Reducing bottleneck incidents and making operational training more effective

This project aimed to bring about a better understanding of the Sea Safety Training Squadron’s assets at the Devonport Dockyard, along with more effective training and lower asset risks.

The Sea Safety Training Squadron (SSTS) in Devonport Dockyard prepares RNZN recruits to deal with shipboard emergencies like fires and flooding, qualifying them for seagoing tasks. Each recruit must complete the training before being allocated duties on board ship.

Previous maintenance was limited to breaks in the training calendar. Compounded by a lack of prioritisation to pre-empt obsolescence, assets such as the deluge and smoke re-burner systems were breaking down increasingly frequently. Training cancellations also impacted on the squadron’s effectiveness.

We worked with the Defence Force to focus on a number of key issues:

  • Identifying assets that were mission critical to delivering required training outcomes
  • Assessing the condition of key assets
  • Prioritising routine tasks and remedial actions to ensure asset longevity

Existing data was used to create asset registers, and surveys assessed the physical condition of assets. This database was a focus for discussion by a user group consisting of training managers, operators and maintenance contractors to evaluate the consequence of failure and determine which items failing could cause training to be interrupted. The database prioritises items where a combination of poor condition and high consequence of failure means high risk.

High risk assets are targeted for increased maintenance and strategic renewal to avoid potential disruption. An extra function overlays maintenance regimes of all assets against training calendars – where a routine task conflicts with training, the task is allocated to the next period where disruptive maintenance can be scheduled.