Nautical Institute launches education charity

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The Nautical Institute (NI) has launched a charity “to support global maritime safety and education”.

The NI said the Nautical Institute Foundation (NIF) will allow it to “extend the scope and reach of its current activities”. The NI added that the charity also aims to improve standards in maritime safety and marine environmental protection.

“We identified the benefits that could arise from a separate charity focussing on maritime safety initiatives that would attract potential donors keen to support such projects but only via a separate charity,” explained NIF chief executive Jonathan Stoneley. “The NI Foundation is an excellent basis for developing and strengthening networking contacts with industry stakeholders, other foundations, and specialist interest groups.”

The first area the NIF will look at is bulk carrier safety, particularly cargo liquefaction awareness. This could result in the setting up of a short, distance-learning course, which would be followed by a two-day workshop in relevant locations, leading to formal certificates valid for five years.

Stoneley said that the NIF’s vision is to be recognised by key industry stakeholders as a leading organisation in funding capacity-building solutions for the wider maritime community. These could include projects related to marine surveying and training in port safety or environmental awareness. The NI has an interest in these areas, but they are not the main focus of its activities.

The NIF will look at training and accreditation in “the many maritime industries, which are currently unregulated, focussing on areas with less developed safety cultures and standards”.

NI CEO John Lloyd told SAS that the NIF’s role would be research and development while The NI would likely administer any future accreditation programmes.

The NIF will plan its project delivery based on perceived need, by assessing safety and environmental statistics or by following up calls from industry bodies, non-governmental organisations, or maritime communities. If a country suffers a series of incidents in a certain sector, for example, the foundation may consider organising local training. This would address the issues that caused the accidents and provide workers with skills to avoid the exact incident from happening again.

Regarding initial funding, Lloyd said that three or four organisations had “indicated support” and the NIF is expected to announce details “shortly”. He said that the charity would be self-funding; specifically, NI members’ subscriptions would not be used to support it. Although the NIF is an independent charity group, a memorandum of understanding signed between both entities ensures they will work closely together.