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IALA World-Wide Academy

Education & Training

Vessel Traffic Service (V103 series)

A major factor in the effective delivery of a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) is the competence and experience of its personnel to:

  • provide timely and relevant information on factors that may influence the transit of a ship and to assist on-board decision making;
  • monitor and manage traffic to ensure the safety and efficiency of ship movements; and
  • respond to developing unsafe situations to assist the on-board decision-making process.

Training and certification for VTS personnel is recognised internationally through the following framework within IMO Resolution A.857(20) on Guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services. The Resolution states, inter-alia, that the Contracting Government or Governments or the competent authority should ensure that the VTS authority is provided with sufficient staff, appropriately qualified, suitably trained and capable of performing the tasks required and ensure that provisions for the training of VTS operators are available.

IALA Recommendation R0103 on the training and certification of VTS personnel states that competent authorities and VTS authorities implement and establish VTS training and certification in a standardised and harmonised manner in accordance with the guidelines and model courses developed by IALA.

IALA publishes a series of model courses related to the training of VTS personnel:

  • VTS Operator training (V-103/1)
  • VTS Supervisor training (V-103/2)
  • VTS On-the-Job training (V-103/3)
  • VTS On-the-Job Instructor (V-103/4)
  • Revalidation process for VTS Qualifications and Certification (V-103/5)

The IALA VTS V-103 model courses are delivered by a global network of accredited training organisations. The Academy does not deliver any of these courses fro the time being.

V-103/1 VTS Operator Training

The VTS operator course provides details of the subject areas, knowledge and practical competence required to undertake the duties associated with VTS operations.  In particular, it provides the curriculum to ensure a student has the requisite knowledge, understanding and proficiency to:

  • provide timely and relevant information on factors that may influence the transit of a ship and assist on-board decision making;
  • monitor and manage traffic to ensure the safety and efficiency of ship movements; and
  • respond to developing unsafe situations to assist the decision-making process on board.

V-103/2 VTS Supervisor Training

The VTS supervisor course provides a qualified VTS operator with the additional knowledge, understanding and proficiency to:

  • provide supervision for VTS operations;
  • provide leadership; and
  • ensure that co‚Äźordination takes place between the VTS, allied services and other port facilities and services.

V-103/3 VTS On-the-Job Training

On-the-job (OJT) training is intended to provide the knowledge, practical competence, and proficiency to perform the day to day operations at a particular VTS centre.  The OJT programme should cover areas such as:

  • traffic management;
  • local knowledge of the VTS area and legislative framework;
  • communication co-ordination;
  • equipment used at the VTS centre;
  • operational and emergency procedures; and
  • local publications and documents.

VTS authorities should determine when OJT training is undertaken to best meet their operational requirements. For example, OJT training may be completed:

  • prior to the trainee attending formal V-103/1 VTS operator training;
  • after a trainee attends formal V-103/1 VTS operator training; or
  • in multiple stages, with some training prior to, and after completing formal V-103/1 VTS operator training

V-103/4 VTS On-the-Job Training Instructor

The VTS on-the-job training instructor course covers the knowledge and practical competence required of a trainer delivering on-the-job training at the VTS centre.

On completion of this course the student should have the necessary skills to deliver local VTS training (e.g. OJT, adaption training or updating training) at a VTS centre, these include:

  • the development and ongoing evaluation of training programmes;
  • the instructional techniques used to deliver training programmes;
  • the communication skills required to conduct a successful briefing and debriefing;
  • assessing the performance of a student against the training objectives; and
  • maintaining training records.

V-103/5 Revalidation process for VTS Qualifications and Certification

This course provides a structured means for VTS personnel to reinforce previous VTS training and maintain a certain level of performance and skills in areas or knowledge which are infrequently used.  Revalidation training should cover generic and area specific elements of competency.

Upon the successful completion of this course, VTS personnel should have demonstrated the skill, knowledge. and experience to revalidate their VTS qualifications in order to perform their roles effectively and satisfactorily maintain a high level of competence.

Course delivery

The IALA VTS V-103 model courses are delivered by a global network of accredited training organisations. The Academy does not deliver any of the VTS courses directly but supports their deivery as requested.