The speaker and the panelists answered 42 questions raised by participants during the webinar. Please click plus button in the right-side of each question to see the answer.
Question 1: In the early days of Seafaring there were enough crew for all the known works on board, now its different, Radio Operations were given to Deck Officers, ratings were reduced, yet there are plenty of paper works and reports that has been introduced, does these things do not affect the competency of a Seafarer?

As technology such as automation introduced to the shipping it replaced part of the job which used to be done by seafarers so ship were in need of less seafarers. The example that you made is a good example. With satellite communication, the job of radio officer were automated and so there were no further need for them onboard. At the same time this technology made shipping safer and more cost affordable. However, as the new tasks introduced to ships, e.g. ISM, shipping companies resent to add manpower onboard. I believe that it can be looked at a new responsibility for the IMO and marine administrators to make sure that the safe manning regulation remain valid with very change.

Question 2: What do you think are the competencies mostly required during time of crisis like this COVID 19?

In addition to the general competency requirement, I think COVID-19 has necessitated seafarers to equip themselves with unprecedented resilience at their workplaces. Psychological well-being, mindfulness and stress management could be some of the new competencies mostly required during this crisis period.

Question 3: What is the implication of Shipping 4.0 on Human Resource Practices of Shipping Companies?

Introduction of industry 4.0 to shipping is at its infancy however a look at other industries such as air force would tell us that although many of the conventional jobs would be lost to autonomy but more jobs will be created around the technology. With the difference that these new jobs are more especialised and fullfilining with a better pay.

Question 4: With the topic that more soft skills are seen in the future seafarer's competency, When is it really proper to teach or train our seafarer with the needed soft skills? Is it during there academic years or after graduating in their academic years?

Some of the main softskills are already added to the STCW regulations e.g. Leadership and Teamwrok which is now compulsory part of Ceritificate of Competency. Therefore, some level of understanding is required during the academic years which is expected to flourish over the years on the professional journey after graduation

Question 5: How can we have ships with fewer and smarter seafarers but still maintain a safe manning environment?

The defenition of safe manning would evolve as the technology gradually introduce into shipping. The number and competencies of workforce would be different with what we have now.

Question 6: How can we facilitate the evolution of seafaring technical and leadership skills to support this movement?

The training system needs to evolve as the indurtry will go through this evolution. In my view, the training instituions need to invest and involve in R&D in the field of autonomus shipping . This allows them to be one step ahead of technolgy impementation and be able to develop a workforce which would be already ready when the technolgy introduced.

Question 6: How can we facilitate the evolution of seafaring technical and leadership skills to support this movement?

The training system needs to evolve as the indurtry will go through this evolution. In my view, the training instituions need to invest and involve in R&D in the field of autonomus shipping . This allows them to be one step ahead of technolgy impementation and be able to develop a workforce which would be already ready when the technolgy introduced.

Question 7: How can we reconcile the current policies in seafaring to the projected shift that will favor creativity and critical thinking skills?

There needs to be a shift in how IMO works on the STCW to include new pedagogical methods, and also to revise the STCW more frequently in order to be updated. Also there needs to be a MET policy shift to use more non-seafaring lecturers in the MET to ensure that the students meet a wider variety of impulses, padagogical methods and student activities. Not everything can be taught in a simulator.

Question 8 Can we have the scope of skill sea project in the development of out standard curriculum?

Yes, go to for more information

Question 9: Do you expect a gradual or quick transformation of seafarer skills in future ? What factors determine each scenario ?

As I mentioned the transformation is not sudden. The technology would be introduced gradually, in small scale, get tested, refined, modified, and finalised before it will be introduced in a large scale. This takes time especially in our industry which is capital intensive. We know that the ships that are being order today and will work for the next 30 years are not autonomous. However, they are already incorporating some degree of automation which make the industry more prone to the gradual transformation.

Question 10: Any recommendation of tools to be use for the MHEI's to meet the fast changing system onboard

The GMP-BoK is intended to be one of these tools. It is intended to help METIs identify required areas of focus, referred to as Focus Areas or KSAs in the BoK, and to determine the level of progressive achievement for the four defined tiers (levels). GMP-BoK can be downloaded from here.

Question 11: I think the use of eye tracker is fantastic. I am pretty convinced that (experienced) bridge officers/captains/pilots look to different things when on a simulator vs when on a bridge real life. I think it would be worth to research these differences. (experienced means both on simulators as real life)

Yes, I agree. Researchers are already looking into several dimensions of employing eye-tracking technology in training which would then be progressing towards analyzing their resulting effects on novice and experienced professionals

Question 12 :With the advent in technology especially in seafaring, technological competency is becoming more in demand. Is there a method or assessment available which can benchmark the technological competence of seafarers especially cadets?

I think we need first to identify which technological competencies should be gained by seafarers at the different levels. We then need to formulate these into intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and find a way to incorporate these ILOs into our curricula. Once we have done this, finding a suitable method of assessment becomes much easier. I believe this is the essence of the GMP-BoK.

Traditional assessment methods mostly comprises of summative assessment methods (i.e., final exams at the end of a semester). Researchers have been looking into the efficiency of formative assessment techniques (i.e., classroom or project-based assessment throughout the semester) in educational institutions. However, it is important that the students receive high-quality teaching and instruction to begin with.

Question 13: At present, the face to face teaching of lab courses is prohibited due to the pandemic. Considering this scenario, how can the technical skills of the students be developed or enhanced. Computer-based training is not enough to develop their skills.

This is an ongoing challenge that we are all facing. It is naive to think that computer-based teaching will efficiently replace all traditional teaching methods overnight. Therefore, we must continue our efforts to ensure that the students continue to receive guidance from their teachers and blended learning is employed wherever possible combining digital training with classroom-based training. At the same time, efforts should be in place to continually improve the digital infrastructure for enhanced learning experience in the digital space.

Question 14 :After identifying the competencies that future seafarers need, how do we distinguish which competencies (and their levels) could be appropriately delivered in METI (university level) and in higher-level METI (operational and management level)?

As it is mentioned IMO recognised 4 level of progression toward autonomous shipping, each one with an expected timeline. The research which identifies the future competencies are normally connect those competencies to the level and timeline assigned by the IMO. This would give MET institutions a timeframe and milestones that they need.

Question 15: May I know what specific softskill set? Does this mean the technical knowledge should be reduced and more on the soft skills are to be ehanced as per research?

Technical knowledge and soft skills can and do exist in many curricula. In essence what can help is looking at archaic mandated skills that can be removed from STCW. That frees up time. For example a multiple star sight can be solved in second with a Nav calculator, phone app or computer program. Why spend the time teaching and testing on how to do it via longhand with tables and almanacs when a grounding in theory with the computer solution to achieve competency.

Management and leadership skills, human resource management, organisational psychology, critical thinking, creativity, communication. But most important is leadership skills to meet a more diverse crew.

Question 16: I think we need to enhance mental health skills of seafarers in this new normal in order to work efficiently onboard the ship.

I strongly agree. Mental health of seafarers is a subject which has been neglected for a long time. A statistics presented before the COVID19 pandemic shows that 15% of the death of the seafarers at sea is due to suicide. I am not sure about now but this number can be expected to increased during pandemic restrictions. Mental health and self-care need to be an important aspect of seafaring MET.

Question 17: Mot seafarers turn to teaching if they do not like to go onboard anymore. However, it has been observed that they lack the soft skills like communication skills and the teaching skills. Is it possible to include education subjects and more English courses in Maritime Education Curriculum?

I haven’t seen statistics but based on anecdotal evidence I would say not most but some of seafarers would continue their career in MET institutions. However, teaching is a career in its own right. A seafarer who want to be a teacher needs proper training before start taking charge of teaching the next generation of seafarers. Currently, the Training for Trainers course which is about 2 weeks time is a requirement. I think this is a good start but not enough. Many universities are currently providing teaching degree and qualifications which can be used for those seafarers who would like to work in MET institutions.

Question 18: What will be the situation of MET instructors during the era of MASS ? How will this technology affect their career ?

As in my time I have been observing how introduction of the technology on board ship affected the type of educational technologies which has been incorporated into seafaring education, I believe, that it would be the case with the MASS education. I think we should expect a greater use of simulation, virtual/augmented and mix reality to be the essential part of MASS education.

Question 19: Technically, is there a possibility that existing models of simulators today can be operate remotely? What particular procedures and application be apply to make it possible. This would be applicable in countries avoiding face to face to as safety precaution against COVID-19 Pandemic

This technology is already available and in use. At the AMC we use cloud based simulation which allows our students to access our simulation system via their own personal computers.

Question 20: My question is, as we know that many of the maritime regulations including the STCW are developed based on the assumption that ships are manned by human. I am wondering how you see the STCW revisions for the future? Is it feasible to revise the STCW or it is more realistic to develop a new code for MASS?

As I mentioned the transition to MASS is gradual and in several steps. I believe that STCW will go under several major changes as the technology is introduced and implemented in shipping.

Question 21: With regards to unmanned ships being operational in the future, how are we going to motivate our students in the present?

As the transition is gradual the seafarers with current required competencies will require to upskill to add the new skill requirements to their ones that they already have.

Question 22: How About A Mental Health Awareness For Seafarers As Part Of Curriculum? Any Reactions

Please refer to the answer to question 17

Question 23: Do you see a new career path opening up outside of the traditional seafarer as we move to remote and autonomous technologies? There was a study carried out that identified for VTS positions, former seagoing personnel were not appropriate for the role as they were too focused on a singular vessel rather than the big picture that is required when you are positioned remotely

Yes, and there is research being undertaken at the University of South-Eastern Norway to look into this skill set in close cooperation with the industry.

The training technology exists in the control room of simulators. The student, like the simulator operator, can manage multiple vessels in different situations simultaneously. This brings an element of seeing the big picture.

Question 24: My question is about IT (Information Technologies) and OT (Operation Technologies) - if they will improve most processes of maritime industry, should any changes in studies appear in nearest feature, meaning STCW ?

Seafarers are operators of the technology and not designer. So far there are many technologies such as ECDIS and GMDSS which has been introduced to shipping which has been in use by seafarers competently. None of these required seafarers to have IT knowledge. I believe this would be the case in future. However, my research shows that future seafarers would need to be trained to have a basic understanding of IT and how the technology works.

Question 25: In view of the integration work of GMP-BOK into technical courses, could we expect a comprehensive feedback in the coming AGA, especially in terms of ensuring that the learning or course outcomes are achieved? Or the gaps in simulator training?

Hopefully, a number of IAMU member universities have already begun to implement the GMP-BoK and will be sharing their insights at the upcoming AGA21 in Alexandria. As presented during the webinar, AASTMT will also be sharing its insights. However, I do think it will be too early for a comprehensive assessment of the GMP-BoK.

Question 26: Some tips for books that can help to keep improving competencies as seafarer?

Depends on the areas you want to improve. It is a good idea to keep our knowledge updated with the ongoing research and development both in maritime education and in pedagogy to keep improving the competency of seafarers.

Question 27: Considering that paper charts are still used on board, how ready do you think the industry is for this education system?

I think industry is actually driving us towards a new system of MET. Not only industry, but a number of other factors including autonomous shipping, cyber-security, COVID 19, etc. As for paper charts, as we all know there are regulations pertaining to the use of charts onboard. In other words, we can actually replace paper charts with ECDIS provided we meet all the requirements; e.g. backup arrangements.

Question 28: Can IAMU suggest any evaluation framework any institute can use to fill the gap between the "training offered" and the "training required" by the current maritime industry?

AASTMT has developed, and is testing, an “interactive mapping tool” which will be shared with member universities at AGA21. This tool is intended to help MET institution map their current curricula and programs against the 28 Focus Areas of the GMP-BoK, thereby allowing institutions to identify the gaps, eliminate unwanted redundancies and finally incorporate the GMP KSAs into their programs.

Question 29: What You think about created a fully integrated ship simullator/incuded BRIDGE,ENGINE ROOM,CARGO and simulators/ and put our students in stress situations which consist OF ALMOST every possible danger situations at sea/navigation,engine failure,rudder problems,restricted visibilities,blackout, problem with cargo,MOB etc.

This type of simulation has existed in the aviation sector. It is used extensively in the reaining and recertification of pilots both commercial and military.

Question 30: Is there any plans by IAMU the standardizaton or centralization of E-learning materials as a whole

So far, the IAMU itself does not plan to make centralized e-learning materials. We look forward to having your proposals.

Question 31: Amid the COVID 19, how is your assessments outcomes for distance learning and virtual class activities?

Ensuring proper assessment of students over digital media is a challenge indeed. In addition to the online digital exams, some institutes employed assignment-based assessment, oral presentation etc. to ensure that students don’t lag behind in their normal study progression. The outcomes are not all satisfactory since most institutions were not ready for such radical shift. However, teachers and students are getting accustomed to the new norms as we are building our infrastructure and frameworks accordingly

Question 32: Is there a virtual or zoom conference for IAMUC AGA21?

It is planned to organize the AGA21 in conventional way, but it depends on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Question 33: WHAT is the future of Cruise Ship Industry? One suggestion for discussion.

Likely it will ramp back up as many companies are requiring vaccinations for all passengers and crew. COVID has also resulted in the scrapping of significant older tonnage. In my view larger (5000 PAX) vessels will continue to be the norm with a rapid growth of the expedition-specialty sector (under 500 PAX).

Question 34: Do you accept research collaborations on this seafarers competence?

Yes, the IAMU welcomes such collaborative work. Please send your proposal to the IAMU Secretariat.

Question 35: Which personnel will be responsible for cyberattacks and what should be the training standards for this?

Likely the responsibility would be in the office with close monitoring of vessel systems remotely. In the cruise industry designated IT personal are onboard who are tasked with system monitoring. The educational requirements are a different path then the seafarer.

Question 36: How do you think, what should be the soft skills of the future seafarers? What are key competencies in psychology the should obtain at Management level and Operational level?

Team building as well as listening skills.

Question 37: Can we expect that STCW going to be revised and Virtual Simulation will be recognized as recommended simulator for competency training and assessment?

It is very hard to predict that Virtual Simulation will be the go-to solution for simulator training and assessment. However, there will be considerable increase in the use of such technology either due to cost efficiency or due to higher training efficiency.

Question 38: The development in the maritime field is taking place at a great pace, yet the syllabus for the "Seafarer's competency" has not been revised for a very long time-

That is a problem that needs to be addressed. Mariner education needs to be more dynamic than the current STCW scheme.

Question 39: What are the plans to include technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented reality, Mobile based apps in shore based training, to improve the quality of shore based training?

Please refer to answer to question 38

Question 40: Accommodating subjects related to autonomous shipping is a necessity, what are the plans to include subjects like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, Mathematics-related to Artificial Intelligence, Data Science etc in the seafarers training?

Please refer to answer to question 25

Question 41: In today's extraordinary situation like covid-19, the format of seafarers exams also needs a re-look, like taking online exams without diluting the quality, what are the plans for the same?

With COVID many universities transitiond to online exams very successfully. Among the tools used were software that tracked movements. In my case I administered exams remotely by having the students cameras on watching them take the exams. I experienced no problems.

Question 42: For educating the “remote control operator”, simulator training should be more emphasized?

I think simulator training would be used in combination of theoretical and other types of training. However, simulator training would form a large part of the training framework.