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Dynamic Positioning

The DP training classroom at MPT is a state of the art facility for dynamic positioning practical simulation as well as theory. Dynamic positioning training is recommended for deck and engineering officers working on any type vessel equipped with the system and is required for vessels who are classed as DP vessels.

MPT Dynamic Positioning Courses

There are two shore-based courses within the training system, the Induction or Basic course, MPT #770 and the DP Simulator (Advanced) course, MPT #771. Both these courses are 4 (four) days in duration.

Ideally, the courses should be undertaken as set out in the Nautical Institute scheme. The sea time recorded before the Induction / Basic course will be only accepted up to a maximum of 30 days. These 30 days allow employers to continue the practice of evaluating prospective DPOs prior to attending an Induction course. The time in excess of the 30 days between the Induction / Basic and the Advanced / Simulator course will normally be counted towards the required 6 months DP watch keeping experience.

On successful completion of the Induction/Basic course the prospective Dynamic Positioning Operator will be issued with a Nautical Institute's Dynamic Positioning Operator's logbook by MPT in which the courses, sea time and suitability as a DPO are recorded by the company.

These courses cannot be taken in consecutive weeks (back to back.) This is because the seagoing familiarization gives the prospective DPO the opportunity to reinforce, consolidate and put into practice lessons learned during the Induction / Basic course.

Dynamic Positioning Induction / Basic

Course #770

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This course involves both theory and practice on a simulated DP system and covers the following topics:

  1. Principles of DP
  2. Elements of the DP System
  3. Practical Operation of the DP System
  4. Position Reference Systems
  5. Environment Sensors and Ancillary Equipment
  6. Power Deneration / Supply / Propulsion
  7. DP Operations
Class Number Start Date Finish Date
005729 03 Feb 2015 06 Feb 2015
005730 09 Feb 2015 12 Feb 2015
005733 03 Mar 2015 06 Mar 2015
005734 10 Mar 2015 13 Mar 2015
005735 16 Mar 2015 19 Mar 2015
006407 06 Apr 2015 09 Apr 2015
005740 13 Apr 2015 16 Apr 2015
006398 04 May 2015 07 May 2015
005744 11 May 2015 14 May 2015
006399 01 Jun 2015 04 Jun 2015
006334 08 Jun 2015 11 Jun 2015
006338 29 Jun 2015 02 Jul 2015
006400 06 Jul 2015 09 Jul 2015
006401 27 Jul 2015 30 Jul 2015
006343 03 Aug 2015 06 Aug 2015
006402 24 Aug 2015 27 Aug 2015
006347 31 Aug 2015 03 Sep 2015
006403 21 Sep 2015 24 Sep 2015
006349 28 Sep 2015 01 Oct 2015
006404 19 Oct 2015 22 Oct 2015
006353 26 Oct 2015 29 Oct 2015
006405 16 Nov 2015 19 Nov 2015
006406 30 Nov 2015 03 Dec 2015
006358 07 Dec 2015 10 Dec 2015

DP Simulator / Advanced

Course #771

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This course involves principally simulated DP operations including errors, faults and failures giving the participants the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in both the Induction/Basic course and the seagoing DP familiarization. It covers the following topics:

  1. Practical Operation of the DP System
  2. DP Operations
  3. DP Alarms, Warnings and Emergency Procedure
Class Number Start Date Finish Date
005728 26 Jan 2015 29 Jan 2015
005731 17 Feb 2015 20 Feb 2015
005732 23 Feb 2015 26 Feb 2015
005736 24 Mar 2015 27 Mar 2015
005737 30 Mar 2015 02 Apr 2015
005741 21 Apr 2015 24 Apr 2015
005742 27 Apr 2015 30 Apr 2015
005745 18 May 2015 21 May 2015
006335 15 Jun 2015 18 Jun 2015
006336 22 Jun 2015 25 Jun 2015
006340 13 Jul 2015 16 Jul 2015
006341 20 Jul 2015 23 Jul 2015
006344 10 Aug 2015 13 Aug 2015
006345 17 Aug 2015 20 Aug 2015
006955 08 Sep 2015 11 Sep 2015
006350 05 Oct 2015 08 Oct 2015
006351 12 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015
006354 02 Nov 2015 05 Nov 2015
006355 09 Nov 2015 12 Nov 2015
006359 14 Dec 2015 17 Dec 2015

Minimum Entry Qualification Requirements

The minimum maritime qualifications to begin DPO training are listed below:

Candidates must hold one of the following Certificates of Competency or be in training towards the issuance of an acceptable CoC as explained below.

Following the Manila STCW Amendments of 2010, the Nautical Institute revised the training requirements which became effective January 1, 2012. Due to this requirement, one of the following certificates of competency or proof that you are in the process of obtaining an STCW qualification must be presented to MPT to register for the DP #770 Course. This can be uploaded to your student portal in the My Documents section or presented at the time of check in for the course in the student services office. When registering for the Advanced DP Course #771, you will need to present your nautical institute log book with 30 days DP sea service.

STCW QUALIFICATIONS: Certificates of Competency (Issued by any IMO white list Maritime Administration)

  • II/1 Deck Officers in charge of a navigational watch on ships of 500 GRT or more.
  • II/2 Deck Master and chief mate on ships of 3,000 GRT or more.
  • II/3 Deck Officers in charge of a navigational watch and of masters on ships of less than 500 GRT.
  • III/1 Engine Officers in charge of an engineering watch in a manned engine room or designated duty engineers in a periodically unmanned engine room.
  • III/2 Engine Chief engineer officers and 2nd engineer officers on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000kw propulsion power or more.
  • III/3 Engine Chief engineer officers and 2nd engineer officers on ships powered by main propulsion machinery of between 750kw and 3,000 kw propulsion.

Alternative qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis by the Nautical Institute. Examples are: Marine Vocational Qualifications which are non STCW CoC's issued by white list countries for use in the administration's local waters only.

Prospective DPO's who are in the process of training for one of the STCW Certificates of Competency listed above can begin their DP training by completing the DP Induction / Basic Course, MPT #770 and obtain their 30 days of familiarization. To qualify under this provision, mariners must have commenced training prior to January 1, 2012 and must complete all elements within five years at the time of application.

Once the 30 days of familiarization and the induction training are accomplished and the STCW CoC has been obtained, the mariner can move on to the DP Simulator / Advanced Simulation Course, MPT #771.

Seagoing Familiarization

This is a period of 30 days seagoing DP experience during which the prospective DPO has to complete the majority of the tasks set out in Section C of The Nautical Institute's Dynamic Positioning Operator's logbook. The Nautical Institute does not wish to extend this familiarization unnecessarily and so, for example, if the prospective DPO is on a 28-day work/leave cycle they will be allowed to attend the Simulator / Advanced course after one period of sea service.

It is important that as many of the tasks as possible are completed. Furthermore, the attention of those responsible for signing this section is drawn to the need to accurately complete this section. Although the prospective DPO should have manual ship handling experience before commencing his/her DP training, this task should not be signed off unless the Master or Competent Officer is satisfied that the prospective DPO has satisfactorily completed this task.

These tasks should not be block signed. Each should be an indication that the prospective DPO has satisfactorily completed the task. The Institute suggests that DPOs take every opportunity afforded to handle their vessels in manual control. If the Master is the holder of the logbook and there is no suitable person to sign the tasks and the declaration in section C, then he/she may sign them but must provide an additional declaration signed by either their relief or a company Manager. The additional declaration can be obtained from the Institute or downloaded from The Nautical Institute website.

DP Watchkeeping Experience

To be eligible for the issue of a DPO certificate, the prospective DPO must have logged the appropriate amount of DP time, for the certificate being applied for, on a DP Classed vessel. The certificate issued will be dependent upon the DP class of the vessels on which he/she has served.

Competent Officer:
A deck officer who holds a DP Certificate and a STCW Certificate of Competency issued by a Maritime Administration on the IMO white list.

Unsupervised DP sea service:
When a DP Operator (Senior or Junior) forms part of a two man DP watch.

Supervised DP sea service:
When a trainee DP Operator is the third person on the DP watch and never operates the equipment unless under supervision by a qualified Senior DPO.

A DP Classed vessel means the vessel must have a DP class notation and not simply be fitted with DP equipment.

Those prospective DPOs seeking certification are required to enter the dates on which they operated the DP system aboard the vessel. There has been some misunderstanding in regard to the dates entered in the logbook for joining and leaving the DP vessel. The dates recorded in the logbook should only be for the time the vessel was undertaking DP Operations. The logbook should not be used as a seaman's book or discharge book. The DP time should be carefully and accurately entered in this section. It is important that the DP class and the DP system are entered. The rank entry should include an indication that the prospective DPO had responsibility for the DP. Thus if operating the DP system rather than 2nd Mate the entry should be DPO/2nd Mate.

Calculating Watchkeeping Time to Apply to the Nautical Institute for your DPO Certificate.

Please use the information below to calculate whether you qualify for a Limited or Full / Unlimited DP Certificate. When you apply online, the built in calculator will tell you whether or not you have enough DP time to qualify for a certificate and if so, what type. If you are not yet ready to apply for your certificate, but just want to check if you have enough DP sea time a DP certificate calculator is also available in the DP section of the Nautical Institute website.

  • DP1 classed vessels only
    180 days watchkeeping on board DP1 vessels = Limited Certificate
  • DP2 classed vessels only
    180 days watch keeping on board DP2 or 3 vessels = Full/Unlimited Certificate
  • Mixed classed DP vessels
    If you have served on board various classed vessels and want to obtain a Full / Unlimited Certificate then watchkeeping time must include at least 60 days DP2 or DP3 time.

Sea service for an Unlimited Certificate will be counted as follows:

  • DP1 vessels are equal to ½ a day
  • DP2 or 3 vessels are equal to 1 day

If you are applying for an Unlimited Certificate, and you have 60 days on DP2 or DP3 vessels and the remainder on DP1 vessels, you will need to have enough time on DP1 to add up to 180 total days with your DP1 time being counted at half the rate of DP2 or DO3 time.

For instance: you need 180 total days and 60 must be on DP2 or higher which leaves 120 days that can be DP1 and you would need 240 days on a DP1 vessel to equal the 120 days of service towards an unlimited certificate. Otherwise you will be issued a limited certificate. If all of your time has been on DP1, we recommend obtaining the limited certificate and later reapplying for unlimited when you have the additional DP2 or DP3 sea service. (These calculations do not include the 30 days familiarization time.)

Please note from July 1, 2011 the Nautical Institute will require additional verification of your DP sea time before you can be issued with an N.I. DPO certificate of competency. Please ask your instructor, an MPT career counselor or refer to the Nautical Institute Logbook Instruction Booklet for more information.

Validity of Previous Sea time
From January 1, 2012 the amount of DP sea time gained prior to attending the Induction / Basic Course that can be used towards gaining a DP certificate has been reduced to a maximum of 30 days.