The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) advised the ATSB that common pilotage procedures through the implementation of the industry passage plan and the development of standard operating procedures for conducting the pilotage task will make the check pilot system more effective and transparent. In addition, AMSA advised that:
A review of the training requirements and check pilotage regime is being carried out. The opportunity to use simulation in training and for check runs will be further investigated, with reference to processes followed in other, related operational industries.
It recognises that the goal is to have pilots who are competent in coastal pilotage procedures. In addition, the check pilot system requires ‘check pilots’ to undergo additional training, including workplace assessment (e.g. Certificate IV training program).
In response to this safety issue, AMSA also advised that it is considering the issue of the independence of check pilots, including how check pilots are engaged and remunerated.
The ATSB considers the safety action taken and proposed by AMSA has the potential to address some of the issues in relation to the check pilot system. However, the effective implementation of pilotage provider safety management systems along with the development of an appropriate safety culture in coastal pilotage is also crucial to addressing the safety issue.