Overview top

The Manila amendment to STCW has mandated Human Factors training for seafarers and as an approved Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) training provider, South Shields Marine School has been accredited to deliver HELM courses at the management level.

The HELM(M) Simulator Training course meets the syllabus requirements laid down by the UK Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and draws on many years of experience in providing Maritime Human Factors courses and company programmes.

Previously, courses have only been run for individual companies, but now the HELM five-day management course, using state of the art marine simulators, makes Human Factors Training accessible to all in the industry who hold12 months sea time to satisfy MCA management level CoC requirements.

The training examines the crucial role human factors play in high-stress, high-risk environments and encompasses team training, as well as simulation, interactive group debriefings and improvement of crew performance.

From a practical standpoint, the HELM programme educates crews about the limitations of human performance. Trainees develop an understanding of cognitive errors, and how stressors such as fatigue, emergencies, and work overload contribute to the occurrence of errors. The course typically requires participants to assess both personal and peer behaviour through case studies and experience. Emphasis is placed on integrating the concepts into daily working routines, which minimise the influences of human factors in accident causation.

With greater technical reliability, automation and quality control of component systems, we no longer have an alibi for normal human fallibility, now the human element has been identified as being the weakest link in the chain.

Shipping shares a similar environmental, cultural and operational ancestry as aviation and whereas aviation, in its infancy, drew on the example of ships at sea, shipping is now learning from the experience of aviators by applying basic Human Factors principles to sea-going operations in accident prevention.


Course structure:

A five-day multi-activity course that provides delegates with a programme of approved training to use leadership and managerial skills to control the operation of the ship and care for persons on board at the management level.

The Management Level course is designed to comply with the requirements as set out in the IMO mandatory requirements in tables A-II/2 and AIII/2 of the Manila amendments to the STCW convention and code 1978, as amended (2010).

The course meets the Management Level syllabus requirements contained in the MNTB syllabus and as accredited by the MCA.


Course aim:

To gain a management level certificate of competency, you are required to have completed a HELM course at management level.

South Shields Marine School run both a classroom facilitated HELM management course and our ERM-HELM management simulation course, which have MCA HELM management certification approval. The ERM-HELM management simulation course follows the HELM management syllabus, however the practical exercises take place in a full mission engine room simulator, where the management principles explained on the course, are put into practice.

This course also fulfils the recommended syllabus for an Engine Resource Management course, meaning on completion, delegates receive both of the certificates listed below:

  1. HELM management (MCA approved) certificate
  2. Engine Resource Management certificate

Engine Resource Management is not a regulatory requirement, but shipping companies now understand the benefits of this value added training, and often require current, and future employees, to undertake such training.

The cost of this course, is considerably less than the combined cost of two individual courses, so if you have yet to complete your HELM management training, this course could benefit you.


Course duration:

5 day course comprising of:

20 hours classroom based facilitated instruction

10 hours simulator based facilitated practical activity

5 hours individual case study analysis

Entry Requirements top

Learners shall hold a deck or engineering certificate of competency at the operational level and meet the minimum seagoing service requirements for the issue of a management level CoC.

Assessment top

Assessment is via in course continuous assessment followed by final examination.

Further Information top

For more information, please contact Mel.Irving@tynecoast.ac.uk 


Map Marine_3.pdf (928.86 KB)

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.