Offshore Physical Environmental Guidelines
6.0 Training

6.0 Training
6.1 Meteorologist
6.2 Weather Observer
6.2.1 Aviation Weather Observer
6.2.2 Marine Weather Observer
6.3 Ice Observer
6.4 Oceanographer

6.0 Training

6.1 Meteorologist

Only a Meteorologist can issue, modify or interpret offshore weather and sea state forecasts.

An Operator should ensure that a Meteorologist:

  • Holds a university-level degree of equivalent;
  • Has an appropriate level of knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science;
  • Has completed an appropriate level of In house training at MSC or with a Weather Forecasting Contractor;
  • Receives periodic and ongoing training in data and guidance assessment, and forecasting techniques; and,
  • Receives periodic and ongoing training in the Operator's Contingency and Response Plans.

An Operator should ensure that its Weather Forecasting Contractor's in-house training program has been developed in consultation with MSC,

Marine meteorologists should have specialized training in the interpretation and limitations of numerical models (atmospheric and oceanographic) and forecasting techniques used in marine meteorology, sea state forecasting, and (as appropriate) forecasting in the marginal ice zone. Understanding of local weather and oceanographic features and patterns is highly desirable.

Aviation meteorologists (if required by the operator), should have the specialized training in aircraft icing, turbulence, other hazardous phenomena, meteorological aspects of flight planning, definitions, procedures for meteorological services for international air navigation, air traffic services, aerodromes, operation of aircraft, aeronautical information services, aeronautical telecommunications, WMO and ICAO documentation.

6.2 Weather Observer

The Operator is responsible to ensure the weather observer is competent and trained to make observations accurately and to code the resulting reports within the time allotted [1]. The observers must have completed training provided by a Weather Observer Instructor. Only trained observers can take marine or aviation weather observations.

The Operator should:

  • Establish and document standards and methods for training;
  • Maintain detailed training records for each trained person and provide each person with evidence of qualifications;
  • Determine and set limitations on the tasks to be performed by personnel based on their training and demonstrated competence;

Should there be a requirement for an offshore weather observer to provide interpretive weather briefings, the Operator must ensure that the weather observer is suitably trained and qualified for these specific tasks. Otherwise, interpretation of meteorological forecasts and/or weather charts will be performed by a qualified meteorologist.

If the use of oceanographic equipment is necessary to properly prepare weather reports, the Operator should ensure that observers are trained appropriately for the equipment used on the installation.

6.2.1 Aviation Weather Observer

The Operator should consult with the Transport Canada regional office to ensure that the curriculum for the aviation weather observer training meets regulatory requirements regarding content, length of course and qualifications of weather observer trainers. TC can also provide documentation stating that the approach being taken meets the requirements subject to future audit and inspection. The MSC National Weather Observer Training Standard - Course Syllabus [10] could be used as a model for designing courses for offshore use. The training course should include, at a minimum, appropriate:

  • Aviation observing program management;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Specification, calibration and maintenance of equipment;
  • Observer-use of equipment;
  • Aviation observing procedures;
  • Reporting procedures;
  • Data archiving procedures;

and provide for the testing and qualification of course participants.

6.2.2 Marine Weather Observer

Operators should ensure that personnel undertaking marine weather observations are trained in a manner suitable for the intended area of operations. Marine observing training should include appropriate:

  • Marine weather monitoring program management;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Specification, calibration and maintenance of equipment;
  • Observer-use of equipment;
  • Weather, sea state and ice observing procedures;
  • Reporting procedures;
  • Data archiving procedures.

6.3 Ice Observer

An Operator should ensure that each Ice Observer is trained in:

  • all aspects and elements of the Operator's Ice Management Plan;
  • the relevant terminology, observations, ice chart, and ice and iceberg reporting messages chapters of MANICE [3] and MANMAR [5];
  • ice monitoring, tracking and deflection techniques;
  • ice characterization and reporting (including ice codes);
  • the use of radar for ice detection; and,
  • in radio communication.

6.4 Oceanographer

An Oceanographer is a graduate of a specified program in oceanographic studies at a recognized university. An Operator should ensure that analytical services related to oceanographic reports (Section 8.3.3) are provided by an Oceanographer.

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