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Cyprus Nautical Institute Branch Hosts Global Seminar

Cyprus Nautical Institute Branch Hosts Global Seminar

The Cyprus branch of the international professional organisation for maritime professionals – the Nautical Institute – recently held one of the Institute’s global seminars, a series of which are organised every three years.

The NI Cyprus Branch Committee arranged for a number of high quality speakers from the local and internationally recognised shipping community to convene, each delivering interesting and thought-provoking papers and presentations.

The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Limassol, on Friday November 7, 2014.

The theme of the seminar, Navigational Competence, is a significant topic currently receiving particular attention within the international industry. The purpose of the seminar was to bring together key stakeholders and discuss the subject with the aim of providing solutions for delegates to consider and implement. 

A report of outcome of the Navigational Competence seminar is expected to be included in the Nautical Institute’s dedicated monthly publication, Seaways.

The one-day event revealed that navigational accidents and their costs are increasing at an alarming rate; some of these accidents are caused by a lack of familiarity with new technology. 


All of the navigational incidents that were reviewed were caused by human error. “If we accept that, in principle, each officer involved was competent to stand the watch, how then do we break the error chain?” an official post-event statement asks. The Master, it answers, must demonstrate good leadership which, in turn, should lead to greater motivation and inspiration to his officers. 


As large proportion of ships operate with very high levels of navigational competence, the industry must capture and develop the skills of the Navigators on board those vessels, the gathering explained. The Navigator should always ask the vital question "what could go wrong?" The ability to answer this question adequately depends on the navigator's knowledge and experience.


Regarding technology, the seminar indicated that though new technology is greatly beneficial, these innovative methods must be real benefit to the Navigators on board, able to be implemented correctly without the need for extensive training.


“E-Nav is moving forward quickly. Our industry needs to embrace it, get involved and start working in detail on the implementation,” the statement reads. “Specifically we need to define what we want from the system. There should be no mandatory implementation.” Total proficiency in all E-Navigation and electronic nav aids must be ensured, while over-reliance on one system must be addressed.


The seminar underlined the need to look carefully at the design and layout of ship’s bridges, further discussing whether the Bridge as a comfortable ‘cocoon’ is contributing towards reducing situational awareness. 


Turning to manning and training, the gathering discussed the need to not only train for competence but also inspire and motivate Navigators to get the desired outcomes. Motivational tools must include mentoring and literature.

The Nautical Institute professionals endorsed the development of the NI Command Scheme as part of the process for improving competence and defining ‘best practice’, adding that risk assessment for each aid to navigation should be included in competency skill sets.


The Nautical Institute is a non-profit charity and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with consultative status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Its aim is to promote the highest level of professionalism and best practice for seafarers' and maritime professionals. It also presents the professional views of those serving on seagoing craft.


As a representative body, the Institute fulfils its role in many ways. Membership by proven qualifications and experience helps to set high standards. The technical committees ensure that professional opinion and advice is offered to the industry’s decision-making bodies.

The Nautical Institute aims to provide the strongest possible professional focus, dedicated to improving standards of those involved in control of seagoing craft, while maintaining the Institute as an international centre of nautical excellence.

The Nautical Institute, Cyprus Branch, was established on the island some 21 years ago and has cultivated a significant role in the local shipping industry which contributes some 7% of GDP and employs over 4,500 people ashore and nearly 55,000 seafarers worldwide. The NI also has a DP accreditation programme which assumes great significance in the light of recent offshore developments.




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