At the leading maritime trade fair, SMM 2014, attendees saw advances in training that will create fundamental change in the way offshore asset owners and ship owners train crews to comply with new and current STCW and OPITO requirements. Such changes include the systems used to report on certifications, as well as onboard training that allows ship owners to design and build fully customized courses for any training task.

A 24/7 Training System

Viking Saatsea, a software developer recently acquired by VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, has developed 24/7 onboard training systems for STCW and OPITO crew certifications, addressing the need to institute continuous training for crew members. The systems offer a combined training solution that handles implementation, planning, and documentation.

VIKING Saatsea CEO, Kim Baarsoe, explains, “Vessel and rig owners desperately need to improve their training capabilities. To start with, training has to speed up. Due to scheduling delays and the need to conduct most training at land-based facilities, the time from identification of a crew certification requirement to the certificate actually being available when it’s time to sail can be up to three months. That’s far too long – and a real problem for any sector that needs to mobilize crew quickly to meet business opportunities… Often, personnel are urgently required at sea but, even if they have recently completed required training, they can’t report for work until they have been appropriately certified or re-certified. And that becomes very costly for the business.”

The CEO also expressed that there are limitations to existing training solutions, the majority of which are land-based. For instance, market research indicates that the cost of training crew members is too high, but at the same time, certificate administration is too resource-heavy. As Mr. Baarsoe states, “Managing training is a complex and time-consuming task with an ever-present risk of error. As a consequence, vessel and rig owners risk delays, exposures to liability and financial losses.”

Challenges with onboard training addressed

One of the issues with onboard training is the limitation in bandwidth at sea. Viking Saatsea’s solution was to make a program that can be run either on- OR offline, and one that can be accessed from land-based locations for administrative purposes, or at sea for training. Additionally, the crew members are able to undergo training while at sea, rather than on their own off-time.

Another advantage of the Viking systems is the “build your own courses” feature, allowing operators to design custom, task-specific course programs that use the exact interface and functionality of the company’s core offerings.   In addition, “refresher” packages will help operators and owners comply with the more stringent requirements of STCW-2010, which will enter into force in January, 2017. These refresher courses will assist in keeping onboard education current by combining practical exercises with theoretical training, reducing land-based training needs to one day every five years.


Privately-held market leader in fire and maritime safety, VIKING was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Denmark. The company has a unique network of over 70 offices and agents, as well as 270 certified servicing locations and worldwide stock points.

VIKING provides essential fire-fighting and safety equipment to cargo, defense, offshore, passenger, fishing, yachting, and fire segments. The products are manufactured in Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, and Thailand, and are all certified to the latest IMO, EU, USCG, and SOLAS requirements.