Anglo-Eastern Shipmanagement (AESM) is a firm believer of a one-nationality crew for manning a vessel, managing director Peter Cremer says. The company's huge bulk carriers and container vessels were managed by Indians, small log carriers by Filipinos, while tankers were manned by Indian officers and Filipino ratings, he said. 'People on board a ship should operate within a system and it is difficult to operate with several nationalities,' Mr Cremer said. AESM provides shore-based training to all cadets prior to joining a vessel at sea. Shore-based tutors provide guidance to them, on board and on leave. Cadets follow a structured on-board training programme covering practical and theoretical subjects in accordance with international standards, and competency in each task is verified. All officers also go through frequent upgrading and specialisation courses covering subjects like personnel management extending to topics like leadership, communications and motivation. Among others, they also study risk management and risk analysis, safety management and awareness, understanding and implementing quality assurance, automation on board and hydraulics. The company uses engine simulator, computer-based interactive training, shiphandling and navigation simulator and video-based training on board a vessel. AESM also provided two cadet-training vessels to help the training. Dedicated company training officers sailed on board the vessels to carry out courses on board on various topics, especially emergency procedures. Mr Cremer said the company carried out surveys among each set of students who attended the courses to evaluate the usefulness of programmes offered to them. The seafarers also were requested to do a self-appraisal of whether the courses helped them or not. The feedback assisted the trainers evaluate and modify the courses and to include whatever the trainees wanted in future modules, Mr Cremer said. 'The difference is having a team of people working together knowing what they are doing,' he said. He said that while democracy could not be practised on board vessels, questions could be asked and discussions could take place on various matters at these training sessions, which otherwise could not be raised. Mr Cremer said every bit of training given was not mandatory, but the officers and crew were encouraged to attend these courses. Another feature of the training programme was getting the company's employees on board the vessels to have discussions with those based in the offices on shore to help them to understand each other's problems, he said.