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Become a Dynamic Positioning Operator

Become a Dynamic Positioning Operator

All vessels using a dynamic positioning (“DP”) navigational system must be operated by a dynamic positioning operator (“DPO”). Given the technical nature of the DP system, and the demanding nature of the maritime profession, DPOs must be specially trained and skilled to handle the DP system at sea.

The Nautical Institute is an industry-recognized licensing body for qualified DPOs. An individual must follow the following training scheme, in the precise order of the steps listed below, to receive DP certification by the Nautical Institute:

  1. Complete a Basic (Induction) DP course, with exam.

Several training centers in the United States, including DP Training Solutions, offer this course and the Advanced Course throughout the year.

  1. 60 days at sea on a vessel equipped with DP.
  2. Complete an Advanced (Simulator) DP course, with exam.
  3. 60 days “watch-keeping” at sea on a Class II or III vessel equipped with DP.
  4. Once an individual gains the above experience, the chief DP operator of the vessel issues a Certificate of Suitability. If the watch-keeping experience in step 4 is done on a Class I vessel, a limited certificate, rather than a full certification, will be issued.