V.Group: Environmental Compliance Course

In partnership with Witt O’Brien’s, a leading US-based compliance partner, V.Group has completed an innovative environmental compliance auditor course.  The course was attended by 40 colleagues from V.Group’s QSE Auditor team and Seatec Safety’s On Board Training & Inspection team, and is the latest best practice in V.Group’s ambition to be the leader in environmental and energy management.

Developed in collaboration between the two companies, and adopting a blended learning approach, the course objective was to enhance the existing shipboard environmental audits, allowing delegates to understand the perspective of a Port State Control (PSC) inspector.  The course consists of three workshops, including reviewing case studies of recent MARPOL violations as well as identifying potential weak signals, completing ‘Shipboard Environmental Auditing’ eLearning course, and finally a round table discussion with Q&A.

Utilising the experience of Witt O’Brien’s compliance experts, formerly USCG PSC inspectors, the course adds another layer of expertise in improving standards for the benefit of the marine environment and our flawless service delivery to our customers.

With over 1100 port calls made in the USA last year by the V.Group fleet, the course gave particular focus to US environmental compliance. While the USA has the most aggressive enforcement of environmental policies, the course reinforced V.Group’s key message that non-compliance shall not be tolerated anywhere in the world.

Mike Bradshaw, Global Head of HSEQ, commenting on embedding this course within our operations: ”With the shipping industry facing an increased amount of scrutiny in regard to its environmental practice, V.Group has committed to adopting and promoting industry standards and best practices to establish itself as a leader in environmental practices for ship management, both at sea and on shore.”

In response to the challenges of getting inspectors on board vessels due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, V.Group have recently launched a Remote Environmental Compliance programme.  In an increasingly digitalised world, remote audits are growing as a means of helping companies to manage and audit their operations. From compliance assurance achieved without incurred travel costs, a comprehensive professional independent assessment, whilst mitigating risks associated with non-compliance, remote audits can significantly and safely improve efficiency.

Mike Gallagher, Senior Managing Director, Witt O’Brien’s:

“We appreciate the opportunity to be asked to partner with V. Group on bringing together our extensive auditing and US compliance experience with V.Group’s leading ship management industry standards and worldwide environmental best practices. Our objective was to enhance V.Group’s environmental auditing program by utilizing the Witt O’Brien’s team’s expertise as former USCG-PSC inspectors, independent shipboard auditors, and environmental regulators supporting over 8,000 commercial vessels for day-to-day US compliance. Environmental compliance, particularly within the patchwork of US federal, state and local requirements, remains a significant ongoing challenge within the shipping industry.  Again, we are very pleased to contribute to building this robust training program which further highlights V. Groups commitment to compliance and promoting best practices in the industry.”

For more information on how V.Group can support your audits and inspections, please contact enquiries@vgrouplimited.com