Photo: Image by DNV GL

DNV GL’s new certification targets infection prevention for the maritime industry

Image credit: DNV GL

DNV GL has launched a new certification in infection prevention for the maritime industry aimed at facilitating industry players to resume operations better prepared for COVID-19 or other emerging pathogens. 

This is especially important for the passenger transport industry, which needs to reassure the public the ships are safe for travel again.

Cruise liners continue to suspend operations in anticipation of the removal of lockdown measures and travel restrictions.

However, during this time they are preparing for the resumption of sailings by implementing more stringent health and safety measures on board their ships.

DNV GL said that its CIP-M certification enables companies to demonstrate they have procedures and systems in place for the proper prevention, control, and mitigation of infection, to protect their customers and crews.

Genting Cruise Lines is the first customer working towards the CIP-M certification for their vessel Explorer Dream under the Dream Cruises brand.

Explorer Dream
Explorer Dream; Image credit: DNV GL

“The COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in its impact on the maritime industry, and on the cruise lines in particular,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime.

“But I hope that with innovative ideas like CIP-M we can help the industry get moving again in a way that gives passengers and crew confidence that exacting measures are in place to enhance the cruise industry’s already rigorous health and safety standards.”

The classification society said that its CIP-M builds on DNV GL healthcare’s work in infection risk management, which has been ongoing since 2008, with over 4,000 audits in US hospitals.

The healthcare CIP has ben customized or use in a maritime setting in cooperation with DNV GL – Business Assurance. The CIP-M also integrates maritime specific standards, such as the US CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, as well as incorporating national and industry guidelines.

The certification surveys and audits are performed by DNV GL surveyor teams comprised of DNV GL – Healthcare infection prevention and control experts together with experienced maritime auditors.

“The ability to demonstrate trusted infection risk prevention and mitigation is a must to win back trust from consumers,” said Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL – Business Assurance.

“Building organizational vigilance against infection risk today requires a level previously common to hospitals only. CIP-M is unique in that it builds on proven hospital standards but is specifically tailored to the context of passenger vessels, while incorporating national requirements to enable a robust immediate and long-term response.”

“At Genting Cruise Lines, the safety and well-being of our guests and crew are of paramount importance to us,” said Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.

“With consumers’ heightened expectations on safety and well-being, the customised CIP-M certification from a highly reputable healthcare expert like DNV GL will indeed further boost consumers’ confidence in cruising as we recommence operations in the very near future.”

As part of the CIP-M certification, DNV GL assesses vessel operations, including enhanced sanitation procedures, food preparation and handling, physical distancing requirements, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by crew members, maintenance of public health essential systems, emergency response plans, pre-boarding screening, embarkation and debarkation processes, and itinerary or port planning protocols.

Annual surveys onboard and company audits ashore are conducted to verify continued compliance and improvement.

The CIP-M assessment of Genting Cruise Lines has already kicked off with a pre-assessment of the company’s management system, to be followed by a certification survey of the Explorer Dream.

The expects to complete the certification programme by the end of June.

Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, DNV GL – Maritime noted that Genting Cruise Lines’ experience gained by operating two vessels in Singapore as temporary accommodation for workers, who have recovered from the Coronavirus, could prove useful in their preparations to resume normal operations.