Nowadays there are more than fifty classification societies in the world but still the classification process and its interrelationship with international and flag regulations is not always well understood.
The classification society, which is a non-governmental organisation in the shipping industry establishes and maintains technical standards for construction and operation of marine vessels and offshore structures.
The primary role of the society is to classify ships and validate that their design and calculations are in accordance with the published standards. It also carries out periodical survey of ships to ensure that they continue to meet the parameters of set standards. The society is also responsible for classification of all offshore structures including platforms and submarines.
Flag states maintain a ship register in which all ships that sail under their flag need to be registered.
Classification societies are licensed by flag states to survey and classify ships and issue certificates on their behalf. They classify and certify marine vessels and structures on the basis of their structure, design and safety standards.
The primary task of classification society surveyors is to survey in order to maintain the standards of construction and condition of ships and machinery, which have been laid down by the society.
The secondary function of class surveyors, where their society is approved by governments, is for their surveys to be used as a basis for the issue of statutory certificates relating to safety at sea.
A classification society’s workforce comprises of Surveyors who are full time employees and are generally referred to as “Exclusive” surveyors; the ones employed on a part time basis are “Non-exclusive” surveyors. Although the classification societies started in 1760 with captains who will examine a ship, more specialization came and now there are in principle there three kind of surveyors whom are mainly marine professionals’ mariners, such as a qualified ship’s deck officers, mechanical/electrical engineers, naval architects.
In most cases you will find the navigational inspectors as the flag state inspectors and auditors.
The classification society uses the mechanical/electrical inspectors. They will start in the engine room and will learn the hull part in their inspection career. The hull surveyors are in a perfect world only naval architects. The auditors in the classification society can have navigational background but normally the surveyor with experience will become auditor. Although you will think that every class surveyor is entitled to inspect everything, this is however not the case.
It is the intention of this course to extend the student’s knowledge and understanding of the role, workings and requirements of a classification society and its interface with IMO when applying statutory regulations on behalf of flag administrations and qualify you as an expert in this field able to deal with port state control, flag administration and vetting officials.
The course content is aimed at providing newly appointed surveyors and those as yet limited practical experience with solid technical knowledge about classification and statutory matters. This course is specifically structured for those looking to taking up the role of a Non-exclusive surveyor enabling them to properly undertake the duty imposed under the relevant Classification rules.
Of course, the material also includes the latest technical information and thus allows participants to obtain “work-ready” knowledge.