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Monday, October 22, 2018

INTERTANKO attends ISPO Awards Ceremony

INTERTANKO was delighted to attend recently the International Standard for Pilot Organisations (ISPO) International User Group (IUG) Conference, hosted by the Association of Forth Pilots.


The Association of Forth Pilots has become the first pilotage service in the UK to be accredited by Lloyd's Register under ISPO. Several major European ports, including Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp, have adopted ISPO, but Forth Pilots are the first U.K. pilots to gain accreditation under the scheme. Rotterdam was the first port to adopt the standard in 2005. Several other pilotage organisations have expressed a keen interest in ISPO, and are expected to follow suit in the near future.


Prior to the development of ISPO, there was no mechanism for pilots in any particular district or port to show that they were operating to an internationally agreed standard.

Some pilotage operations have adopted the quality management standard ISO 9000. However, the attraction of ISPO is that it is specific and relevant to pilotage and it is backed and audited by a major classification society.


UK pilotage legislation is non-prescriptive with regard to the setting and following of standards. The Pilotage Act of 1987, only requires pilots to be "suitably qualified", and no required standard is defined.


The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) was introduced in the wake of the Sea Empress incident in 1996. However, the PMSC is not underpinned by legislation, and is essentially a safety management system for ports to follow for all their marine operations. Although not a legal requirement, it is the format followed by the majority of UK ports.


ISPO is specific to pilotage and goes into greater detail and sets a higher standard than can be achieved by the PMSC.


Prior to adopting ISPO, the Association of Forth Pilots had most of the required procedures and policies in place. One of the main challenges faced when preparing for the Lloyd's audits is the bringing together of all policies and procedures that already exist into a safety management system contained within one document.


Gauging customer perception is a requirement of ISPO, and was a totally new area for the Forth Pilots. A survey of ships' masters was carried out, which revealed very positive results. However, the pilots were quick to realise that there was no room for complacency.


The survey will be repeated on a larger scale during 2011.


Forth Pilots have chosen ISPO as their method to ensure and confirm that they deliver a quality of service that could actually be quantified.


INTERTANKO applauds the Association of Forth Pilots for embarking on this proactive approach, which will undoubtedly raise the bar on safety.


Contact: Colin Jappy