During the last week of October another Maritime Resource Management Course for MOLLNG Transport (Europe) Ltd was held at the Azalea Maritime Training Centre Bijela, Montenegro.
Being a successful provider of the Bridge Resource Management (BRM) and Engine Resource Management (ERM) courses since 2003, and making the effort to further improve the training and change the mindset of the course participants into a joint problem-solving effort of both bridge and engine teams, Azalea Maritime Training Centre Bijela logical progression was towards joining the community of training providers led by the Swedish Club Academy to become an approved Maritime Resource Management training provider in 2010.
The approach to integrate all the resources involved in the maritime business of safe ship operation which started with the integration of the bridge, engine and cargo team into one single team, has proven to be more effective than having these teams in separate trainings (even if the same topics/issues/case studies were covered). The Industry also demands the integrated approach with the focus on the overall understanding of the common challenges, while each department is giving their input, view and solution. Working together to achieve the “common goal” of performing safe voyages and reducing a large number of accidents and incidents (often attributed to lack of or poor communication, coordination and leadership), increasing the situational awareness, improving communication and ensuring effective implementation of standard operating procedures (to name a few). This time only the bridge, engine and the cargo teams were involved. However, this integrated approach should also include other parties involved in the maritime business like the “office staff” (for example), so that all the segments would work together and integrate seamlessly in achieving the “common goal”.
The Maritime Resource Management training conducted at the Azalea Maritime Training Centre LLC, Bijela favoured the case study based workshop style discussions with a clear objective to fully understand all the aspects of examined case studies with the use of the integrated state-of-the art fully synchronized bridge, engine and cargo simulators in order to clearly understand and put in practice the “lesson to learn” (appropriate communication skills, situational awareness and ways of addressing commercial pressure and stress with different approaches to team members operating in different roles on board ship to achieve and enhance the teamwork).
The extensive debriefing and discussions within the workshops have proven to be essential. These discussions made use of CCTV exercise recordings; senior officers’ experience (a vital resource when discussing subject topics) and junior officers input (even of those reluctant to do so in the beginning, were “opening up” and interacting with the senior ones thus promoting good communication essential for a well-functioning team).
The goal to start the first day of training with a number of skilled individuals and to finish the last day with one coherent and cohesive ship team was successfully accomplished. The building up of this unique team and integration of all individuals into one single team that was working together in their actual ranks as on board in order to successfully complete the required tasks, focusing on addressing team member attitudes, behaviour and cooperation in solving problems and raising the overall focus on preventing minor errors that can lead to a significant incident or accident.
The feedback from all parties involved (trainees, Principal representatives, etc.) was very positive. The training exceeded their expectations based on usual requirements set in resource management courses found elsewhere. All the team members had previously attended resource management training on several occasions, but never experienced the cooperation/common problem solving that all the teams achieved during this Maritime Resource Management.
Having the opportunity to work together and approach various issues and problems through a joint effort proved to be a valuable opportunity to improve communication and teamwork in training ashore in order to transfer the advantages and benefits gained to the everyday operation on board ship and be on the good path to eventually meet the set “common goal”: the highest Industry standard in flawless vessel operation.
Azalea Maritime LLC MRM Team