Started in April 2017, the Effective Crew research develops findings from a pilot study conducted by the same research team and will draw upon best practice from stakeholders within the maritime industry.

Data will also be examined from other industries to compare best practice and draw on lessons learnt for the maritime industry to improve safety, welfare and efficiency at sea. The project is sponsored by the Lloyd's Register Foundation and the TK Foundation.

Project objectives

  • Examine the impact on safety and efficiency of implementing stable or fluid crewing strategies within the Merchant Navy.
  • Provide new data in an area where the current information is primarily anecdotal.
  • Share best practice from other industries which apply stable and fluid teams.
  • Develop a best practice guide on crewing assignment for the shipping industry.
  • Develop recommendations for those in the shipping industry instrumental to crew assignment.
  • Produce high impact dissemination of the research findings.
  • The project will ultimately highlight the benefits and limitations of implementing either a fluid or a stable crewing strategy. Drawing on the research findings and best practice from other industries, recommendations will be made on the optimum implementation of these crewing strategies, for the merchant shipping industry.

Evidence from other industries including healthcare, aviation and professional sports suggests the benefits of maintaining stable teams include: improved safety; building team identity; sharing skills; improved efficiency, motivation and morale. These could be of significant value to the shipping industry, particularly regarding safety performance and seafarers’ welfare.