ECDIS Procedures Guide - 2023-2024 Edition

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
September 2023
Book Height:
120 mm
Book Width:
100 mm
2.4 kg
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ECDIS Procedures Guide Part 1 has been significantly updated to reflect all the latest software, hardware, documentation, PSC/audit skill gaps and best practice procedures in ECDIS navigation. It includes worked examples from different manufacturers’ systems and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating AI in ECDIS usage. For many ships, this development will require a modernisation of current practices, which this Guide aims to assist with. All recommendations are designed to accompany a ship’s safety management system (SMS).

Part 2 of the Guide features fully updated familiarisation checklists and key menu functions to be aware of when operating specific manufacturers’ systems.

Part 3 – Type Specific Quick Reference Guides has been updated to reflect the latest software versions and functionalities.

It is vital that all ships carrying ECDIS have installed and understood the latest updates and requirements. This title provides a framework, as well as supporting background information and checklists, to aid officers in fulfilling STCW requirements. It also helps companies to implement best practice in the use of ECDIS on board their ships.

The 2023–2024 Edition has been significantly updated throughout, reflecting all the latest software, hardware, documentation, PSC/audit skill gaps and procedures for best practice. The latest standards for ‘Vessel Template’ configurations, advance and transfer information and ECDIS COM port setup are detailed. Examples of radar maps and system units best practices are also included. New sections have been added highlighting advantages and disadvantages of track control system (TCS) integration, providing information on the various available GNSS systems and their reliability, and discussing (with images) correct configuration and management of information sent to ECDIS from an integrated echosounder.

The new 2024 ISM ECDIS Audit Template, which should be completed by all ships, is included, and a software suitability checklist and the latest ECDIS Generic course modules have been added. The last 12 months of observations and inspections are reviewed, and the use of inspection screenshots as evidence of ECDIS position verification is explored. New subjects for both 6th Generation and legacy software functions are fully covered.

To address known charting issues, new maps have been added highlighting areas of low reliability for use at the appraisal stage of planning, alongside up-to-date information on polar navigation and related ENC issues. Examples of chart symbols commonly not recognised at inspection and STCW exams have been added and addressed in two new annexes. Finally, ECDIS Safety Checklists have been updated and presented in a new easy to use format.

Part 2 of the Guide includes fully revised Type Specific familiarisation checklists to be filled in by ECDIS operators, in addition to annotated screenshots highlighting key ECDIS menu functions. Part 3 is available for download and includes Type Specific ECDIS Quick Reference Guides to help the navigator identify the functional differences between systems and become familiarised with the specific system on board their ship. The Guides include the latest standards required on board, concentrating on the latest typical ECDIS configurations of sensors at sea.


The ‘Human Element’ has long been considered the primary cause of incidents and accidents at sea. Equipment can fail, but there is a greater likelihood of humans overlooking a procedure or deviating from standard practice. The latest developments in ECDIS technology mean crews are alerted when a plan is failing and can be supported with recommendations to complete the voyage safely. The long-term effect of this technology, where appraisal, planning, execution and monitoring are automated, is yet to be evaluated. However, the role of the ECDIS operator will likely continue to evolve, highlighting the need for effective ECDIS procedures.

One certainty is that developments in ECDIS technology are fast paced and irreversible, and such transitional periods are when ships are most vulnerable. Until these developments are reflected in training syllabuses, this Guide is an invaluable educational resource for ECDIS operators. Guidance on software updates and use of a robust SMS will ensure ships using ECDIS remain safe.

Welcome to the 6th Generation of ECDIS software.

Mark Broster



Updates to the 2024 ECDIS Procedures Guide


The Evolution of ECDIS

About the Author

About ECDIS Ltd

Part 1 ECDIS Procedures Guide

1 Equipment/Software Upgrades and Latest Standards

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Latest Standards for ECDIS Equipment

1.3 Various GNSS Available on ECDIS

1.4 Sensor Requirements

1.5 The S-52 4.0 Upgrade

1.6 The Transition to S-100

1.7 The Transition to S-Mode

1.8 ECDIS and Track Control Systems (TCS)

1.9 Introduction to Bridge Alert Management (BAM)

1.10 COM Setup

1.11 Software Updates

1.12 Updating Charts

1.13 Licences and Permits

1.14 Pay as You Sail (PAYS)

1.15 High Density (HD) ENCs

1.16 Common Consistent Reference Point (CCRP)

1.17 Setting Up System Units

1.18 Backup Requirements and Power Failure

2 ECDIS Documentation and Compliance

2.1 ISM ECDIS Audit Template 2024

2.2 Assessing ECDIS Software Suitability

2.3 List of Integrated Equipment

2.4 Performance Test Procedures for ECDIS

2.5 Manufacturer’s User Guide

2.6 Generic ECDIS Training

2.7 The Evolution of IMO 1.27 Generic Training

2.8 New Modules on the 1.27 Course

2.9 Type Specific and Familiarisation Training

2.10 Responsibility for Safe Navigation

3 ECDIS Operator Skill Gaps and PSC Preparation

3.1 Top 20 Inspection Considerations in 2023–2024

3.2 ECDIS Skill Gaps

3.3 ECDIS Observations – Independent Inspections

3.4 Comparison Between Observations and Training Syllabus

3.5 ECDIS Non-Conformities and Detentions – PSC

4 Key ECDIS Procedures for Safe Navigation

4.1 Appraisal

4.2 Planning

4.3 Execution

4.4 Monitoring

4.5 ECDIS Safety Functions

5 Administration and Records

5.1 ECDIS Data Recording

5.2 Backup Procedure

5.3 Records and Documentation

5.4 ECDIS Screen Capture

5.5 Other Playback Options

6 Known Charting Issues, Support and Solutions

6.1 Polar Latitudes

6.2 ENC Scales, Known Issues and Support

6.3 Disparity Between National ENCs

6.4 Display Accuracy

6.5 ‘Best Scale’ May Not Be Best Scale

6.6 Datum

6.7 Potential Issues with Integrated Bridge System Keyboards

6.8 SCAMIN – Known System Issues

6.9 SCAMAX – Known System Issues

6.10 CATZOC – Understanding the Importance of Both Horizontal and Vertical Reliability

6.11 Overview of Current ENC Coverage and Notable Gaps

6.12 T&P Update Status by Country in 2023

6.13 The Admiralty Information Overlay (AIO) Version 2

6.14 Chart Spot-Checks

6.15 Raster Chart Display System (RCDS) Mode

6.16 Safety Depth Concerns

6.17 Safety Contour Concerns

ECDIS Vulnerabilities and Solutions 163

7.1 ECDIS Cyber Security Awareness

7.2 GNSS Vulnerabilities

7.3 Understanding and Monitoring GNSS in ECDIS

7.4 NAVTEX Vulnerabilities

7.5 SATCOM Vulnerabilities

7.6 Transferring Non-Secure Data to ECDIS and Auxiliary Equipment

7.7 Virus Protection

7.8 System Updates

8 Management of Common ECDIS Operator Mistakes and Software Issues

8.1 ENC Chart Symbology

8.2 User Alarm Choices

8.3 Alarm/Warning/Indicator Defect Priority Table

8.4 System Configuration and Maintenance

8.5 Time Restrictions Between System and Local Sensors

8.6 System Sensor and Local Sensor

8.7 Manufacturer Software Constraints

8.8 Scan Route Concerns

9 ECDIS Safety Checklists 183

9.1 OOW Handover Checklist

9.2 Pre-Sailing Checklist

9.3 ECDIS Configuration Card

9.4 GNSS Failure

9.5 ECDIS Failure

9.6 ECDIS Cyber Security Checklist

9.7 Pre-Departure/Voyage Briefing Card


Annex A Chart Spot-Check Log

Annex B Manual Corrections Log

Annex C Chart Update Log

Annex D ECDIS Alarms and Alerts

Annex E Pre-Port Arrival – PSC ECDIS Preparation Activities (120 mins)

Annex F Checking the IHO S-52 Presentation Library Edition Number in ECDIS

Annex G STCW Competency Exam Questions and Answers – OOW Examination Level

Annex H STCW Competency Exam Questions and Answers – Mates/Masters Examination Level

Part 2 Familiarisation Checklists and Key ECDIS Menu Functions


Type Specific ECDIS Course Content

1.1 Setting to Work

1.2 Familiarisation

1.3 Navigation Tools

1.4 Planning a Route

1.5 Monitoring a Route

ECDIS Type Specific Information

Familiarisation Checklists

Key ECDIS Menu Functions

Part 3 (Online)

Type Specific Quick Reference Guides


Witherbys titles are developed using scripts developed by technical experts that are peer reviewed within work groups. Typically, they seek to improve understanding of the regulations, recommendations and guidelines issued by Industry.

Witherbys staff have significant expertise in the fields of navigation and hazardous cargoes as well as in the presentation of complex subjects in a graphic and easy to understand manner.


ECDIS Ltd provide ECDIS training for over 200 international shipping companies and are the authors of multiple ECDIS publications including The ECDIS Manual, as well as the IMO 1.27 ECDIS model course.

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
September 2023
Book Height:
120 mm
Book Width:
100 mm
2.4 kg

ECDIS Ltd and Witherbys

Publication Date:
September 2023