In this blog motivation and its importance will be analyzed. 

All these years many people tried to find measures for better safety on board ships and for environmental protection. Conclusions that made up were: in order to achieve a goal (in this case the goals are safety), ability is required. What ability means? A formula has been produced and tested by many shipping companies in order to give an explanation on what ability means. 

The formula is: 

A= (K+S) x


We can easily see that in order to have ability knowledge, skills and more important motivation is required. But why do we add knowledge with skills and why we multiply motivation? The only way to understand the formula is by giving example:

ISM Code is a set of rules requirements and regulations. Measuring all the above (K,S,M) as % a fine example will be like this: Assuming that someone has the knowledge of all these rules and requirements of the ISM Code and let’s assume that he or she has the skills as well to implement and apply those rules when needed. So, lets say 90%=K and 65%=S. initially the equation will be: 

A= (90+65) x M =>A=155 x M 

In this case there are two options:

a) if there is no motivation from the person who has the knowledge and the skills then motivation in the equation will be equal to 0.then the equation will be: 

A=155 x M [M=0] =>A=155 x 0 =>A=0 

b) on the other hand if the same person want to apply those rules correctly and have the motivation (e.g. M=10), then the equation will be like: 

A=155 x M [M=10] => A=155 x 10 =>A=1550 

All these means that even though all these rules and regulations are well awarded from both seafarers and shore-based staff motivation is very important in order to improve ability. But why do we want to improve ability in the first place? The fact that ability can improve safety rises from the fact that motivation has proved to be the key word when we are talking about ship’s safety, marine accidents and environmental protection.

Consequently, ISM Code without motivation (commitment from the top, ship owner motivation, safety culture), will not have the same effectiveness and the same implementation. So, is ISM Code finally working? If yes how and under what circumstances? The progress that have been made in the past 20 years as far as safety is concerned, showed that rules are rising continuously but problems to implement them will always arise. ISM Code is working but on different levels of a scale, and this is because whilst ships to which the Code applies have been audited and are carrying the Safety Management Certificates, and likewise the companies managing them holding Documents of Compliance, ships are still being detained through Port State Control (PSC) inspections, maybe not through direct contraventions of the ISM Code but through other issues which a safety management system should be identified and corrected. Motivation as mentioned is the starting point when implementation of any code no just ISM Code, is taking place in shipping industry. A major benefit of the ISM Code is that it encourages lessons to be learned from incidents. Although these incidents may not be significant, they could, in other circumstances, have endangered life and the environment. By learning lessons, safety procedures can be reviewed and amended to reduce risk of occurrence. Global improvement in safety management as a result of ISM Code implementation is dependent on the willingness of flag States and companies to investigate incidents and share the safety lessons without looking for someone to blame. The sharing of responsibility between companies and interested states will increase the change that the thorough investigation is undertaken and effective safety action taken. 

Implementation of the ISM Code offers the opportunity for the industry to move away from a culture biased towards blame to one of shared sense of personal responsibility for safety throughout the organization. It is the shipping companies who can provide the driving force needed for this cultural change.