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OPITO Command and Control Onshore Training, Development and Assessment for ERRV Masters and Mates

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ERRV is a purpose-built rescue vessel attending offshore installations. ERRV Masters and Mates are specially trained to take over the initial control of rescue activities in the vicinity of a major offshore incident, until such time as the emergency onshore support centers can coordinate the whole rescue.

Command and Control for ERRV Masters and Mates Training program is designed to meet the onshore training, development and assessment requirements for Command & Control for ERRV Masters and Mates. Second or Third Mates may also attend this program should their employer or the vessel owner so wish

The aim and objectives of the Command-and-Control program are to equip the delegate with the initial knowledge, understanding and skills required when performing in the role of ERRV Master or Mate during an offshore incident.

  • Duration: Approx. 35 hours (5 days)
  • Validity: Continuous training and assessment required through Ongoing Onboard Development and Training Program for ERRV Masters and Crew (OODTP). A formal assessment is made through the OODTP program at least every 3 years.
  • Pre-requisites: Appropriate Deck Officer qualifications in accordance with flag state requirements and have completed an OPITO Initial Training Shipboard Operations Course or agreed equivalent and basic knowledge of the relevant regulations, guidelines and standards.

errv opito training

ERRV Masters and Mates Training

Theory of Command and Control aboard an ERRV


  • Safety Case Regulations
  • OGUK ERRVA Guidelines
  • OPITO ERRV Standards
  • IAMSAR Manual
  • Types of Major Emergency
  • Role of ERRV
  • UK SAR Structure

Maintaining a State of Readiness

  • The need for the ERRV, equipment and crew to be in a permanent state of readiness
  • The importance of training and the competence of the crew
  • The Emergency Response Plan (ERP) including an awareness of company procedures and operations manuals
  • The value and purpose of emergency pre-planning
  • The value and purpose of risk assessment
  • The purpose of drills and exercises for the ERRV and crew
  • Methods of coaching
  • Appraisal of crew performance including OODTP

Dealing with Stress

  • Sources of stress during an emergency
  • Stress factors
  • The effect of time pressure on decision making capability
  • The effect of information overload on decision making capability
  • The reduction in short- and long-term memory during an incident
  • Taking effective action to reduce personal workload
  • Taking effective action to maintain activities
  • Taking effective action to reduce stress


  • The differences between normal command and command and control in an emergency
  • Factors to consider during an emergency
  • The roles and responsibilities of the crew
  • The importance of delegation
  • Time management

Practical Elements of ERRV Command and Control

Assessing the Situation

  • Obtaining information quickly from all appropriate sources
  • Evaluating information quickly from all appropriate sources
  • Confirming information quickly from all appropriate sources
  • Confirming the emergency
  • Initiating appropriate alarms
  • Making valid interpretations and valid decisions about the resources available to deal with an incident

Taking Effective Action

  • Using appropriate resources
  • Development and execution of the emergency response plan
  • Taking appropriate actions as quickly as possible
  • Co-ordinating and directing emergency response to include: On Scene Coordinator and Surface Search.
  • Maintaining safety of deployed personnel
  • Implementing the correct level of response
  • Implementing company ERP, company procedures and operations manuals

Maintaining Communications

  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Promoting a common understanding of the emergency situation
  • Keeping appropriate agencies informed
  • Maintaining an accurate record of timeline, key events and communications

Delegating Authority

  • Effective delegation of duties during emergencies
  • Ensuring delegated responsibilities and tasks are understood
  • Effective communication skills for maintaining crew morale
  • Guiding the crew while maintaining an appropriate degree of detachment
  • Obtaining feedback on outcome of delegated tasks

Managing Self and Team

  • Allowing information flow from crew while maintaining control
  • Appropriate body language when managing an emergency
  • Providing physical and moral support
  • Monitoring safe working practices
  • Recognizing strengths and weaknesses within the team
  • Maintaining an appropriate degree of detachment
  • Recognizing any deterioration in personal performance
  • Recognizing any deterioration in the performance of others

Simulation Exercises

Scenario Based Exercises

  • A series of scenario-based exercises which enable the delegates to practice the application of the human and procedural factors in relation to emergency response, to include incidents - Helicopter ditching, Fire and/or explosion, Single MOB, Multiple MOB, Vessel collision avoidance with the installation, and Abandonment of the installation
  • All exercises shall incorporate aspects of Rescue, Recovery, Care and Transfer as appropriate
  • The exercises will lead the delegate from single casualty incidents under favorable environmental conditions escalating to multi-casualty multi-unit incidents under severe environmental conditions
  • Delegates will be continually assessed during the scenario based exercises

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check with OPITO for the latest and accurate information on training standards

Last Updated: March 23, 2021