The Use of Shiphandling Simulators in Marine Pilot Training

It is without a doubt nowadays that simulators whether they are high resolution, full mission simulators or low resolution simulators are important tools for developing piloting behaviours and general skills. This training must not only be a supplement to existing on water live training for licence progression but also used as a supplement to ongoing maintenance of pilot licensing through continuing professional development.
It is essential that its specific use in initial pilot training and licence progression allows the trainee to learn basic human factors techniques. These techniques include but are not limited to: learning behavioural routines through repetition, experimenting with differing pilotage scenarios and then debriefing the outcomes with a mentor and emergency response training where realistic emergency scenarios are simulated.
AMPI considers the use of simulators to evaluate or predict a pilot’s performance in the real world for licensing purposes to be an inappropriate use of this type of technology as there will not be sufficient validation of the appropriate levels of competence required for navigating in real world pilotage waters. It is essential that simulation is not used as a substitute for practical experience and a full competency assessment through the use of a licensed pilot to assess a candidate’s performance in conducting real acts of pilotage is critical in helping to achieve safe pilotage outcomes.

AMPI therefore does not recommend the use of simulated full or partial pilotage transits to be a substitute for “live on water training under a licenced pilot mentor”.

AMPI therefore does not recommend using simulators as the final competence assessment for licence progression. This should be carried out on the water with a licensed check pilot.

For more information, please view our Position Paper on this subject.

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