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History of the OSVDPA
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In 2012, following discussions of DPO training and certification by the U.S. Coast Guard's National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC) and Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), a group of offshore service vessel operators and training centers began meeting to discuss the issues they were facing with the current system of DPO certification.  While the NOSAC and MERPAC discussions had highlighted the unique risks and operational aspects of DP as it is used by different industries, the members of this working group were faced with a one-size-fits-all DPO certification system.

This working group agreed to discuss the possibility of forming an alternative DPO certification scheme while simultaneously working within the existing DPO certification providers to ensure their systems were augmented to reflect the unique operation techniques and tempos of offshore service vessels.

As such, the working group spent the majority of 2013 working with a dual purpose. Half of their time was spent trying to change the existing certification options and half of their time was spent laying the ground work for a new DPO certification system.

The working group’s lobbying efforts included holding direct talks with the existing DPO certification providers, funneled information to entities that had access to the existing certification systems, and publicly discussing their problems in the hopes that they would find allies that were experiencing similar problems.

Unfortunately, these efforts were not successful and in November 2013, the decision was made that the group needed to form a new DPO certification authority and authorized staff to start raising the necessary start-up capital.

Specifically, the group set out to organize and implement a comprehensive assurance and certification scheme uniquely developed to include the technology, competencies, and risk management elements necessary to advance safe and reliable operation of DP-equipped offshore service vessels.

The basis of this certification system would be the guidance laid down by the IMO, IMCA, MTS, and other industry agreed-upon practicum. Additionally, the group agreed to submit the certification system to the appropriate regulators for their approval as well as hire an independent auditor to validate the integrity of the certification system and its pertinent processes.

In March of 2014, the OSVDPA held its first Board Meeting. One month later the Board approved an outline of the OSVDPA certification system, and in May the OSVDPA Technical Advisory Council (TAC) began to fill in this outline with specifics policies and procedures.

The OSVDPA opened its certification scheme and system to participants in April 2016.