Carnival Corp has teamed up with Marine Learning Systems to develop an application to ensure training assessments are objective and standardised
Carnival Corp has developed an app to allow it to assess the skills of its crew across its fleet.
Developed with the help of e-learning software provider Marine Learning Systems, the app was launched to help Carnival ensure its crew were all at the same level of commitment and compliance the cruise operator required. Both Carnival Corp and Marine Learning Systems presented the app to delegates at the annual Interferry conference in Mexico in October, to help give ferry operators ideas for training.
Carnival Corp director of maritime professional development John Allen told delegates “We wanted to align and standardise our approach.” The challenge was the size of the company’s fleet: 105 ships across nine brands, 120,000 crew at any given time and over 6,000 maritime officers.
Delving into the assessment aspect of training, Mr Allen said “The assessment goes with the training needs to be aligned, we looked at what we have already.” There was a differing approach across the fleet to training, with some ships having their own fleet trainers and others using visiting trainers.
The company built a tiered competency framework and designed an approach called performance-related training.
Mr Allen said “This is where we recognise what most of our crew are doing – we assess them first and do not assume no knowledge and put them through a course. If they can do what they say they can, they can carry on working. If not, they have a targeted training programme.”
To manage this, Carnival needed a system and worked with Marine Learning Systems to develop an app that “gives it the opportunity to run an assessment programme on any ship with any of the officers on board.”
The app contains an algorithm that works out whether the team and individual are working correctly or if there is work they need to do. “That is where targeted training comes in,” said Mr Allen. The app assigns skill levels between one and four: one is when a complete retrain is needed, two some mentoring, three satisfactory and four means the crew member might be asked to do peer training.
Marine Learning Systems chief executive Murray Goldberg explained the background to the app. “The skills assessment industry has been largely the same as before. There is an expert assessor observing the skill, making notes and providing feedback, which leaves much to the discretion of the assessor.
“You can get great outcomes, but you can also get very poor outcomes; you need objectivity, standardisation and consistency.”
He explained that Carnival’s training academy, CSMART, recognised this as an issue and decided to do something about it.
“They recognised the need for greater metrics around skill assessment and more objectivity and standardisation, so built a web-based skill assessor platform called SEAS and instead of a clipboard, an assessor has an ipad running the SEAS application.”
The assessment of skills includes indicators for each participant, with a check box for each individual and the team.
Mr Goldberg said “This is binary. The assessor is not being asked stuff; things either happened or didn’t, and this improves objectivity and consistency. These skills assessments are very fast paced. You don’t want an assessor to retract into thought as this is a fast-paced environment.”
An algorithm kicks in, assesses all the performance indicators and provides levels of reporting, from overall reporting to those on the team and individual, looking at whether they were fit for duty, and provides competency breakdowns for the team and individual.