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MACDONNELL places for people

MacDonnell is a firm of professionals who create exceptional places for people to live, learn, work and play. Specializing in Innovative Engineering, Management Consulting, Maritime Security Training and Risk Management. MacDonnell takes an interdisciplinary approach to projects, inspired by its belief that people are what matter.

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The only program of it's kind in North America is a making a difference in the management and competitiveness of North American ports. The CPE Certified Port Executive Program gives participants the tools and knowledge to make their organization more competitive.

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Whether it is research and development, the introduction of new design in civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring, Corrosion Free Bridge Decks, or the design of bridges, ports and civil infrastructure, the expertise and services we have to offer come from our highly qualified people, our extensive list of successful projects, and an unparalleled commitment to our clients.  

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MacDonnell Security Risk Management provides a wide range of comprehensive Security Solutions to ensure you remain compliant with MTSR/DFSR Regulations. We combine extensive risk management knowledge and industry operational experience to assist you with identifying and managing your risks while maintaining efficiency.

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MacDonnell provides training and risk management solutions to meet the needs of our clients from coast to coast. Cost-effective and timely training programs which help you meet the objective of remaining abreast of regulatory changes, best practices in the industry, and changing technology and security requirements.

First Canadian Training Certificate Issued for Vessel Personnel | Print |

November 7, 2013

First Canadian Training Certificate Issued for Vessel Personnel With Security Responsibilities

MacDonnell Group of Halifax made history today by issuing the first Training Certificate for a Vessel Personnel With Security Responsibility in Canada. The recipient John Cooney is a seafarer aboard the North Ocean 105 with McDermott Canada. John is among many seafarers who will be receiving their certification with companies like, McDermott Canada and Anglo Eastern Group in Montreal. The new certification is part of an international training and certification program initiated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and recently expanded to include all vessel personnel.

Company President Ralston MacDonnell commented “This milestone represents the first of thousands of Canadian seafarers that will be trained and certified over the coming months. as this company, under approval from Transport Canada, embarks on a robust schedule to help the Canadian seafarer community meet the deadline of January 1st 2014 imposed by pending regulations.”

Canada’s marine laws are greatly influenced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to which Canada is a member state. The lead federal department, Transport Canada (TC), works closely with the shipping industry and international partners to ensure that Canada’s marine transportation system remains one of the safest and most secure in the world. Moreover, TC develops and promotes risk-based marine security requirements through regulations and other instruments as appropriate to achieve acceptable levels of marine security.

In December 2002, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, the IMO adopted the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) as well as amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS) to significantly enhance the deterrence, prevention and detection of acts that threaten security in the marine transportation sector. The ISPS Code sets out a framework that gives member states a common way to measure risk, reduce threats and make vessels and marine facilities less vulnerable through well-defined security levels and procedures. All SOLAS-contracting states, including Canada, were required to adopt the ISPS Code on or before July 1, 2004. Canada implemented the Code through the Regulations, which came into force on July 1, 2004, established under the authority of section 5 of the Marine Transportation Security Act.

In order to meet their international obligations, all SOLAS contracting states, including Canada, must adopt the recent changes that have been made to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers. The changes require that all seafarers, with or without security responsibilities, be properly educated and trained, adequately experienced, skilled and competent to perform their duties and be required to hold a certificate of proficiency by January 1, 2012.

The proposed amendments to the Regulations require that all vessel personnel with or without security responsibilities on Canadian-flagged SOLAS ships engaged on international voyages hold a certificate of proficiency issued by the Minister by January 1, 2012, and add a transitional provision that would allow vessel personnel with or without security responsibilities until January 1, 2014, to obtain a certificate of proficiency providing that they commenced sea service before January 1, 2012. Given the short implementation time frames associated with the new IMO requirements, a Marine Security Operations Bulletin (MSOB) was issued on March 22, 2012, to advise industry to comply with the newly proposed STCW requirements. TC has taken this approach in the past to meet other short implementation time frames set by the IMO to adopt mandatory requirements.

This transitional provision in the proposed amendment gives seafarers who have sea service prior to January 1, 2012, the opportunity to receive their certificates of proficiency without taking the required training if they can demonstrate knowledge and competence in performing their duties to their ship’s master. If so, the master would be required to sign a testimonial confirming that the conditions have been met before a certificate of proficiency can be issued by the Minister.

Individuals who commence sea service after January 2012 must successfully complete their training at an institution recognized by TC.

The proposed amendments would result in a range of benefits to stakeholders, including

  • improved marine security;
  • enhanced efficiency and flexibility;
  • international harmonization; and
  • improved regulatory clarity and consistency.

The security benefits of the proposed amendments are primarily a function of the risk and impact of acts and attempted acts of unlawful interference with marine transportation under baseline conditions and following implementation of the proposed amendments.

The proposed requirement that all seafarers, with or without security responsibilities on Canadian-flagged vessels engaged on international voyages, receive security training, would result in a seafarer community that is more alert to security risks, and better prepared in the event of a security incident.

About MacDonnell Group:

MacDonnell has been providing engineering and management consulting services to its clients for over 50 years. The Halifax-based company provides port management and seaport security training as a business focus. MacDonnell offers MARAD and Transport Canada approved instructor-led and online training solutions for the more than 4 million port workers in North America. The company also provides the PORTSTAR™ Seaport Security Training System to numerous United States ports, terminal operators and security organizations. MacDonnell has hosted a number of successful conferences in the past and will be hosting the eighth annual Port Security Conference of Canada in Ottawa. The Port Security Operations Conference will be held in the coming year during May 13-15, 2014. The increasingly popular CPE Certified Port Executive ™ Program is offered throughout North America to industry professionals.

For more information:

Jean Campbell

Training Program Manager


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