New DPO Certification Authority Announced
OSVDPA seeks to start training and certifying DPOs by the end of this year.
A new organization, the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority, Inc. (OSVDPA), held its first board meeting Thursday, March 12, charting the course toward a new dynamic positioning operator (DPO) certificate specially designed for the offshore service vessel industry.
Incorporated as a non-profit, the OSVDPA is seeking to improve the safety of the maritime industry by improving the quality and quantity of certified DPOs. The Authority’s training and certification system will seek to emulate the structure of existing DPO certification methods with some enhancements.
Specifically, the Authority’s system is unique in its change of emphasis from measuring sea-time to assessing competence. Additionally, the OSVDPA training will reflect the unique operational tempo of the service vessel sector and emerging DP usage requirements. Finally, the Authority will provide a certification pathway to those currently excluded or discouraged from gaining a certificate.
Chairman of the Board, Carl Annessa, of Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc., said, “The OSVDPA looks forward to working with industry to establish a rigorous and practical DPO certification system, one open to all of those who use DP offshore.”
While the outline of the OSVDPA’s certification system has been crafted and approved by the Authority’s Board of Directors, the particulars of this system are being written by the Authority’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC), a team of industry professionals involved with DP usage and the training and certification of DPOs on a daily basis.
“I’m excited about the work of the TAC; finally the service vessel industry will have a DPO certification system written by the industry, for the industry,” said John Fontenot, Odyssea Marine, Inc., the Authority’s Secretary/Treasurer.
The Authority’s Vice-Chairman Ben Todd of Beier Radio, LLC echoed these thoughts, saying, “For years the maritime industry has been clamoring for a DPO certification system that understands and appreciates offshore service vessel industry usage of DP. Unfortunately, the existing certification systems were unable to address specifics of our industry, so we’ve created the OSVDPA to fill this demand.”
Executive Director of the OSVDPA Aaron Smith said, “The Authority looks forward to continuing to work with the Nautical Institute, the DNV classification society, and other industry associations to share best practices and ensure reciprocal recognition of certificates around the world.” Smith continued, “We don’t want to recreate the wheel, cause employment restrictions, or promulgate a system the international industry doesn’t support. Toward this end, the OSVDPA has been an active participant in DNV’s efforts to create a recommended practice for all DPO certification systems.”