CIRM & BIMCO publish Industry Standard on Software Maintenance

Following a 3-year collaboration, Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM) and BIMCO today announced publication of the Industry Standard on Software Maintenance of Shipboard Equipment, developed by a CIRM/BIMCO Joint Working Group with the input of shipowners, equipment manufacturers and service providers.

The work of the JWG involved a number of meetings and a pilot project, wherein a draft version of the standard was trialled on board ships. Companies participating in the pilot project included BP Shipping, Emarat Maritime, Furuno, Kongsberg Maritime, Maersk Line, MAN Diesel & Turbo, Radio Holland, and Sperry Marine. The results of the project were used to improve the contents of the standard.

Given the increasing prevalence of software-driven systems on the modern ship, there is a critical need for this software to be effectively maintained to ensure proper functioning of the equipment in the interests of navigational safety. Effective software maintenance is today hampered by a number of challenges, including a lack of information and awareness about the availability of software updates, an absence of proper planning of maintenance events, and problems with the execution of software updates.

The Industry Standard aims to improve shipboard software maintenance by describing a controlled process comprising four stages – Event Initiation, Planning, Execution and After-Service – identifying requirements for different stakeholders at each stage of the process. Among other measures, the Industry Standard includes the concepts of the onboard software log and the electronic service report.

Going forwards, both CIRM and BIMCO will encourage their respective members to adhere to the Industry Standard on Software Maintenance of Shipboard Equipment, which is freely available for download from the CIRM website at the following address: