The trade association for the world’s oil majors has slammed today’s tanker officers as being nothing more than ship operators capable of taking a ship from A to B and claimed that many are not qualified as navigators or chief engineers.
In a further blast over the tanker owners’ bows, OCIMF also criticised STCW for doing done little to help the competence abnd experience of the world’s tanker owners.
Speaking to delegates attending the first day of CMA Shipping 2009, Capt. Phil Davies, Director of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (pictured left with Dr Peter Swift), said the introduction of minimum criteria have actually reduced the standards of officers.
He said: “One area that has suffered in previous downturns has been training and development especially regarding recruiting and retaining of officers and crews. High on the list of causes of disasters is the competence and experience of our officers.
“There is a genera belief that STCW has done little to help in this regards and the introduction of minimum criteria have actually reduced the standards of officers. It is also becoming clear that many of the officers today are not truly qualified as navigators or engineers but are ship operators who are best qualified to take the ship safely from A to B.
“This change has put a large burden on owners and OCIMF fully supports the need for ongoing training and the need for tools such as Intertanko’s Tanker Officer Training Standards (TOTS) system which is a scheme which helps officers track competency.
“The overall message is there is a need for ongoing training beyond basic STCW training,” he told delegates.