Navigational assessments and audits maintain high standards of navigation and watchkeeping which are fundamental for the safety of vessels, crews, cargoes and for the protection of the environment.

The main responsible for the safety of navigation is the Master, but the International Safety Management (ISM) Code also demands companies to set and maintain standards. There is a wider use of navigational assessments and audits which can be useful in identifying improvements for navigational practices on board vessels.

Nonetheless, absent or inaccurate guidance could lead to audits and assessments which can vary in quality and their value to the end user can be questionable.

Furthermore, this information paper provides guidance on:

  • How to design and conduct navigational assessments.
  • Addressing human factors by encouraging assessment of behavioural standards.
  • Assessing the level of assurance in safety of navigation and suggesting measures to raise that level.
  • Best practice of the industry, at present.

A tolerable level of navigational assurance to an operator is not always achievable by the current navigational assessments which eventually fail to meet their basic objective.

On the contrary, this guide provides the know-how in order to determine compliance issues and evaluate the safety mindset of individuals and the bridge team during the navigation of a vessel.

Moreover, this paper features a full template which companies can use as a guide to develop their own navigational assessments.

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