Designated Person(s) Ashore (DPA)

Prepare for your role as a DPA with this four-day remote delivery course.

The Designated Person(s) Ashore (DPA) plays a vital role in the effective implementation of a Safety Management System and often takes responsibility for verification and monitoring of all safety and pollution prevention activities.

When complying with the ISM Code, shipping companys should be able to provide evidence that the DPA has received (sufficient) training to undertake the necessary duties.

Course overview

In this course the participants will be fully prepared to assume the role of a DPA. The course provides participants with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to implement and maintain a company’s SMS as required by the ISM Code.

  • Introduction to the role of a DPA
  • Background - "Why a DPA is required by ISM-Code?"
  • DPA Qualifications
  • The DPA's Main Tasks (Detailed look into IMO, Flag and Port State, Class and Industry
  • DPA's Management Systems
Aims and objectives

The Nautical Institute's DPA course aims to emphasise the background and objectives of the ISM Code and the resulting requirements for the company’s SMS from a modern management perspective.

The course explores the responsibilities and authority of the DPA, possible legal exposure, as well as other potential barriers, challenges and difficulties, whilst also providing key advice on principles and systematics of risk management and incident investigation.



  • Four-day course. Four hours per day (excluding breaks), live instructor via Zoom. 
  • Online exam (mutiple choice) 

Face-to-face (company only):

  • Three-day course. Six hours, 30 minutes per day (excluding breaks)
  • Four-day course. Four hours per day (excluding breaks) 
  • Online exam (mutiple choice) 
Who should attend?
Whilst there are no specific entry requirements, we suggest that, candidates looking to join this course should have good/relevant experience in shipping and ship operations and a good grasp of the ISM Code. 


This is a pass/fail course.

To achieve a pass, participants must:

  • Attend the course in full. 
  • Pass a theoretical exam held at the end of the course. The pass mark is 70%.
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete all required elements of practical tasks to the satisfaction of the instructor(s)


Upon completion of the Designated Person(s) Ashore Course and following a pass mark, candidates will be issued The Nautical Institute Academy's Certificate of Completion and 20 CPD Points.