Frequently Asked Questions
Maritime Skill Enhancer
by Navguide Solutions LLP
What anyone could ask..
What is this platform all about?
In simple words, the Maritime Skill Enhancer is a Learning Management website dedicated to seafarers. You can think of it as the Udemy or Coursera for seafaring knowledge. Anyone in the world who is serving on board ships or is interested in developing practical skills on board, can come here and sign up for a particular course.
Nothing here is theory. All the courses here are directed towards the development of a certain skill which will be practically useful on board.
There must have been one senior in your career, who you remember, one who really built you up as a professional, and encouraged you to move along. This website is the digital version of that senior.
Who does this website cater to?
This platform caters to primarily three categories of people:
Seafarers: Who want to enhance their skills in their existing ranks, or those who are looking for a promotion to the next rank, and want to become aware of the requirements.
Anyone involved in Maritime Training: Departments involved in Maritime Training would be especially interested in this platform.
We augment their Inspection preparation & training processes with our tools and deliver results! When we say ‘results’, it means improved Inspection results, a well-prepared ship and preventing detentions!
Anyone involved in Vessel inspections: Inspectors can themselves sign up for courses such as the Self-Inspection series, which will help them develop their eye for spotting non compliances; but that is just the tip of the iceberg! We have other digital solutions which make the job of an inspector much easier, and that is a different discussion we must have with them.
What research was done before creating these courses?
We spent over three years perfecting our content behind these courses. We pooled in the experience of experts around the world, including maritime trainers, auditors, inspectors, Master Mariners from various fields and various types of ships.
If you work in the field of Maritime training and are interested in training your people we can discuss this in details.
For example, when we were creating our Self Inspection series, it took us research of over 50,000 observations around the world, covering various inspections to formulate a system on how to inspect a certain area of the vessel.
This research is still ongoing, by the way.
Many people are working on Maritime Training. Why are you different?
As the name suggests, we are not here to impart information; we work on a system of developing Maritime skills. The difference between the two is quite a lot. Think of it as the difference between learning a history lesson, and learning how to ride a bike.
If I have to teach you how to ride a bike, I do not have to give you a lesson on the parts of a bike and then, in the end, qualify you through multiple-choice questions. What I have to do is to get into the field with you, hold your hand and your bike, push you along, and leave you to it once you are confident. The process is different from any traditional classroom course or any CBT that you may have come across earlier.
We hit the mindset of the millennial seafarer like never before, trying to create an immersive experience, which develops skills, making him or her more useful on board.
Is this process more practically useful?
We introduced ourselves in the Maritime world with a process called Guide2Inspections which helped vessels around the world prepare for inspections. That is something which has real commercial implications. We carry on the same practical approach in this Platform.
We show you short videos of inspections being carried out onboard, in real life, instead of giving you a checklist of what to check. Just a few minutes of videos will make it clearer to you than any traditional classroom course. There is nothing conventional about our approach.
I can tell you why I think our process became so effective. It is the only process in the world created onboard a ship! That means while we were creating it, we were also using it. We were correcting it for what worked for us against what does not. That made it suit the precise needs of the mariner.
That is one of our biggest strengths.
Do you have an experience sharing session?
We do, and we do it in a slightly different manner.
Every course incorporates a quiz, where we have just three questions that we ask.
It takes less than three minutes if you know it. Either way, we help you get through this quiz since this is not our final evaluation criteria. But each of these situations has been handcrafted to reflect practical scenarios on board. This is also our experience sharing session. They have all come out of practical situations which people have faced and the experience sharing happens right there. The answers are often tricky, but they help understand a crucial concept which is practically useful.
How far educated, smart or trained do you have to be before taking a certain course?
We have tried to structure the courses in a way that anyone with a decent knowledge of English can take it up. We have tried introducing them to Deck and Engine Ratings. Junior officers, all the way up to senior-most ranks, with success.
No matter which stage of knowledge or experience you are on, it is bound to make you think and enhance your on-job skills.
How do your courses work? What do you have in them?
The courses are designed in a way that in the end, no matter what your present knowledge level is, you turn out to be an expert in whichever topic you are here for.
Let me explain how.
See, if you are an average person, you have an attention span less than that of a goldfish. We would not reach anywhere if we were to keep you engaged for a long time.
Anything more than four or five minutes, and we have lost you.
So we have broken down the skillset into short chunks. Small bite size information-packets, videos, experience feedbacks, Quizzes, Simulation games, Etc. which you can consume as many times as you need once you have enrolled for the course.
If you do not understand a certain concept you are free to repeat that. No one is judging you. Once you have been through, get your hands dirty. Head out for a real experience on the job. The course is not truly complete unless you carry out the job yourself. That is the only way knowledge becomes a skill.
We are not going anywhere. Let us know exactly where you got stuck and we sort that out.
That is how the system works.
There are many things which are not covered under this website. How do I learn them?
We are always curating and designing new courses. We will shortly come up with a new set of courses focusing on USCG and Annual Inspections. Eventually, we want to build a platform which covers all practical aspects of sea life.
It is a continuous process.
Let us know the specific topics you need to know, and we will try to add it to our plan.
What If I want to buy a set of courses?
You can always buy them individually from the website. As of now, since we are on sale until March, we do not have a bulk-discount.
We are going to come up with a concept of bundling the courses, once we have a decent amount of feedback from all of you. That will take some time. If you are interested to enroll for a large number of courses, contact us via email or contact form, or request a demo, where one of us will reach out to you.
Let’s see how we can work it out.
Is this flexible in its ways to use on various devices?
This is a Web-Based platform, and it has all the benefits and limitations of being online.
It works everywhere – whether on Apple, Windows, Android and so on. The courses are responsive to mobile and tabs. They look awesome on a Tablet!
We have more customized solutions for Corporate clients. That can be discussed over a demo.
Is this process Online or Offline?
If you are an individual, it surely helps if you have an internet connection onboard your ship, because the courses are much more effective when done on board. This is a Skill development after all, not a classroom coaching, and we expect you to get hands-on at some point. However, if that is not possible, you can always learn them when on leave and practice them when you join back.
We have customized solutions for Corporate Clients based on their needs, such as providing a dedicated tablet upon request, which can be used offline as well. You just need to contact us, and we will explain in detail.
What is the duration of each course?
The course itself usually takes anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes, but this time is in parts. At no point, any lesson should take you more than five to ten minutes, and then there are sections where you need to leave the training room and carry out certain hands-on jobs.
This approach cannot be compared with traditional CBT training which is usually completed in front of the computer.
You have a period of four weeks, i.e. a month after the first enrolment. If required, you can repeat the course. If you want to do that, just let us know.
Is there a refund policy?
We do not offer a refund.
In the case of corporate clients, there is an opportunity to try out our courses for free before you let people on board use it. You can check the effectiveness of the system very easily as you go through them. For individuals, the pocket pinch is way too less at least for the first few months and it would not really make sense to initiate a refund for $4 or $5.
Try it out and see if it works. I think it will be worth a shot.
What do you mean by Simulation Games?
This is something never used in Maritime Training before. It not only engages the mariner; it triggers attitude development as well!
As part of certain courses, we have included games, which is the simulation of a real inspection. You have an inspector asking you a few questions, and your behavior and the relevance of your answers determine your scores. Aim to achieve the highest score, which will be visible to you right throughout.
It is important to note that this system judges your attitude as well, not just the answer. This simulation game is a tool which we have found much more effective in developing the right attitude, instead of simply talking about it.
There are so many courses with the name Captain D. What makes him an authority in so many topics?
I am Captain D. So one of the common questions which might come up is that how am I the authority on so many topics. There are more than 100 courses with my name on it.
I must tell you that it would be extremely arrogant and egocentric to say that all the information is coming from me. Anyone who has followed our work over years knows that the research we have done behind each of these areas has taken years and there have been several experts working with us. Some of them do not want to be named, and some of whom you can see in our About us page.
Think of me as being simply the conduit bringing all that information to you.
However, that said, no matter what research we have done, see if this works for you.
That’s the ultimate test, isn’t it?
What an Individual could ask...
I’m a mariner. How do I work with you?
If you are an individual, login to the website, select the course you want to target, and you’re good to go. We will eventually come up with bundled courses, where you can buy a set of courses together based on your needs.
I have done so many CBTs. Is it just another CBT like that? How do you generate interest?
Traditional maritime training has seldom managed to be interesting. Try us, and I think you will be surprised.
We use several strategies to keep you engaged.
There is a credit point system which kicks at the moment you start a course. Every time you take a course or a quiz or complete an assignment, your credit points pile up. You eventually earn badges that you can redeem for greater benefits. You can even earn yourself an exclusive helpline which we will set up in a few months.
We are going to start a community system, where you can share your views, your challenges and discuss problems. We are looking at creating a wealth of experience through global connectivity.
We are not just about information. There are short videos, simulation games we use to create realistic scenarios, apps we use as part of some courses, etc. etc. and I could go on.
Once again, the experience is nothing like you have seen. We tried to make it immersive and self-propelling for the mariner, rather than the monotone of conventional training.
Will it work for me?
I have tried to answer most of the questions you might have, however, whether it really works for you or not is for you to check out first hand.
Select a course that you want and go for it. You will find the answer for yourself.
I am an authority on a certain topic. Can I join you as a teacher?
Your expertise is very valuable to us. If you are willing to participate in this mission, you are most welcome. We have a specific page in the website inviting teachers from various Marine fields. You just have to be able to convey the concept in a way that ensures development of a skill, not just imparting information.
Contact us through this page: Become an Instructor.
We will guide you to create courses. Once you formulate a certain course for us, it will be displayed on our webpage by your name and a part of the revenue generated from that would go to you directly.
Most of the time, your effort will be only once, but it will keep benefiting you for years to come.
About the Self-Inspection Series
Is the self-inspection series another bunch of checklists?
Oh, this is so much more than checklists!!
This platform aims to offer the mariner the Vision of an inspector. The system we follow in our courses allows you to slowly develop your ability to spot non-compliances organically, even without the use of any checklist. At the end of it, no matter which area you are inspecting, you would just know what to look for as you go about. That saves you time, makes the vessel compliant and turns you into a very valuable member of the ship’s team.
I would love to get into details, but it’s going to be much easier for you to try out one of our courses and see it first-hand.
How does the Self Inspection series save me time to prepare for an inspection?
In creating these courses, we used our experience from Guide2Inspections, which was the first product we had launched.
We have not distributed the checks on board by topics, as most checklists do.
Our Pre-inspection Checks are categorized Zonewise! If you take one round of a certain zone – say, Galley area or Engine Control Room – you will see all the small and big things which need to be set straight over there
These checks can be from different topics, but as long as they can be physically checked in that area, you will find them in one place.
This saves time. Once you are done with them, just go on doing your routine maintenance.
Can the Self-Inspection series help me to keep vessels inspection-ready?
Our distribution saves you preparation time as well!
Checks in each zone are divided by time – i.e. checks which needs to be done once and for all, those checks needed a day or two before arrival and checks on the day of inspection! The vessel remains inspection ready because most of the checks have been completed and set aside. Finish those and simply relax. That’s how you have your ship inspection-ready!
You are now prepared for any inspection which is thrown at you at a day’s notice!
Can the Self Inspection series help to create a fresh eye?
Our process bypasses the Cognitive blind spot!
You pass by a certain defect every day and it does not draw your attention, yet a fresh eye comes on board and points it out immediately!! This is the cognitive blind spot. It happens to us all. This approach removes such a possibility and helps you create a fresh eye. You would need to get in touch with us to know how we do this.
What a Shipping Company could ask...
We run ships & need our people trained. How do we work with you?
If you are representing a Shipping Company or a Training firm and would like to go for a longer contract with us, we need to discuss that.
Contact us directly or Click here for our Corporate offers. We will guide you.
However, nothing is stopping you from trying out our system before that, by enrolling on any course individually. See if it works for you and feel free to let us know anything that we can do to improve.
We inspect vessels. How do we work with you?
If you are an inspector or running an inspection company, trying to compete with others, chances are that your performance is paramount to your success. Moreover, time is of the essence, since you are paid by the day!
Visit this page to know what we can do for you.
This website can train inspectors to look at a certain area more comprehensively, but that is just one part. We have a number of digital tools specifically directed towards inspectors.
We are talking about an improved level of competence and time optimization!
How do you plan to train the seafarers who are the weak-links in the system?
Traditional training of any kind gives you a specific finite time to learn a certain skill. So no matter how much you have picked up, once your time is up, you need to leave.
Not everyone has the same aptitude or the same grasping power. Naturally, regardless of how well the training was designed, and or how well-intentioned it was, not everyone leaves a training room with the same skillset.
We work on a different system. Once you enrol for a certain course, all the instruments and tools that we have, are left to your choice. Feel free to use them as many times as you need to get the concept clear. No one is judging you and you do not have to bother anyone to ask the same question 20 times if you need. In the end, if you still have doubts let us know and we clarify them.
The end game is to make you an expert regardless of where you started from. Following this system, the initial aptitude of a person does not matter very much to us.
You will need to try out the system yourself to see what it can do.
How do you evaluate whether a certain seafarer is competent or not?
Competence means being able to do the job in real life. We focus on that.
To explain how we decide that, I need to talk about the structure of the courses and evaluation system in the end. Each course includes a part where the seafarer is expected to carry out the job hands on!
It could have been very easy and inexpensive for us to leave the evaluation to a standard Multiple Choice Question. You answer the questions – you get the certificate. That’s how every course goes, right? Well. That’s not how you judge competence on board. A person who can answer all the MCQs in one shot is not necessarily the most useful individual.
Now, think of it. An experienced Master or a Chief officer joins a ship, and over the course of a few interactions can normally judge the competence of the people around. The judgement of who is reliable and who is not kicks in right from day one, just by talking to the person.
I’m not saying that the decision is right all the time, but with some experience, it is, most of the time. When you talk to someone you convey a lot more – you convey confidence, your agility, your intelligence and your will to work.
That’s a similar procedure we have followed when it comes to evaluation. Our evaluation system works on a brief interview at the end of each course. The candidate is expected to send us a selfie video where they tell us what they have learnt while actually carrying out the job and challenges that were faced. In this short period, simply because we can see him or her, we have a much better idea of how that person will perform onboard. We watch these short videos and then award the certificate.
That’s why our certificate has a different value altogether.
This is a vastly different approach than traditional judgement using MCQ.
Documentation series: How do you help senior officers inspect the documentation?
Under the Documentation Series, we guide senior officers to self-audit their paperwork.
To be honest, the way we inspect documentation is more detailed and robust than what you would expect an inspector to check.
But the things is, you do this only once.
When you have things set up in place, simply maintaining it does not take much time.
As part of the course, we guide you to carry out a self-audit of your vessel and you can use the result of this audit to perfect any missing documentation onboard or update yourself even at a later stage. The result of this audit will be emailed to you as soon as you complete it.
Can I use your system, as a company, for a remote documentation audit?
You can try it out right now, spending just a few dollars.
Our documentation courses include a part where there is a guided remote audit of the entire ship’s documentation. This is a check more detailed than what any inspector would normally carry out. But you do this only once. When the system is in place, all that is needed is a periodical check.
The department head can use it to self-audit the vessel. This system also includes inserting your comments, photographs, or setting a target date for a particular observation which you found. At the end of the audit, we send you back the report almost immediately on your email.
This report remains with you and serves to improve your documentation on board. It can be used as a highly affordable way to remote audit the documentation of the vessel, and you can do this even without contacting us.
If you do contact us, we can offer certain other means and methods which would make your on-board-documentation impeccable within a short time.
Can we use this to improve compliance on board my vessels?
The answer to that is a resounding yes!
We aim to keep the vessel ready for any inspection at any time and to give your people the eyes of an inspector. How we do that is quite simple.
We instruct specific ranks to inspect certain areas and we guide them into that inspection. This is part of the courses in the Self-inspection & Documentation series. This inspection is far more robust than any inspector anywhere in the world would normally check, and the system has been created with a large amount of research.
Once you get that area inspected it not only trains the person to be better equipped next time, it also ensures that the ship remains compliant overall because of this overlapping method of inspection, where a particular area is inspected by more than one person on board.
Simply as a consequence, the vessel remains compliant.
How does your process help in Competency Management?
Qualified seafarers are not necessarily the most competent ones.
Having the license to sail is one thing, and being able to do the job is quite another. Following our process, not only will we turn our seafarers competent, we will do this in the shortest possible time.
How, you ask?
We give them tools which they love and ask them to spend a little time on each (4 – 5 minutes per day). Does that sound doable? I guarantee this 4-5 minutes will be far more beneficial than hours they have spent on classroom training.
Why are the prices structured in that way?
The entire course line has been priced in a way that even the junior most people on board do not have to think twice before enrolling for a course themselves. You have access to each course for one month and you may even opt-in for a certain course twice if you need. It’s a very little pocket pinch involved.
That said, the value of the courses are far more than the price suggests.
Our courses are prepared with years of research and the goal is to make the mariner more valuable and confident in his or her job on board and to help them stay compliant with all relevant international rules and regulations. At present, we are also running a discount ranging up to 70% at least until March 2021.
So whether you are an individual or a company, this would be a good time to grab the offer.
If you are looking at purchasing courses in bulk, Click here.