Kongsberg Maritime reports that its K-CAT (KONGSBERG Competence Assessment Tool) is receiving positive reports from the global oil & gas fleet supplier Siem Offshore, consolidating a deal between the two companies worth in the region of 700,000NOK.

An innovative digital tool which enables personnel assessments to be carried out online, K-CAT’s abilities range from pre-employment evaluation through to crew competence verification. It is available via all computers and smart devices with an internet connection, and can also be configured in offline mode. Of particular relevance to Siem Offshore, the K-CAT’s range of competence assessments can determine how well personnel understand dynamic positioning (DP) systems, as well as gauging the knowledge level and practical expertise of DP operators. These assessments comply with both the DNV-GL and IMCA M 117 (Training and Experience of Key DP Personnel) standards.

With its 35-strong fleet, including offshore subsea construction craft and anchor-handling tug supply vessels, Siem Offshore is applying K-CAT’s IMCA M 117 benchmark criteria to measure skills in four crew categories: bridge officers, engineers, ETOs (electro-technical officers) and DP company authorities. K-CAT is also being used to accurately ascertain the suitability of prospective job candidates.

This investment by Siem Offshore addresses a growing trend across the maritime industry, where verification of crew competence is being increasingly recognized as key to enhancing the safety and efficiency of complex operations. By rapidly and precisely identifying competency gaps, K-CAT allows fleet managers to tackle any shortcomings at source with the implementation of targeted training programs.

“We have chosen to invest in this mode of assessment to simply and fundamentally prove, with strict adherence to IMCA M 117 parameters, that we have the most qualified and competent DP key personnel on board our vessels,” says Siem Offshore Vessel Manager, Bernt Morten Tallaksen. “We’ve already found the focused relevance of the K-CAT question banks to be very advantageous in this regard, enabling us to ensure that the work our vessels perform is carried out to the highest standard with respect to crew safety and the ocean environment. We’ll be deploying K-CAT on all our vessels in future, as a means of comprehensively educating our key DP personnel and cementing a principle of continual operational improvement.”

“Remote training is something that the industry has been curious about for a while, and so have we,” adds Irene Bøen, Kongsberg Maritime DPO and Product Advisor. “Due to the coronavirus the focus on online assessment has increased over the last couple of months and it is now essential for a lot of our customers to get remote training in place. We have managed, together with Siem Offshore, to deliver a remote, online solution without compromising quality.

“Siem Offshore is our pilot customer for K-CAT, so it’s encouraging to receive such positive feedback so quickly. We see this competence assessment tool becoming a worthwhile asset in many other maritime contexts as the convention of remote training and e-learning spreads, allowing personnel to safely gain hands-on experience wherever they are located.”

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