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A perspective on the changes to Bridge Resource Management training - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 04 October 2016

Bridge Resource Management (BRM) training has its roots in the aviation sector. Stemming from the tragedy at Tenerife, it became clear that a culture of autocratic leadership can have disastrous consequences. Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) training emerged soon afterwards where concepts of human factors and organizational behaviour were introduced at the operational level (pilots). However, there are significant differences between the cockpit of an aircraft and the bridge of a vessel, as indicated in Table 1.

Following a series of maritime incidents, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) ventured into human factors for seafarers primarily focusing the training lens on the Master/pilot exchange. Perhaps the IMO based its learning outcomes on the aviation sector’s CRM experiences treating the Master/pilot interface as equivalent to the pilot/co-pilot relationship. This approach is too narrow and does not take into account the significant differences between the two workplaces.

The six inter-weaving pillars of human factors are indicated in Graphic 1.

In 1997, Canada, following the IMO guidelines, issued TP 13117E which was a syllabus for Bridge Resource Management training. BRM was a 30-hour course. It touched on all aspects of human factors to varying degrees. There was no requirement to re-validate the training. An excellent reference textbook for the course is Shipboard Bridge Resource Management by Michael Adams (2006). And for smaller vessels, Bridge Resource Management for Small Ships by Daniel Parrott (2011).