Mandatory Bench Marking for pre-sea courses (Superseded by DGS Order 4 of 2016)

Training Circular No. 21 of 2005

No:11-TR(17)/2005                                                                                        Dated: 12th July , 2005

Subject :Mandatory Bench Marking for pre-sea courses

The concept of bench marking of maritime training institutes was discussed in great details in various meetings with all concerned stake holders including industry, training institutions, ship owners, recruiting agencies and three premier bench marking agency viz. CRISIL, ICRA & CARE.

After a prolonged discussions, one exhaustive training circular was issued vide Training Circular No. 2 of 2004 dated 1st January, 2004, which stipulates complete mechanism of bench marking.

At that stage, since the concept was new, it was felt prudent to make bench marking as optional and not mandatory with clear provisos that institutes which undergoes bench marking shall have preference for new course approval or expansion of existing capacity. This provision was included in the Training Circular 2 of 2004 itself.

Subsequently, for security related courses viz. SSO, CSO and PFSO which were required under ISPS were allowed to be conducted only by private sector maritime institutions having very good grading as stipulated in M.S. Notice No. 2 of 2004. Very recently Training Circular No. 19 of 2005 was issued prescribing 6 months certificate course for Deck Cadets which also stipulates that for this course only those institutes will be considered who have taken effective steps towards bench marking well for relevant courses.

The Directorate has been taking feedback from time to time from all the concerned stakeholders specially the employers both Indian and foreign. The feedback has been very encouraging and it has helped employers to select cadets from training institutes having very good grading. The informal feedback received from the parents and students has also confirmed the same fact. The training institutes have also indicated increase in their corporate goodwill because of very good Bench Marking.

The Directorate has also been meeting all three rating Agencies from time to time. The last meeting was held on 1st July, 2005. During this meeting the overall progress was reviewed. It was noted that so far 18 institutes have been bench marked and about a dozen more are in process of benchmarking at various stages

However, one disturbing feature has been revealed that some of training institutes are not getting institute bench marking as a whole and instead they are getting bench marking of only few course may be one or two and give misleading advertisements indicating as if all courses of the institute have been benchmarked. This trend has been viewed seriously

In para 16 of training circular 2 of 2004, the concept of compulsory bench marking vis-vis optional bench marking was touched upon. The intention of the Directorate for not making mandatory at that stage was to give sufficient time for the concept of independent bench marking to percolate . More than one and half year has already been given to training institutes for making them physically, mentally and financially ready for bench marking. Many stake holders have brought to the notice of Directorate that time has come to make bench marking mandatory at least for all pre-sea courses including 4 basic STCW courses.

Taking all above points into consideration and keeping the view of the fact that bench marking concept has been successful and has immensely benefited students, parents, recruiting agencies, ship owners and the Directorate, the Director General of Shipping and Ex-officio Addl. Secretary to the Govt. of India is pleased to lay down the following:

  1. Bench Marking shall be compulsory for all pre-sea courses including 4 basic STCW courses with immediate effect.
  2. For existing institutes conducting pre-sea courses including 4 basic STCW courses will have to get courses bench marked by 31st December, 2005 failing which they will not be allowed to conduct the first next batch starting on 1st January, 2006.
  3. No training institutes should advertise unless they have got all courses graded and thereby institute as such has been graded. However if the institute has been graded for at least half of its courses including all pre-sea and 4 basic STCW courses, it may advertise correctly indicating exactly the number of courses which have not been graded.
  4. No fresh approval of new courses or expansion of capacity or such related issues will be considered without suitable bench marking
  5. The institutes not having sufficient benchmarking will have to improve the performance for better grading and Directorate shall consider of reducing the capacity of the courses in the mean time
  6. Henceforth the aspect of bench marking shall be an important aspect during schedule and non-schedule inspections.

All maritime training institutes should take immediate action for compliance. The bench marking shall be done as detailed out in Training Circular No. 2 of 2004. Any deviation will be viewed seriously and the institute shall be liable for action for misconduct as per DGS Order 1 of 2003.

This issues with the approval of Directorate General of Shipping and ex-officio Additional Secretary to the Govt. of India.


(Naresh Salecha)

Sr. Dy.Director General of Shipping

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