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Weilbach to provide IMDG Code e-Learning courses in Singapore

Danish supplier of nautical charts Weilbach has been given the go-ahead from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to supply its its e-Learning solution on handling dangerous goods for shipment (the IMDG Code) by sea in Singapore.

The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code was adopted in 1965 to ensure that goods transported by sea are done so safely. Poor understanding of IMDG Code provisions has resulted in countless incidents at sea and ashore. Incorrect documentation, packaging, segregation, stowage within the container and onboard ship are common errors that put lives, property and the environment at risk. IMDG Code training is therefore mandatory for all shore-side staff.  

IMDG Code courses are typically taken in a classroom with a test at the end. Weilback’s e-Learning courses offers a cost-effective way for staff to learn about the safe transport of goods without having to attend classroom sessions.

“With the approval to provide IMDG e-Learning courses in Singapore, staff can do the mandatory training faster, easier, and at a much lower cost because they do not have to attend classroom sessions every second year, when the certificate must be renewed to meet the requirements from the IMO,” said Martin Mikkelsen, director business development, Weilbach.

The e-Learning solution offered by Weilbach allows training to take place either at work or at home. Training time is flexible as students can log in and out of the courses at their convenience. The student just needs an internet connection and a PC, laptop or tablet device to access their course.

“The approval has come at a time where online alternatives to classroom-based training is much in demand due to the global pandemic and a lot of companies are reaching out to us to find out how they can implement remote learning. Although, this is a tragic situation I am pleased that we can help companies that ship or handle dangerous goods to educate their staff on the mandatory IMDG Code training,” continued Mr Mikkelsen.

“We supply the coursework online and the user can take the course at his or her own pace. The courses comprise modules with tests at the end to ensure a good understanding of the content. Then the final test can be taken at our Singapore office, once circuit breaker is over.”

Weilbach offers the IMDG e-Learning courses under licence and is one of the only companies in Asia to supply the courses online rather than in a classroom.

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    With many countries in lockdown, face to face seafarer training is also being suspended and some flag administrations have responded by granting automatic three-month extensions to the STCW Certificates seafarers must update every five years. However, VIKING Safety Academy has designed a unique training set-up so that seafarers can undergo training for a full certificate renewal even while the crisis persists.

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    On March 12, Estonia’s Maritime Administration informed the EU that e-learning covering the theoretical part of STCW training would be sufficient to support a certificate extension for Estonian seafarers valid for up to six months.

    “Seafarers can now use e-learning to train and renew certificates during these extraordinary times and maintain proof of competence,” said Camilla Runge Nissen, VIKING safety academy product manager, training. “They can secure a longer six months extension and can make good use of the time getting ahead in the compliance process.”

    Once the seafarer has completed the e-learning course, whether onboard or at home, he/she is given a provisional STCW certificate extension. Should conditions allow, seafarers can visit a Reval Safety Training center during the six-month period for classroom/practical training and secure a five-year Certificate of Proficiency, or complete once the crisis passes.

    While the STCW certificates extension based on e-learning is only available to Estonian residents today, the course could easily be extended to other flag states. “All elements of the temporary package have been approved by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), we are already talking to other flag states and we can quickly roll this out.”

    The Norwegian Maritime Authority recently announced that it will allow seafarers onboard Norwegian vessels to join vessels until July 1st this year, even if they have only completed the theoretical relevant parts of STCW. “Under this guidance, e-learning is part of the picture, demonstrating that the set-up developed for Estonia can be very useful elsewhere.”

    Benny Carlsen, VIKING senior vice president, global sales and marketing said that the new e-learning initiative aligns closely with group efforts to keep seafarers and owners compliant, safe, and as hassle and worry free as possible. “In extraordinary times, we need proactive and digitally-powered solutions to ensure that a training headache does not become a lasting issue.”





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