Safety Leadership


The investigation of maritime accidents often showcases the impact of leadership to the safety of operations. Among the qualities, that Senior Officers should possess, commitment to safety and leadership are considered as dominant.

Although there are millions of theories and tips published around leadership, it is attempted in this course to present an amalgam of good guidance based on the diachronic virtues of maritime profession.

The overall aim of the course is to help the participating Officers understand the key Safety Leadership Qualities, and how these qualities can be developed, acquired and practiced onboard. The course has been designed upon the IMO Model Course on Leadership and Managerial Skills and on MCA Guide “Leading for Safety.


On completing the course, the Trainees will be able to:

  • Make use of a marine safety leadership model, based on discrete leadership skills (Confidence and Authority, Empathy and Understanding, Motivation and Commitment, Openness and Clarity).
  • Apply effective human resource management, by instilling respect and authority.
  • Know, how to motivate the crew members and create a shipboard culture of safety and care.


The Training Course will take place at the ATHINA Maritime Learning and Development Center. Part of the course will be a common Bridge – CCR – Engine Simulator exercise, during which, an emergency scenario will be simulated with all participants engaged irrespective of specialty and rank. There will be an escalation to the contingency measures that should be taken requiring effective communication, assessment of the situation and coordinated response.


  • “The Human Element – A Guide to Human Behavior in the Shipping Industry” MCA, July 2010
  • “Use of Leadership and Managerial Skills” IMO Model Course
  • “Leading for Safety – A Practical Guide for Leaders in the Maritime Industry”, MCA
  • “Command Presence” Training Course, Chevron Maritime Learning Center, November 2019
  • “Behavioral Competence Assessment and Verification for Ship Operators”, OCIMF, 2018

Daily Schedule


  • 09:15 – 09:30: Introduction – Learning Objectives
  • 09:30 – 10:15: Confidence and Authority
    – Instill Respect and Command Authority
    – Lead by Example
  • 10:15 – 11:00: Confidence and Authority (continued)
    – Draw on Knowledge and Experience
    – Remain Calm in Crisis
  • 11:00 – 11:15: Coffee Break
  • 11:15 – 12:30: Empathy and Understanding
    – Practice “tough” empathy
    – Cultural Respect – Be sensitive to different cultures
    – Realizing crew members’ limitations
  • 12:30 – 13:15: Motivation and Commitment
    – Sense of belonging to a community
    – Safety of the crew above everything
  • 13:15 – 14:00: Lunch Break
  • 14:00 – 14:45: Openness and Clarity
    – Effective Communication
  • 14:45 – 16:00: Where do we exactly stand in relation to the Safety Leadership Traits?
    Open Discussion


  • 09:15 – 09:30: Introduction to the Simulation Exercise
  • 09:30 – 11:00:
    ⋅ Familiarization with Bridge & Liquid Cargo Simulators
    ⋅ Familiarization with Engine Simulator
  • 11:00 – 11:15: Coffee Break
  • 11:15 – 13:30: Simulation Exercise
    ⋅ Ship berthed – Discharging Operation in Progress
    ⋅ Escalated Contingencies
    ⋅ ESD
    ⋅ Cast Off – Departure – Emergency Anchoring
  • 13:30 – 14:15: Lunch Break
  • 14:15 – 15:30: Exercise De-briefing
  • 15:30 – 16:00: Closing of Seminar – Discussion – Suggestions