Currently there is no harmonised approach on a European scale for maritime training. Simulator-based education of ship crews with respect to standardised ship manoeuvres and operational scenarios is often significantly different between EU Member States, in particular because various types of simulators, different training tools, scenarios and curricula are used.
MASSTER aimed to describe the types of integrated, full-mission manoeuvring simulators and part-task simulators available in Europe for training/education purposes, including their technical capabilities.
The main objectives of MASSTER have been:
- to investigate the feasibility of implementing new emerging technologies in the area of simulation for training purposes;
- to categorise a complete catalogue of required tasks;
- to summarise the training scenarios for the different types of simulators used by maritime facilities for training purposes;
- to determine gaps and shortcomings based on the comparison of existing scenarios and their training objectives with the developed catalogue of tasks;
- to provide methodologies for the development of scenarios and assessment tools relevant to different training objectives; and
- to provide a final catalogue of results, exercises and training objectives.
- prepared an overview of existing simulators - both full-mission and part-task types -, their capabilities, foreseen future developments, simulator availability and suitability for desired training schemes;
- listed training objectives based on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 95) guideline;
- highlighted simulator training exercises, addressing STCW 95 objectives and additional training objectives, e.g. for high speed vessels, on management aspects, or concerning the introduction of advanced bridge displays;
- elaborated a methodology for the development of operational and training scenarios and the corresponding required exercises;
- developed sample assessment tools supplementing the set of assessment criteria connected to the identified training objectives;
- developed a comprehensive catalogue of scenarios, provided as a computerised database, which allows for searching of the whole set of training objectives, function levels and defined competences along the STCW 95 guideline.
The project MASSTER has built on experience from the METHAR project, which had been preparing harmonised European curricula reflecting the STCW 95 requirements. MASSTER was a major step in ensuring the implementation of STCW 95 conventions in EU Member States and outside the Community. The latter aspect is important because tendencies towards moving training programmes to low wage countries could put the successful implementation of STCW standards at risk.