ECDIS Type Familiarisation Training


There are now over 30 manufacturers turning out nearly 100 different types of ECDIS for use by the mariner and while this makes for a variety of systems available on the market to drive competition, it creates headaches for shipping companies due to the necessity to provide 'type' training to their bridge teams in the use of the systems on board their vessels.

Type training is essential to ensure the operators understand the basics of operation of the ECDIS on their ship, but it is only that - the basics.  Checklists will normally be provided by manufacturers to compensate for the usually hundreds of pages long manuals which very few people read but these checklists can sometimes be written by the technical engineers who built the software and thus not necessarily mariners who would be operating it.  They are therefore not always correct or relevant.

For shipping companies or operators looking to set-up ECDIS on their vessels, the checklist at this link provides a good starting point and guidance.

It is important for operators to attend training to be able to identify how to set-up their ECDIS correctly and to this end, approved courses exist which should provide at least the details below.

Course Outline:

Unlike the formality of generic training, no official regulations have been laid down to determine the content of type familiarisation training and it has generally been left to manufacturers to teach what they consider necessary.  However, the training course given should have been built around years of operational knowledge and provide the attendees with details of the functionality and effective use of the specific ECDIS you use on board.  Typically it will include the following modules in accordance with IMO guidelines:

  • Familiarisation
  • Display setup
  • Setting of safety values
  • Errors and alarms
  • Route planning
  • Route monitoring
  • Back-up systems
  • Chart updating
  • Software updating

Course Benefits/Outputs

Type familiarisation training should at the very least be endorsed and accredited by the manufacturer and where possible other governing bodies too.  They should be designed to ensure the trainee gets comprehensive training in their selected ECDIS whilst building upon knowledge gained during an IMO 1.27 model course.

Who should take part?

This course is designed for officers in charge of a navigational watch and for experienced nautical officers and other persons with navigational responsibilities and who have completed an approved and accredited IMO 1.27 model course.


Normally 1 day (8 hours)


Training can be undertaken at authorised training facilities and sometimes on board your vessel.

For further information, contact us or your ECDIS manufacture to identify the courses available.

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