New Tool at SCI Aids in Mariner Assessments

Oct 22, 2012

This month, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) completes construction of an environment tailored for one-on-one mariner skill appraisal. SCI’s new Houston simulator manufactured by Transas provides a dedicated tool for assessments, corrective action implementation and company human resource evaluations.

The new simulator suite contains a single full-mission bridge pilothouse, classroom and debriefing area, all designed to work independently from SCI’s existing four-bridge Kongsberg simulator. The smaller footprint of the new simulator allows SCI to offer individualized instruction at a lower cost. SCI estimates to complete physical construction of the simulator in time for its Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at the Institute’s Center for Maritime Education in Houston, TX, with full operation of the new simulator by early 2013.

SCI offers its new simulator for companies wishing to supplement on board training. “This is not a substitute for real-life experience,” says SCI’s Center for Maritime Education Director Captain Stephen Polk. Instead, he explains that maritime transportation companies will employ the unique encounters available in the simulator to round out a mariner’s experience and assist in identifying candidates for hiring and promotion decisions. The Institute’s tool allows a Designated Examiner or Port Captain to evaluate performance in various scenarios.

The environment of the simulator replicates many conditions on the water that limit training and evaluation in the real world. Many of the areas in which companies need to assess mariners include high-risk and seasonal conditions. SCI’s newly constructed specialized space for mariner assessment provides the ability to sign-off Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR) items, regulations stemming from new Subchapter M towing vessel regulations and the Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) guidelines. When the simulator goes into operation, maritime transportation companies will choose from a catalog of simulations matching standardized exams and requirements.

SCI also aims this new simulator environment to assist maritime transportation companies of varying sizes in efficient and cost-effective human resource practices. The new Transas simulator provides a mechanism to examine and identify candidates best suited for employment and promotion by providing straightforward, discernable competency analysis in a single location.

SCI chose technology for this new simulator based on industry-wide standards. Most of the Maritime Academies in the U.S. use Transas simulators in similar applications of training and safety testing. SCI’s simulator offers the same sophisticated tools for the professional mariner in the field, extending high standards for the long-term safety of America’s waterways.