and addressed before any failures occur, which could adversely affect a vessel’s DP system.

Aims of the scheme

•        Improve the consistency and quality of DP trials

•        Set a recognised level of knowledge for DP Practitioners responsible for developing, witnessing and reporting DP trials, and those responsible for the management of DP assurance processes.

Objectives for the scheme are:

•        Assure that DP Practitioners attending vessels for trials are accredited to a recognised standard;

•        Assure that personnel conducting DP assurance duties in both vessel operator and client offices are accredited to a recognised standard;

•        Meet the requirement of OCIMFs Dynamic Positioning Assurance Framework (2016) which calls for verification that shore based DP personnel and DP Assurance Practitioners are qualified, experienced and competent

Two Categories within the accreditation scheme:

•        DP Trials and Assurance Practitioner – A person actively involved in producing, witnessing and assessing the results of DP FMEA proving trials and DP annual trials programmes;

•        A Company DP Authority – A person who manages, and provides advice on DP assurance processes and is typically employed within a DP vessel operator company or a DP vessel chartering company

Mark Ford, Technical Director stated:

“We have certainly seen a high level of interest and participation in the DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme since its launch last May and as the scheme enters its second year, we hope this continues. There has been an 80% pass rate across both categories so far.

“Continuous Professional Development and Accreditation schemes such as this enables IMCA to support our Members and the industry by maintaining consistency in standards when it comes to the skills and abilities of those working in our industry.

“It is vital that DP Practitioners attending vessels for trials, and those conducting DP assurance duties in both vessel operators and client offices, are accredited to an internationally recognised standard. The scheme ensures that the requirement of the OCIMF white paper on DP assurance is met; and that DP trials practitioners and office-based personnel maintain and increase their knowledge base.“

Scheme requirements

To ensure the scheme continues to enhance industry knowledge, applicants need to be able to meet certain criteria to be able to apply – these include relevant qualifications, certification, experience and knowledge for their chosen category.  The application criteria are clearly set out on IMCA’s website and in IMCA M 249 DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme Handbook. All applications submitted are reviewed by IMCA’s Marine & DP team. If applicants are not able to meet the criteria they will not be accepted into the scheme.


Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused interruption to the examination programme recently however, IMCA is working closely with the examination centres and will inform candidates and Members as soon as examinations can safely resume. In the meantime, applications are still being received by the team in the Secretariat.

For further information contact IMCA:

Email: AC@imca-int.com or visit  www.imca-int.com/dpaccreditation

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