Why DeltaMeco Crewing Services welcomes the EMSA Audit


DeltaMeco Philippino CrewThere is no denying that The Philippines is the world’s largest labour-supply country to the shipping industry, with around 400,000 of its citizens currently working as seafarers.  It therefore follows, that its maritime training institutions would be of great interest to all those associated with shipping and in particular the European Maritime Safety Authority (EMSA).

In fact concerns first voiced by EMSA back in 2012 have led to a series of audits taking place, the last one being in October 2013.  These audits are designed to assess the competency of training being offered.  In particular they are looking to ensure that the standards are high enough to provide confidence in the Philippines competency certificates issued under the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).

The classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) were responsible for conducting the most recent audit; the third major audit in the country.  This was supervised by MARINA (Philippines Maritime Industry Authority) who, following legislation passed last year, are solely in control of overseeing seafarer education and the STCW.  It has been stated that this change will significantly reduce the layers of bureaucracy – thereby reducing the time that seafarers spend travelling between different agencies and standing in queues which can only be viewed as a positive.

As a result of the audits, the number of recognised Filipino seafarer educational institutions has been culled from 93 down to between 23 and 26 facilities today, depending on the level of certification.  A list of the recognised maritime higher education institutions, together with certifications can be found here.

This is correct as at 23 February 2015.

So why does DeltaMeco Crewing Services welcome the EMSA audit?

  1. As a highly reputable and responsible manning agency, we welcome anything that ensures the safety of seafarers.  We recognise that both Officers and Ratings have a highly skilled job to do and training standards offered need to reflect this.

  1. As stated above, The Philippines is the world’s largest labour-supply country to the shipping industry.  This means that anything negative reflects poorly on the industry as a whole – an industry that DeltaMeco Crewing Services is proud to be part of.  The EMSA audit can only be a good thing if it serves to improve the overall standards of future Filipino seafarers.

  1. DeltaMeco Crewing Services are proud of each and every one of our seafarers.  They have undergone extensive training to ensure they meet our and our clients’ exacting standards.  We have always used the highest calibre of training institutions, as proven by their continued recognised status following the EMSA audits.

  1. Prior to the audit, there was a risk that all educational institutions in the Philippines would have the reputation of being sub-standard.  Following the findings, those that would have been unfairly ‘labelled’ can now be seen as shining beacons.  There is nothing like the threat of scrutiny to raise the bar!

Finally, no article on the EMSA report would be complete without at least mentioning the possibility of EMSA acting on their threat to withdraw recognition of Philippine certificates.  Whilst this is a concern for the shipping industry as a whole, DeltaMeco Crewing are reassured by the improvements in standards seen between the April 2013 and October 2013 audits.  We feel that this; coupled with the appointment of MARINA, are an indication of how seriously the Filipino shipping industry is taking the inspections.

Beside this, we also have to consider what implications this would have on the European shipping industry.  Would it really be able to continue to the level it does currently without the support of Filipino Ratings and Officers?

We will leave you to ponder that one…