Simulation and Its Usefulness as a Training Aid

ECDIS Ltd has delivered training using simulation since its inception. The Full Mission Bridge, Inspector Stations and Individual Desktop Simulators are an integral part to everyday training at the ECDIS Ltd Facility. Robyn Harrigan, Training and Production Manager and Nick Harding, Lead instructor, explains simulation and its usefulness as a training aid…

At ECDIS Ltd the use of the bridge simulators allows the instructors the dynamic ability to continuously change the COLREGs situations, in a variety of meteorological conditions, from any aspect for over thirty types of vessels, which is quite frankly incredible as a teaching aid. The technology behind these systems now are extraordinarily complex, using an efficient physics engine for water simulation and seabed collisions, all packaged together in an easy to use drag and drop style of play. In the hands of our instructors, this is an extraordinarily powerful tool, giving the ability to create fresh teaching exercises within minutes and demonstrated in real time.

This can be used to give trainees an understanding of critical situations and how the appropriate manoeuvres should look, not only from their own ship, but also how the same situation would, could and should look from other vessels viewpoints. As many trainees fear of getting it wrong in the work place, practising their underpinning theory knowledge from the classroom in a real life mimic simulator does allow confidence to grow and elevates the students skills to another level, in a risk free, blame free environment, allowing the students to hone their skills, discuss their bad habits and share good ones. Learning from your mistakes is a critical part of any learning experience, our bridge simulators allow you to do this in a safe way.

Furthermore by running scenarios through a simulator not only trains our future operators and managers it is also an excellent instrument for highlighting the importance of health and safety procedures, implementing new SOP’s, mitigating risk and the ability to capture new knowledge and to transfer it forwards to others in the maritime industry. Moreover at ECDIS Ltd the simulator instructors find that it is not just the students who are undergoing training, the instructors are also continuously learning, new approaches, different techniques and that Practise Makes Perfect.

“Modern ship bridge simulation provides a cost effective, safe means of raising the professionalism of ship navigating officers and identifying those who could benefit from further training. You can give someone a task that you would never risk with a multi million pound ship, and if they screw up the only thing that gets damaged is that person’s ego. Then they have the opportunity to practice the same scenario over and over again until they have perfected their skill.”