In this article, I am going to talk about the DG Shippings E-learning and Online Exit Exams. What is E-learning and online Exit Exams? I will help you with why these modules were included in the DG Shipping and How it will be useful for all seafarers in the coming Future.
What is DGS E-learning?
Seafarers spend more than half a year on ships and when they are home they have to stay updated by doing various courses which are newly introduced or to maintain the validity of their certificates or even sometimes asked by the company. We know that there are few essential courses under STCW without which we cannot join onboard a ship while others are value-added courses insisted by your company to help you with getting familiarised with latest developments on the ship and other shipping relevant courses.
Being a seafarer we spend our lives either working onboard and when at home spend most of the time being trained for your next ship or doing some other house related chores. In midst of this there is yet another course introduced by DG shipping in form of E-learning.
DGS E-learning was launched back in April 2016 during the Maritime India Summit 2016. It was inaugerated by Hon. Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari. At that time the e-learning programme was only for MEO Class 2, and MEO Class 1, Chief Mate & Master. But now this programmee has grown and is conducting a variety of competency and modular courses.
E-learning is nothing but a kind of distance learning programmee where the seafarer will have access to training material on his demand. In this modern age information is available at fingertips and DGS plans the same for seafarers. Though we have limited internet access when onboard but it is possible for a seafarer to stay updated through this E-learning platform.
Many seafarers who have done their competency courses from UK find it difficult to go to UK and do the modular courses over there. This is now needed since MCA was not accredating Indian DG shipping approved courses for its certification. So many seafarers sorted out an easy distance learning but an approved method of Doing various courses through Videotel. If you are not aware of this and you have done competency from MCA then do check out Video tell over here. You can save a lot of travel time and money by doing the approved Videotel courses over here. But do make sure before enrolling you get detailed information from the MCA and Videotel with regards to the course validity and other essential details as needed.
DGS wants to build a similar approved platform for Indian Seafarers or foreign seafarers holding Indian certificates. The E-Learning Modules of DG Shipping is conducted by the ADU Maritime Academy (ADMA). ADMA is partnered with many global Academy like South Tyneside College, Singapore Polytechnic, Massachusetts Maritime Academy etc. The whole E-learning is a step towards a similar future.
Why there is a need for DGS E-learning?
Do you remember back in June 2019 DG Shipping declared punishments to Seafarers and Many Marine Training Institures and Instructors. If not here is a small jist of what happened.
- INDOS No. of many seafarers were suspended due to fraudelent certification. They were barred from sailing for a minimum of 1 year.
- Many Seafarers obtained certificates from DG shipping approved Institutes with fraudlent practises like proxy attendance for many of the courses. Few of them repeated the course 2nd time without reporting their first fraudlent activity from other institute faced severe punishment of about 2 years of suspension of INDOS and CDC
- Some other activities involved agents charging extra fees for getting certificates from DG Shipping approved Institutes without attending the course at all. False documentation as evidence for attendance also faced more stringent actions like upto 5 years of Suspension of INDOS and CDC.
- Maritime Training Institutes indulged in malpractices involved issuance of certificates without proper training of seafarers, Remote located offices and conducting courses at non approved infrastructure not approved by DG shipping.
- Maritime Training Institutes were indulged in incorrect submission of information and data on e-governance portal of DG Shipping.
- Course In-charge and Principal were also found involved in signing of certificates of candidates without verification, and in some cases signing of certificates prior signature of candidate and/or without candidates photograph. Approval of such Institutes and Instructors were also revoked
- All of these led to verification of Certificates issued by Maritime Training Institutes and verification of Maritime Training Institutes on basis of random sampling
Interested in reading more about the DG shipping circular Ref: QMS – 7.0 Dated 02.07.2019 about the same click here to know more.
STCW Requirments for Flag State with regards to approved training
- STCW 2010 amendments require the Flag States to monitor and supervise the Maritime Training Institutes which are approved to conduct maritime courses and those courses are to be approved by the Flag administration as well.
- These 2010 amendments to STCW require seafarers/candidates to be assessed for their competency respect to the training they undergo
The Training institute follows DG shipping guidelines and builds their own course materials which are approved by the administration and certificates are also issued by the Institutes on that basis. According to this the training and certification vary from Institutes to Institute and there is a difference in the Competency level of seafarer/candidate.
DG Shipping with E-learning and E-governance plans to implement a system for Maritime Institutes where the course is standardised or centralised. If you have done any course in 2019 or before you must have noticed that every Maritime Training Institute gives their own certificate number to the seafarer which is unique to that candidate.
The last course which I did in February 2020 yes before lockdown I noticed that DG shipping generates certificate number for the courses and provides them to the institute. This process is a step towards centralising the whole training aspect of seafarers with common standards. With this DG Shipping aims to scrutinise all seafarers and Institutes at simultaneously.
In order to reduce Fradulent practises from candidates and Institutes implementation of biometric attendance. E-learning will provides seafarers with course material when ever required. DG shipping aims to elevate further the competency of each and every seafarer and Institutes which will elevate Indian Shipping Standard Overall in the whole world.
What are Online Exit Exams
Online Exit Exams are Standardised Exams which will be conducted through the DG shipping portal. It is available for all the E-learning modules which are available at present. Exit Exams ensure that like standardised E-Learning the assessment of the seafarers is also fair and ensure a standard competency of the seafarer with respect to the training. Since August 2020 Exit Exams are going to be mandatory for verification and certification of modular courses.
As per IMO and STCW in unavoidable situations and crisis, Ships/Seafarers certification validity may be increased to a period of not more than 6 months.In global crisis of COVID-19 DG Shipping aims to provide certification with that aspect in mind. Certificates cannot be extended indefinitely in global crisis and hence through this innovative E-Learning and Exit Exams proper valid certification is provided to seafarers.
Impact of DGS E-Learning and Online Exit Exams
This is revolutionary and Father of all Changes a Seafarer can imagine. Maritime Training in India ensures top Quality Seafarers with new changes of Feb 2020.
- DG Shipping aims to achieve seamless service experience through the Digital Governance programme
- Degree-level full-fledged online education programme to be offered by institutes in top 100 in National Institutional Ranking Framework
Impact on Seafarers
If you are Indian Seafarer, you enter into the age of e-Learning officially because new technology has been embraced by Ministry of Shipping.
The e-governance portal of the Directorate is designed to generate certificate / Certificate numbers to the candidates who have
- successfully completed the modular course on the e-learning module
- fully attended the modular course at MTI and
- has been successful /passed the exit examination
The whole process will make sure that if you study you pass. It also ensures that the Institutes must be able to impart the necessary training and practicals as required so that else the Institute may also face evaluation of their training methods. Fraudulent practices and fake certificates a big no-no.
No more question paper and no more answer sheets after completion of Course from March 2020. You will be given Computers/laptops having an inbuilt IP Camera” on completion of your STCW Modular Course video e-learning and exams will be online. Data and record retained for 3 Years. The Dream of Digital India is coming true for sure.
Want To know the procedures for the following. Click the following links to know more about them.
Have any doubts or questions leave them in the comments section down below.