In my experience of seeing many different Safety Management Systems, often following serious maritime incidents, I frequently identify one of the principle weak links in the chain to be the Designated Person. Often the individual DPA has received little or no training in the job, they are often the original architect of a SMS which is basically incapable of ever working efficiently and they are more interested in making sure that all the bits of paper have been produced rather than ensuring that the management of safety is being improved. I believe we urgently need a structured training programme for DPA's if we are to see significant improvements in the positive effects ISM may have on our industry. Do you agree with that observation?

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