International Register of Shipping Focuses on Education and Training in 2011
IRS is an organization committed to promoting safety, security and environment protection, primarily in the marine industry, says Managing Director Said Nassif.
“So we are continuing to focus on education and training – both internally and externally – as the main priorities for 2011,” he explains. “Communication is key if we want to maintain our policy of raising standards and helping our members to meet all the regulatory requirements for safe sailing.”
IRS has invested heavily in the on-going training of its surveyors and has an annual meeting of its global team for both training and to promote and improve its internal quality management system throughout the group.
A programme of regular bulletins has been created to send to all surveyors to ensure they are always up to date with the latest regulations and to ensure IRS’s processes and procedures remain uniform throughout the group.
IRS tackles external education in a variety of ways. Sometimes, the internal circulars are sent on to clients for their information. And the INTLREG Magazine is distributed to help customers keep up to date with regulatory changes and IRS news.
In other cases, IRS arranges face to face meetings with clients, especially where the client seems to be encountering a series of problems.
“We do not just do ship inspections and then walk away,” explains Mr Nassif. “We are determined to help our customers reduce their PSC (Port State Control) detentions. Not only do our surveyors meet the clients in these cases, the Managing Directors of each office worldwide, as well as our Technical Headquarters personnel, meet with many clients for the purpose of education.”
IRS has established a highly sophisticated programme of education and training to help its customers reduce their PSC detentions.
“Education, Enforcement and Encouragement have been identified as being effective in helping to reduce the Port State Control detentions related to the Recognized Organization responsibilities, while also increasing safe and appropriate behavior of our customers,” says Mr Nassif.
IRS has produced both a Ports State Control CD and a pocketsized checklist/notebook which have been distributed to all clients and partners. The CD includes an introduction to the PSC, explaining its purpose and regulations, as well as a manual and checklist. The Notebook, which also includes a PSC checklist as an aide memoire, is designed to be carried by officers on board to note potential problems and make sure they are sorted out before the ship arrives in port.
“These were created to help our clients maintain conformity with the requirements of safety, security and pollution prevention, helping the ships pass the PSC inspection and reduce the risk of ships being detained.”
IRS has also established its own training school, International Register Training Institute (IRTI) which is rapidly expanding its range of services and continues to gain accreditations from the USCG and others (see separate story).
All these measures are proving successful with the IRS percentage of detentions with RO responsibility falling from 5.59% in 2009 to 2.72% in 2010. The organization has also tightened the vetting procedures for potential new clients and added other incentives to encourage existing clients to improve.
“We are also looking at implementing a recognition and reward system,” says Mr Nassif. “We may target clients that operate responsibly and / or with higher quality ships and offer them reduced fees for inspections.”