The benefits of classroom based learning vs online training are clear; hands on experience, one-to one-learning, peer lead learning and a general sense of professionalism and quality. However, online training (or CBT) for those in the maritime industry is equally as valid in the right context. Refresher training, for instance, is an ideal scenario where online computer based training comes into its own.
Ship owners are under increasing pressure to ensure all crew are safe and up to date with their training, this can be executed by a number of means including the illusive, and sometimes dreaded, “Continuous Personal Development” (CPD) which is seen as some as an additional cost and hindrance to their day-to-day job. Online training can aid this by being a fully student-lead experience, allowing for workload management and completion of the course during downtime or shore leave.
One such online refresher training solution, the ECDIS Annual Competency Assurance Training (ACAT) not only meets the above criteria but is also low cost which should encourage even the most ‘closed-walleted’ of us to try and keep on top of our navigation and training knowledge. It is by no means a replacement for the globally recognised and indeed required ECDIS Generic and Type Specific training, but is one of many ways to ensure crew are up to date and knowledgeable on the systems which ultimately keep the vessel afloat and safe in the water.