Before the development of the application, there were several different approaches to training, with hundreds of programs, and various fleet trainers and external training providers.

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In light of this, Carnival designed a performance-related training approach where crew will be placed within targeted training programs according to their assessment results, instead of assuming no prior knowledge and enrolling crew into every course. This needed the development of a new technical system that could support continuous assessment of any officer, while on board any ship.

SkillGrader supports these efforts with a tablet-based application that enables trainers to assess employees. Specifically, the application uses a binary grading scheme to limit human bias that can lead to variation. After the assessment, SkillGrader automatically analyzes the data collected and provides a report on individual and team performance. The system also collects all submitted data to create reports that facilitate analysis and comparison of skills across multiple departments, ships and the whole organization.

Speaking about the app, Murray Goldberg, CEO of Marine Learning Systems, noted that despite the fact that technology has played a big role in improving and advancing maritime training, skills assessment has remained largely the same. He explained that there is typically an expert assessor observing the skill, making notes and providing feedback. While this method can lead to great outcomes, it can also get very poor ones. For this reason, consistency is needed, along with objectivity and standardization in the process. For this reason, SkillGrader helps provide the reliability that has been missing from skills assessment and gives operators new insight into crew competency.

We wanted to align and standardize our approach. No matter which ship you’re on, no matter which brand you’re on, the ships will all be equally as safe as each other. And they will be the safest ships you can sail

John Allen, Carnival Corporation’s Director of Maritime Professional Development, mentioned.