Overview top

To give all officers the education and training in the human element leadership and management at operational level

The HELM (O) course meets the syllabus requirements laid down by the UK Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and draws on many years of experience in providing Maritime Human Factors courses and company programmes.

The training examines the crucial role human factors play in high-stress, high-risk environments and encompasses team training, as well as simulation, interactive group debriefings and improvement of crew performance.

From a practical standpoint, the HELM programme educates crews about the limitations of human performance. Trainees develop an understanding of cognitive errors, and how stressors such as fatigue, emergencies, and work overload contribute to the occurrence of errors. The course typically requires participants to assess both personal and peer behaviour through case studies and experience. Emphasis is placed on integrating the concepts into daily working routines, which minimise the influences of human factors in accident causation.

With greater technical reliability, automation and quality control of component systems, we no longer have an alibi for normal human fallibility, now the human element has been identified as being the weakest link in the chain.

Shipping shares a similar environmental, cultural and operational ancestry as aviation and whereas aviation, in its infancy, drew on the example of ships at sea, shipping is now learning from the experience of aviators by applying basic Human Factors principles to sea-going operations in accident prevention.

This training is required by those seeking certification under:

  1. STCW Regulation II/1 – officers in charge of a navigational watch on seagoing ships of 500 GT or more (i.e. OOW);
  2. STCW Regulation III/1 – officers in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engine-room or as designated duty engineers in a periodically unmanned engine-room (i.e. EOOW);
  3. c) STCW Regulation III/6 – electro-technical officers.

The emphasis throughout the course is to develop understanding of human factor concepts and understanding of how managerial actions influence, for good or ill, the practical application of those concepts. This understanding, properly applied, then enhances the safe operation of the ship and the care of all persons on board.


Entry Requirements top

Learners following an MNTB/MCA approved programme are eligible to undertake this course after their first seagoing phase. Learners following the experienced seafarer route to MCA certification shall meet the minimum seagoing service requirements for the issue of a first Certificate of Competency.

Assessment top

A three-day course that provides delegates with a programme of approved training to use leadership and managerial skills to control the operation of the ship and care for persons on board at the operational level.

The Operational Level course is designed to comply with the requirements as set out in the IMO mandatory requirements in tables A-II/1 and AIII/1 of the Manila amendments to the STCW convention and code 1978, as amended.

The course meets the Operational Level syllabus requirements contained in the MNTB syllabus and is accredited by the MCA.


Further Information top

3 day course comprising of:

16 hours classroom based facilitated instruction

5 hours individual case study analysis


Map Marine.pdf (928.86 KB)

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.