Digital learning specialist Mintra has signed an exclusivity agreement to become the international market provider of the world’s first fully online STCW-compliant training courses. The ground-breaking eLearning created by US-based Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science is now being sold through Mintra’s digital trading space, Marketplace.
The suite of nine fully online courses provides comprehensive simulation, assessment tools and examination monitoring software, which means that seafarers no longer need to undergo the follow-up onboard proficiency assessment that is usually required to achieve STCW certification. Candidates successfully completing these nine approved courses, which are pure eLearning as opposed to instructor-led in a virtual classroom setting, will be certified immediately and issued with an electronic certificate from the Northeast Maritime Online – NEMO.
The courses are approved by the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center and the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration. As Dominica-flagged vessels are whitelisted by the IMO, any seafarers completing the courses will have certificates that are universally recognised. This means they will be considered competent and certified to work on vessels from all other flag states.
Emmanolia Kolias, sales director Marketplace, said, “It is impossible to overstate just what a monumental step forward this for international seafarer training. This is the first time the STCW has ever approved courses that are fully online: in the past a candidate may be able to sit a theory test online, but they would only become fully certified when they were assessed onboard and their paperwork subsequently approved. Northeast Maritime Institute is to be congratulated for its forward-thinking approach, which I am sure the maritime community as a whole will welcome. Not only do these fully online courses make maritime education, training and certification more accessible for seafarers, they offer employers a cost-effective and immediate training solution. We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as the exclusive partner for NEMO and with Mintra leading the digital transformation of the maritime industry, it seems an incredibly fitting partnership. It is also a timely partnership given the recent workforce report from BIMCO and ICS that highlighted the need for the supply of STCW certified seafarers to keep pace with demand.”
Although there are nine fully online courses currently available on Marketplace, there are plans to significantly increase the offering from the Institute in the near future with an additional 50 titles. Those available now are: Basic Safety Training Refresher, Cargo Handling and Stowage, GMDSS Radio Operator, Rating Performing Part of an Engineering Watch, Ship Construction and Basic Stability, Visual Communication: Flashing Lights, Watchkeeping and Standard Marine Communication Phrases, Radar Observer (Unlimited), and Automatic Radar Plotting. One further course from the Institute which does have onboard assessment requirements – Rating Performing Part of a Navigation Watch – is also currently available on Marketplace.
The two radar courses have been developed using fully functioning simulators, which allows these to move to an online teaching model despite there being practical requirements. The courses are designed to support all learning styles by providing text, audio, visual and interactive tools and learners also receive periodical lesson and knowledge checks as they would in a traditional classroom setting.
Courses delivered through NEMO use the HALO Education Systems’ Examination Monitoring System software, which is designed to detect cheating more proficiently than in any other classroom or examination room setting.
Northeast Maritime Institute President, Eric R. Dawicki described NEMO as a revolutionary eLearning platform aimed at helping seafarers further their careers without spending time away from home to pursue their professional qualifications. The platform has grown significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic, with thousands of mariners now subscribing monthly.
He added, “We couldn’t be more excited to better support the mariners and seafarers that support and deliver maritime trade and commerce around the world with Mintra by our side. The partnership will continue to develop and deliver strong and relevant educational programming well beyond the minimum standard.”