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Frequently Asked Questions
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You've found this page either by chance or, more likely, because you need some help. On this page, you will find the most common questions we receive and answers to each of those questions. We hope this page helps answer all of your OSVDPA-related questions, but in the event you need to speak with someone, for further clarification, please contact the OSVDPA via the "Contact Us" link at the top of any page or by calling the OSVDPA at +1 (504) 528-9414.


I have a lot of questions and don't really know how to start or where to look for information. What can I do?

I am a Prospective DPO who has no DP training or experience. Where can I find information on the application process and how much it costs?

Are OSVDPA DPO Certificates only valid in the Gulf of Mexico?

I am currently pursuing a DPO Certificate from another scheme but I am running out of time. I will not be able to complete their scheme in the four (4) year window they have provided. what are my options if I transfer to the OSVDPA?

I currently hold a DPO Certificate from another scheme but would like to become OSVDPA-certified as well. Will you honor my current certificate and experience?

I'm trying to accurately document my Sea Time in the OSVDPA logbook. What counts as one (1) day of Sea Time?

I am currently pursuing my DPO Certificate through another scheme but would like to switch to the OSVDPA. Is this possible and what information do you need from me?

Can I log Sea Time and Practical Experience if the vessel is on the independent joystick (IJS) or on autopilot?

How long will it take me to progress through your scheme and earn my DPO Certificate?

Do you have a list available of all fees associated with the OSVDPA?

What should I do if my logbook and/or DPO Certificate was lost or stolen?

Can I track the progress of my application online or is there someone I can speak with at the OSVDPA regarding its status?

Can I hold DPO certificates from two different schemes at the same time?

I have an Unlimited DPO Certificate from another scheme. Since I received my DPO Certificate, I have not had the opportunity to sail on DP-2 or DP-3 vessels. I need to renew my certificate but I do not want to lose my unlimited status. Help!

Can foreign nationals enter the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme, or is the scheme only for U.S. citizens?

I am in the process of submitting a DPO application to the OSVDPA. I have previous DPO experience and would like to grandfather into the scheme. Do I have to submit all the application paperwork at the same time, or can I send some of the paperwork now and some at a later date?

Where is the OSVDPA located?

I worked on a DP boat, and accrued some DP time before taking a DP (Induction) Course. Can I count that time towards my OSVDPA DPO Certificate?

What does OSVDPA stand for?

I started the NI DPO Scheme but never obtained a certificate? Can I still transfer over to the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme?

I have some entries in my IMCA logbook. Can I transfer these entries to an OSVDPA logbook?

I am grandfathering into the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme. What does the application fee cover?


If There are several ways to obtain information about the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme. One way is to visit our website at You can also contact our Administrator, Jo'Anne A. Lewis at +1 (504) 528-9414 or


If you are a Prospective DPO who has never enrolled in another DPO certification scheme then you will have to start at the beginning. All of the qualifications and forms required to enter our scheme can be found on our "Become a DPO (I have no DP experience) page or by clicking anywhere in this answer


OSVDPA DPO Certificates are valid and accepted world-wide.


Every grandfather application is different. However, there are a couple of options. Option 1: Grandfather into the OSVDPA Scheme and work your way towards a full OSVDPA DPO Certificate. Our certification deadline (or the amount of time we require all steps to be completed in) is five (5) years from the date you submit your application. Option 2: Grandfather into the OSVDPA Scheme and obtain a Class C Permit. This Permit locks in your time and experience through the Phase 3 (Simulator) Course, giving you more time to complete our scheme without worrying about losing your previous time and/or experience.

Yes. The OSVDPA welcomes and honors your previous DP experience and certificates. A list requirements for "Grandfathering" (transferring your experience) into the OSVDPA can be found on our "Transfer my current DPO Certificate" page or by clicking anywhere in this answer.


The DPO or Prospective DPO must be in the wheelhouse while the DP system is engaged for at least one (1) hour during a 24-hour period for the day to count as Sea Time. Additionally, the OSVDPA also has a Practical Experience requirement. Practical Experience is hour-based and the DPO or Prospective DPO must be at the DP controls while the DP system is engaged to record an hour of Practical Experience. A maximum of six (6) hours of Practical Experience can be logged during a 24-hour period. Full definitions of Sea Time and Practical Experience are found in the OSVDPA logbook.

Yes. We allow for Prospective DPOs who are currently enrolled in another DPO Certification Scheme to transfer into the OSVDPA Scheme. Additional details covering the requirements documentation and how we determine in what phase you will enter our scheme can be found on our Become a DPO (Enrolled in another Scheme) page or by clicking anywhere in this answer.


Yes, a full definition of what can and cannot be logged as Sea Time and Practical Experience is in your logbook. However, our general rule for Sea Time is based on the general premise that if the DP is engaged, the time counts.

Prospective DPOs and DPOs entering our certification scheme must complete it within five (5) years of his or her start date. With that being said, the time it takes for a DPO to complete our scheme varies based on the individuals previous Training and Certification Activities as well as the amount of time they are able to spend on DP while aboard a vessel. An overview of our scheme and a breakdown of the phases can be found on the "About our Scheme" page or by clicking anywhere in this answer.

A list of all fees associated with the OSVDPA Certification Scheme can be found in our OSVDPA FS-1-CV, the OSVDPA Fee Schedule. 

If your logbook or DPO Certificate has been lost or stolen, you should immediately contact the OSVDPA's at +1 (504) 528-9414.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have a way for you to track the progress of your application online. Please know that we make every effort possible to ensure that your application is reviewed and answered in a timely manner. In most cases, no news is good news, and if we have confirmed receipt of your documents and have not reached back out to you then we likely have not yet found a problem. If would like an update on your application, please feel free to contact us via the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page.


Yes, you can possess DPO certificates, from different schemes, at the same time. You do not have to give up your DPO certificate and with the Nautical Institute's acceptance of OSVDPA post-scheme logbooks, and the OSVDPA's acceptance of NI and IMCA logbooks, holding two certificates is not difficult.


Once you have an Unlimited DPO Certificate from another scheme or a Class A DPO Certificate from the OSVDPA, the OSVDPA will not downgrade your DP certificate, even if you are only able to accrue sea time on a DP-1 vessel.


The OSVDPA is an international certification scheme that started in the U.S. Therefore, anyone who meets the accepted entry requirements (AEC) can enter the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme. We have several foreign nationals who have successfully completed the scheme and obtained OSVDPA DPO certificates.


You may begin the OSVDPA DPO Application process even if you do not have all the supporting documentation to submit along with your application. Once we receive payment we will even review your application and tell you what you are lacking just to ensure we are on the same page. Below are several ways to submit documents to the OSVDPA: 1. OSVDPA website. Create a profile at and upload documents; 2. Email; 3. Postal Service (Send to 201 St. Charles Ave, Suite 114-274, New Orleans, LA 70170); and 4. In Person (Call +1 (504) 528-9414 and we will provide you with our physical address).


The OSVDPA is the only Dynamic Positioning DP Certification Authority in the United States. We are located in the vibrant city of New Orleans, LA. Our mailing address is 201 St. Charles Ave, Suite 114-274, New Orleans, LA 70170. Our physical office is in another location. Please call +1 (504) 528-9414 to set up a visit and receive our physical location.


Sea Time and Practical Experience accrued before the successful completion of a Phase 1 (Induction) Course (or equivalent course from another DPO Certification Scheme will not be counted towards an OSVDPA certificate.


OSVDPA stands for Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority.


The OSVDPA allows mariners to transfer (we refer to this process as "grandfathering") into the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme at any time and usually honors the time and classes they have completed within the Certification Deadline (the five years previous to their application).


There is no need to transfer IMCA logbook entries to your OSVDPA logbook. We accept Sea Time properly documented in Nautical Institute, IMCA or other industry-recognized logbooks.


The application fee covers the review of your application, your OSVDPA DPO certificate, return shipping of your materials and certificate, and an OSVDPA logbook.