Evaluation of the Qualification of Dynamic Positioning Operators Using Analytic Hierarchy Process

Tugfan Sahin*, Pelin Bolat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Offshore vessel operations are always important for the industry as the consequences of incidents related to dynamic positioning systems may affect people, cargo, vessels, and the environment. The aim of this paper is to determine the qualification factors and improve the competency standards of Dynamic Positioning Operators (DPOs). The Analytic Hierarchy Process method has been used for this study by processing expert views of senior operators who have at least fifteen years of dynamic positioning experience. The results show that quality of trainer, importance of sea time collected after achieving a full DPO certificate, experience with different types of DP systems, and practical knowledge are defined as the most important factors to becoming a qualified dynamic positioning operator. Besides, situational awareness of DP operators is considered another important factor to reduce possible dynamic positioning incidents. In conclusion, this study provides the following recommendations: promote incentive programmes in order to appeal to potential trainers, increase the length of minimum required sea time after a simulator course, increase the required practical time onboard in lieu of transferring excessive active sea time to further stages, companies to provide familiarisation courses for operators regarding the equipment onboard prior to joining the vessel for the first time, and promote online training programmes to improve the situational awareness of operators. By using these recommendations, there is a possibility to improve the qualification of DP operators and reduce incidents related to dynamic positioning operations. Last but not least, this research can also be used as a reference in the offshore industry for the training of Dynamic Positioning Operators (DPOs).

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions on Maritime Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Faculty of Maritime Studies. All rights reserved.


  • Analytic Hierarchy Process
  • DPO training
  • Dynamic Positioning Operator
  • Dynamic Positioning system
  • Offshore industry
  • The Nautical Institute


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