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October 1, 2021
December 1, 2023

How to achieve TMSA 3 Compliance Part One

In the first of three articles in our 3 part series discussing Tanker Management Self Assessment (TMSA) Compliance, we review three crucial elements: Element 1, Element 2, and Element 3.

A person cleaning a dry docked cargo ship

How to achieve TMSA 3 Compliance for Elements 1, 2, and 3

There is increasing pressure on tanker companies and their technical teams to ensure safety by achieving Tanker Management Self Assessment (TMSA) 3 compliance. The program encourages companies to assess their safety management systems against key performance indicators while providing a minimum expected level (as well as three additional levels) of increasing best practice guidance.

Continuous improvement of Ship Management Systems is supported through developed phased improvements, determined from self-assessment and audit results. So, to improve, tanker companies need to perform regular self-assessment reviews and compare results against TMSA key performance indicators. Tanker companies must then align their policies and procedures with industry best practices. So, to achieve performance improvement alongside high standards of safety and pollution prevention.

Here at Shipnet, we have made it easier for tanker companies to achieve TMSA 3 Compliance using our Safety Management & Planned Maintenance.

Through a series of four articles, we intend to discuss each of the 13 key elements of Tanker Management Self Assessment 3 and show you how you can support your tanker business with each element.

The TMSA3 checklist - do you have the right procedures in place for compliance? Get your checklist here.

Below we get things started with the first three elements of TMSA 3, which are:
  • Leadership and the safety management system
  • Recruitment and management of shore-based personnel
  • Recruitment, management, and wellbeing of vessel personnel

So, let’s get started.

Element 1 – Leadership and the safety management system

Element 1 relates to the leadership’s ability to efficiently and safely navigate the company into achieving organizational excellence. Commitment from the leadership is paramount for any safety management system to meet TMSA 3 standards and key performance indicators.

Leaderships are responsible for defining policies, procedures & best practices and ensuring effective communication. They need to ensure that these aspects are fully understood and are implemented across the fleet while tracking improvement recommendations.

Centralise all your policy & safety management documents in one place

The Shipnet ONE Document Control System within Safety XE is the central repository for all policy and Safety Management System documents, synced across the fleet, keeping everyone appraised of the latest versions.

Leadership can establish and share critical policy documents across the organization, allowing:

  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Relevant roles across the shore & fleet to receive notifications and have easy access to the policies.
  • Assignment of mandatory readership and acknowledgments, ensuring all personnel in the organization are always up to date.
  • Review, Revise, Approve, and Sign Changes to Documents
  • Departments can communicate in a process-based manner within the Shipnet platform to review, revise, approve, and sign changes in the document system.
  • Revise and update documentation within the solution keeping everyone necessary involved in the review
  • Ensure updated revisions log with an entire history of track between revisions
  • Capture & Share Best Practises

The Shipnet ONE Safety XE solution also allows leadership teams to share best practices and information among the fleet using circulars. Furthermore, they can perform annual management reviews and discuss future improvements. Moreover, they can effectively ensure regular reviews are carried out for documents the Safety Management System. Finally company policies

Your leadership teams can share best practices and information among the fleet using fleet circulars. They can also perform annual management reviews and discuss further improvements to the Safety Management System from within the Safety XE solution while effectively carrying out regular reviews of documents and company policies by monitoring dashboards.

Element 2 – Recruitment and management of shore-based personnel

Element 2 is about establishing a process for the appointment and qualification of shore-based personnel. TMSA recommends that when your staff retention rates are below 70% that you need to determine the reasoning and make improvements accordingly to develop a dynamic and committed workforce across the company.

You must implement a high-quality and well-documented promotion process. You need to maintain records that verify compliance with STCW working hour requirements. Additionally, you need to assess your manning requirements and provide extra officers and riding crew where needed.

Unannounced shore-based D&A checks are carried out annually and monthly in addition to the pre-joining D&A checks, alcohol checks, post-incident testing procedures, and defined complaints procedures, which are all required to be carried out.

How can Shipnet help with Element 2 of TMSA 3?

The Shipnet ONE Planned Maintenance module within Technical XE provides leverage and compliance for the recruitment and management of shore-based personnel aided by the integration with SHIPMATE.

A configurable promotion process based on customer requirements.

The ability to keep track of work and rest hours and generating non-conformity alerts during job planning through the deployment of the work-rest hour module (through our strategic partnership with SHIPMATE).

Record vessel DA test results and link to seafarers’ profiles for further reference through the SHIPMATE (Strategic Partner) module.

The ability to record disciplinary actions in employment notes in the SHIPMATE (Strategic Partner) module.

Element 3 – Recruitment, management, and wellbeing of vessel personnel

Element 3 focuses on the required processes & best practices for developing a tanker company’s crewing policy & strategies concerning the recruitment, management, and well-being of vessel personnel. You need to achieve best practices through monitoring, training, providing appraisals, and medical screening of crew members. Additionally, you need to run safety drills and annual audits of agent premises so that you follow company procedures in daily operations and your staff meet their efficiency and organizational goals.


To achieve compliance for Element 3, you need to implement procedures that handle the selection, recruitment, and promotion of all vessel personnel. Furthermore, it is a requirement that all vessel personnel has valid medical certificates that are compliant with Flag State and/or relevant authority requirements. Moreover, competent staff needs to man vessels around the clock, ensuring they are continuously exceeding safe manning requirements.

It is also a requirement of Element 3 that there are appraisal procedures in place for all vessel personnel. Additionally, it is also a requirement to calculate retention rates and keep records of seminars held for Senior Officers.

How can Shipnet help with the 3rd Element of TMSA 3?

The Shipnet Planned Maintenance module within Technical XE provides leverage and compliance for the recruitment, management, and wellbeing of vessel personnel by providing:

  • Defined rank wise processes in the recruitment module of SHIPMATE (Strategic Partner).
  • A defined document requirement matrix. Your users can check documents ned on to a vessel, notifying your users with gap recognition.
  • Access to the manning scale, alerting your users would the crew complement go below the safe manning requirement.
  • Configurable appraisals with definable workflows.
  • Retention rates are calculated by the system automatically based on the interbank formula.
  • The provision for recording seafarers’ attendance to seminars conducted by the company through SHIPMATE (Strategic Partner).

Get the help you beed to secure bigger deals in shipping

Download the FREE TMSA3 eBook now, our full exploration of TMSA3 and how you can achieve compliance.

Our next article reviews the 4th, 5th, and 6th elements of TMSA 3. Here we focus on vessel reliability and maintenance, navigational safety and technical operations, and how the Shipnet Technical XE Planned Maintenance Module can help with compliance, so stay connected.

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