Technical Courses For MPA Officers

One of the MPA Academy’s main functions is to provide technical training for MPA’s officers to enhance their specialist skills and knowledge.

Vessel Traffic Operators
Working on shift round-the-clock, MPA’s Vessel Traffic Operators (VTOs) play an important role to track vessel movements and to keep our port waters safe. Since 2013, the academy has been partnering the SMA to conduct courses for the VTOs.

The course for VTOs covers the following topics:
  • Language
  • Traffic Management
  • Equipment
  • Nautical Knowledge
  • Communication and Co-ordination
  • VHF Radio
  • Personal Attributes
  • Emergency Situations
Each run takes 12 weeks to complete. The next run is scheduled in June 2015.

In 2014, the VTS course conducted by the SMA and MPA Academy was found to be compliant with IALA standards.  Both academies received IALA accreditation for VTS training and are now on the list of IALA approved VTS training providers.

In 2016, the MPA-SMA MOU was extended to cover training for VTS Supervisors. The courses for VTS Supervisors commenced in March 2016.

Marine Surveyors
MPA’s marine surveyors play an important role in conducting port state and flag state inspections on ships in port. To equip them with the necessary skills, the academy organises basic and advanced courses for the marine surveyors.   

a) Basic Marine Surveyor Course  

    Duration: 4 weeks

    Main topics include:
  • IMO Conventions
  • Electronic Chart Display Information System
  • Flag & Port State Control
  • Investigation of shipping incidents
  • Ship registry issues
  • Long Range Identification and Tracking System
  • Shipboard work safety and health requirements
  • Technical report writing
  • Survey and certification
b) Advanced Marine Surveyors Course

    Duration: 4 weeks

    Main topics include:
  • IMO Instruments Implementation Code
  • Code for recognised organisations
  • Singapore maritime legislation
  • Liability and compensation regime for pollution damage
  • Port State and Flag State issues
  • Marine accident and incident investigation
  • Advanced knowledge on ship surveys covering oil/chemical/liquified gas tankers, passenger ships and ferries
  • VIMSAS and audit preparation/procedures
  • Assessment, examination and certification of seafarer
Another important group of staff are the hydrographers and cartographers.  They are put through a basic course when they join MPA and they are also sent for advanced training in survey or cartography work.   

The main training courses include:
  • Basic Induction Training
  • Multibeam Sonar Training
  • Cat B Cartography Course
  • Cat B Hydrographic Survey (Div 2 only)
  • Cat A Hydrographic Survey (Div 1 only)
The training for hydrographers and cartographers includes an on-the-job (OJT) component for officers to pick up practical experience.

Officers from all three sections - cartography, survey and navigation aids - will also undergo cross training to develop a more holistic perspective of the work of the Hydrography Department.

Port Inspectors

The basic course for port inspectors covers the following topics:

  • Duties of a Port Inspector
  • Anchorages and terminals
  • Pilotage requirements and exemptions
  • VHF communications guide
  • IALA buoyage system
  • International maritime flag signals
  • Navigational lights
  • Sound signals and distress signals

As part of the continual training, port inspectors accompany the marine surveyors to widen their knowledge on the inspection of ferries and port limit tankers.

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