As a computer-based and essential system, the ECDIS
plays a crucial role in navigation. The Chapter V of
the International Convention for the Safety of Life at
Sea (SOLAS) administers nautical charts and nautical
publications carriage requirements. As of 1 July 2018,
the system became the primary navigational means
Cross-Section of ECDIS Education and Training
Worldwide and in the Republic of Croatia: Relations
Between Programs and User Perceptions
M. Car
, S. Tominac Coslovich
, D. Brčić
& S. Žuškin
University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia
University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia
ABSTRACT: Besides its obvious benefits, the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS)
continues to develop as a sophisticated, complex system. With ever-growing features and the integration of
external data and sources, it is nowadays normally considered as one among the compact elements forming a
part of an even more complex Integrated Navigation System (INS). The ECDIS handling requires a certain level
of technical knowledge and operational skills to be gained, besides the usual navigational background. To
utilize the system efficiently and safely, the navigator has to obtain several levels of education. The ECDIS
Generic Training (EGT), as defined in the respective International Maritime Organization (IMO) Model Course,
introduces the navigator to fundamental, required operational (however introductory) and theoretical
knowledge. Apart from the EGT, there is an optional, ECDIS manufacturer-approved Equipment Specific
Training (EST). The latter represents a special type of training where the navigator improves his theoretical
knowledge, understanding, and proficiency, together with competence demonstration on a specific approved
ECDIS model. This paper elaborates the dynamics of worldwide regulations on the ECDIS Education and
Training (EET) plan. The reference is given to training procedures in the Republic of Croatia, placing its
educational framework in the broader context. Although the EST is unofficially considered non-mandatory,
there is a stable and reasonable ground to consider the opinions and arguments of the navigators who prefer the
EST. This is also supported by the fact that there is a large number of approved systems on the market. Apart
from fulfilling the performance standards regulated by the IMO, ECDIS models differ significantly regarding
handling, interface, and interpretation of data and information, therefore biasing the required knowledge and
the purposefulness of the system. The survey among navigational ranks was used to support the study and to
relate the existing programs to the actual navigational situation. The aim was to consider the current
relationship between the defined EET programs, their differences and the actual user needs. The selected
questions referred to the possession of ECDIS certificates and basic education and knowledge, and the
navigational ranks' opinions regarding the opportunity to enhance their knowledge during the EST. The latter
considered a lack of standardization (including terminology), apart from the issue of different levels of
education. As was expected, the answers were not uniform, revealing differences in opinion as well as in basic
system interpretation. The latter could have possible causes and relations to the particular education system in
the first place. The current educational framework was discussed in terms of EET enhancements and the
development of the navigation curricula. The study results have been presented and discussed systematically,
leading to observations on the potential safety of navigation improvement.
the International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 15
Number 2
June 2021
DOI: 10.12716/1001.15.02.01