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Designated Person Ashore (DPA) Roles, Qualifications, Training & Experience - ISM Code

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ISM Code Designated Person Roles, Responsibilities, Training and Experience Requirements & Company Requirements and Records - Section 4

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International Safety Management Code (ISM Code) is the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention, as adopted by the IMO assembly. Adopted in November 1993, the ISM Code came into force in July 1998. It is part of the SOLAS Chapter IX - Management for the Safe Operation of Ships. The latest amended version came into force on January 1, 2015.

A key role identified by the ISM Code in effectively implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) is that of the Designated Person or Designated Person Ashore, also known as the DPA. According to the ISM Code, the Designated Person Ashore (DPA) plays a vital role in monitoring the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the vessel operation and follows the requirements of a safety management system and all mandatory guidelines.

DPA ensures adequate resources, including required shore-based support, are provided to the stakeholders. Their responsibilities may also include the organization of the Company’s internal safety audits.

For ISM Code compliance, a shipping company should be able to provide documentary evidence that the DPA has received sufficient training to undertake the necessary duties. DPAs should be suitably qualified and experienced in ship operations or management systems and be fully conversant with the Company’s Safety and Environment Protection Policy and the SMS.

Contents - Part A

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designated person ashore ism

Designated Person Roles, Responsibilities, Training & Qualifications

ISM Code Part A (Section 4) - Designated Person(s)

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Section 4. Designated Person(s)

ISM Code Designated Person Roles and Responsibilities

To ensure the safe operation of each ship and to provide a link between the Company and those on board, every Company, as appropriate, should designate a person or persons ashore having direct access to the highest level of management. The responsibility and authority of the designated person or persons should include monitoring the safety and pollution- prevention aspects of the operation of each ship and ensuring that adequate resources and shore-based support are applied, as required.

MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.8 Guidance Regarding Designated Person

ISM Code Guidance Regarding Designated Person Ashore - MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.5

4. Designated Person

4.1 A key role, as identified by the ISM Code, in the effective implementation of a safety management system is that of the Designated Person. This is the person based ashore whose influence and responsibilities should significantly affect the development and implementation of a safety culture within the Company.

4.2 The designated person should verify and monitor all safety and pollution prevention activities in the operation of each ship. This monitoring should include, at least, the following internal processes:

.1 communication and implementation of the safety and environmental protection policy;

.2 evaluation and review of the effectiveness of the safety management system;

.3 reporting and analysis of non-conformities, accidents and hazardous occurrences;

.4 organizing and monitoring of internal audits including verification of independence and training of internal auditors;

.5 appropriate revisions to the SMS; and

.6 ensuring that adequate resources and shore-based support as identified in paragraph 4.3 below are provided by the Company.

4.3 To enable the designated person to carry out this role effectively, the Company should provide adequate resources and shore-based support. These include:

.1 personnel resources;

.2 material resources;

.3 any training required;

.4 clearly defined and documented responsibility and authority; and

.5 authority for reporting non-conformities and observations to the highest level of management.

4.4 Designated Person(s) should have the qualifications, training and experience as set out in MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.6, to effectively verify and monitor the implementation of the safety management system in compliance with the ISM Code.

IMO MSC-MEPC.7/Circ.6 - DP Guidance on the Qualifications, Training and Experience

Guidance on the qualifications, training and experience necessary for undertaking the role of the Designated Person Ashore including company requirements and records

2. Qualifications

2.1 Designated Person should have a minimum of formal education as follows:

 .1 qualifications from a tertiary institution recognized by the Administration or by the recognized organization, within a relevant field of management, engineering or physical science, or

 .2 qualifications and seagoing experience as a certified ship officer pursuant to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended, or

 .3 other formal education combined with not less than three years practical senior level experience in ship management operations.

3. Training

3.1 Designated Person should have undergone training relating to safety management elements in compliance with the requirements of the ISM Code, particularly with regard to:

 .1 knowledge and understanding of the ISM Code;

 .2 mandatory rules and regulations;

 .3 applicable codes, guidelines and standards as appropriate;

 .4 assessment techniques of examining, questioning, evaluating and reporting;

 .5 technical or operational aspects of safety management;

 .6 appropriate knowledge of shipping and shipboard operations;

 .7 participation in at least one marine-related management system audit; and

 .8 effective communications with shipboard staff and senior management.

4. Experience

 4.1 Designated Person should have experience to:

 .1 present ISM matters to the highest level of management and gain sustained support for safety management system improvements;

 .2 determine whether the safety management system elements meet the requirements of the ISM Code;

 .3 determine the effectiveness of the safety management system within the Company and the ship by using established principles of internal audit and management review to ensure compliance with rules and regulations;

 .4 assess the effectiveness of the safety management system in ensuring compliance with other rules and regulations which are not covered by statutory and classification surveys and enabling verification of compliance with these rules and regulations;

 .5 assess whether the safe practices recommended by the Organization, Administrations, classification societies, other international bodies and maritime industry organizations to promote a safety culture had been taken into account; and

 .6 gather and analyse data from hazardous occurrences, hazardous situations, near misses, incidents and accidents and apply the lessons learnt to improve the safety management system within the Company and its ships.

5. Company Requirements and Records

5.1 The Company should provide training courses covering qualification, training and experience and the appropriate procedures connected to compliance with the ISM Code including practical training and continuous updating.  The Company should also provide documentary evidence that the Designated Person has the relevant qualification, training and experience to undertake the duties under the provisions of the ISM Code.

Designated Person Ashore (DPA) Online Training and Certification

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The Virtual Maritime Academy (VMA) online course provides comprehensive training related to the implementation and maintenance of a company’s SMS in compliance with the requirements of the ISM Code. The Designated Person Ashore (DPA) course is intended for anyone who seeks a DPA position, Nautical Officers, engineers, Superintendents, Shipping Companies, Assistant DPA’s, Quality Managers and Personnel involved in Safety Management Systems.

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Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check IMO ISM Code & SOLAS Convention for the latest requirements and accurate info

LAST UPDATED ON Sep 26, 2022