- Operations - There’s safety in numbers

By SuperyachtNews

There’s safety in numbers

Hill Robinson’s Michele Minns on how a team approach ensures its compliance department is always on hand…

The Compliance Department ensures the fleet complies with national and international regulations at all times, according to the yachts’ size, operations, locations, etc. We assist the captains and safety officers with the implementation of a Safety Management System which is ‘palatable’ and ship-specific, and ensure it is reviewed regularly.  We keep a close eye on new regulations so that we can apply them appropriately to our vessels and keep the fleet up-to-date through our Fleet Notices, which summarise the relevant news and updates. We organise and carry out internal audits on board our vessels.  We liaise with Class and Flag for on-board inspections and audits. And we organise ISM training on board for crew, and in office, for Hill Robinson staff. We are also heavily involved with the implementation and improvement of HRclick.

What is HRclick and how does it serve the customer?

HRclick is the cornerstone of the Hill Robinson Safety Management System. It is Hill Robinson’s secure, paperless, user-friendly and highly efficient online system that gives personalised access to the full range of ISM functions, including:

•Managing and Monitoring Crew certificates through the HRclick Crew website

•Managing and Monitoring Yacht certificates through the HRclick Certs app

•Completing ISM forms and checklists through the HRclick ISM app

•Easy reporting of issues and incidents to the DPA

•Recording and monitoring Hours of Work and Rest

HRclick has continuously evolved over the years to keep up with the latest requirements, and also, to benefit from the most recent technology. We are very excited about our next module, which will help track crew leave. We have been working closely with highly experienced pursers to ensure everything has been considered and to make it a useful, user-friendly tool. We will also soon be launching the website which will interface with the HRclick apps for those who prefer using a PC rather than an iPad.

"As managers we are part of their team, albeit ashore, and when the captain and crew perceive us as such, the relationship is truly productive. "

I have been working for Hill Robinson for the last 14 years. I started as a yacht manager and have been the head of the compliance department for the past 7 years. I am also deputy DPA and deputy CSO, and regularly travel to carry out on-board internal audits or to be present during flag audits and surveys. Compliance can sound rather tedious and boring but I really enjoy meeting the crew and helping them understand they all have an active role in the safety management on board - not just the captain and safety officer.

Our system benefits a lot from the feedback we receive from the crew. As managers we are part of their team, albeit ashore, and when the captain and crew perceive us as such, the relationship is truly productive.  Over the years I have also built great contact with various flag states and their support and assistance is hugely valuable.

Furthermore, Hill Robinson is the main sponsor of the Clear Ocean Pact. I am very proud of being an ambassador for such a great initiative and of being part of a company who supports it. I have been actively trying to get our fleet of yachts to sign up to the pact, and I also encourage all captains I encounter to adhere to it.”

So, why is compliance so important to yacht management?

Ensuring safety is the basis of good management. Once a good Safety Management System is in place and everyone knows their role, everything around just flows. Whether the yacht is private or commercial, we encourage the owner/ captain to be certified to the highest standards. After all, on-board operations are just as dangerous if a vessel is private or commercial.

Even though Hill Robinson has grown enormously over the past few years, we have managed to maintain a very personal approach. Staff longevity is a clear sign of that, as we have several key staff members who have been with Hill Robinson for well over 10 years. We have a lot of in-house knowledge and invaluable expertise that covers all aspects of yacht management.

Our SMS is concise and ship-specific and therefore isn’t just a manual which remains on the shelf and doesn’t get used. We have many crew who have remained in the Hill Robinson fleet and have progressed within the fleet throughout the years. They are a great asset to the success of Hill Robinson.

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