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Definitions - New Offshore Scheme (for Limited/Unlimited and Unclassed DP certificates)

DP sea time day

One DP sea time day can be counted if the trainee DPO is involved with active or passive DP training for a minimum of two (2) hours per day claimed. A maximum of 25% DP sea time days can be passive time (maximum of 30 DP sea time days only to be done in Phase B), with 75% of the total DP sea time claimed being done in active mode.

Active – with propulsion under the guidance of an NI-certificated DPO

Using DP system to control ship.
Setting up on DP.
Completing task sections combined with DP operations.
FMEA, annual, class, charterer, field arrival and DP proving trials.
Emergency shiphandling training with manual controls using ONLY the thrusters available after worst-case failure.

Passive – without propulsion under the guidance of an NI-certificated DPO

Training on in-built ship-based DP simulator on a vessel with simulator mode in the DP system, or a standalone DP simulator.

Task sections training and assessments by an NI-certificated DPO and countersigned by the Master.

Notes about the DP sea time definition

  1. Not all DP training has to be completed using the DP system with the vessel in a high-risk position.
  2. Passive DP sea time allows DPOs to gain DP training and familiarisation with a vessel without exposing the vessel to risk.
  3. Passive DP sea time may only be claimed between the DP Induction and DP Simulator courses.
  4. Most of the tasks in the task section of the logbook can be completed using passive DP sea time. The task section of the NI DP Logbook clearly states what training can be conducted in passive mode.
  5. The NI DP sea time days allow for a wide variety of DP vessel types and operations and specify the minimum number of hours that will count as a day. If the ship and trainee DPO is engaged in DP for more than two hours in the day, only one day may be claimed.
  6. Under no circumstances may DP sea time be counted when using the DP auto pilot mode.
  7.  It is the duty of the senior DPO (NI-certificated DPO on board) to verify and sign off DP tasks.
  8. DP sea time must be verified and signed off by the Master.
  9. The definition of DP sea time and the active and passive concept are not valid for the Shuttle Tanker Training Scheme.
  10. Position mooring (POSMOOR) or thruster-assisted mooring (TAM). The time on board a vessel with the classification POSMOOR or TAM and DP class notation can be counted as DP sea time for initial DP training. However, companies should confirm that anchors have not been deployed during the time claimed.

For recording DP sea time in the NI DP logbook, there is one record for each embarkation. The DP sea time dates must be recorded individually each day, according to the DP operation of the vessel. This is to be signed off by the certificated DPO/Master. Practical training with manual shiphandling is not counted. Every trainee DPO should be able to control a vessel manually, but manual shiphandling training is to be conducted in addition to DP training.

The total of up to 25% DP sea time days in passive mode must be completed between the DP Induction and DP Simulator courses within the task section.

Dry dock time cannot be used for the application. 


Certified classed vessel must have a DP class 1, 2 or 3 notation with a certificate issued by a classification society and is not one simply fitted with a DP capability.

Unclassed vessel means one with a DP capability but not classified or certificated by a classification society. The Nautical Institute also considers DP Class 0 vessels under this definition.

Certificated Senior DPO is the D P operator holding a valid NI D PO certificate with delegated responsibility from the Master as the senior person in charge of the DP watch.

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  1. Jenny Daintree

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