4 key roles of your designated person ashore (DPA)

Giuseppe Corrado

Giuseppe Corrado

Riela Yachts Deputy DPA and Safety and Compliance Manager

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What is a Designated Person Ashore (DPA)?

The Designated Person Ashore (DPA) has the overall responsibility for all matters relating to the Safety Management System (SMS ). Having full access to the Directors of the Company, the DPA is able to ensure that adequate resources are available, and tasks are delegated, if required, whilst retaining overall responsibility. Importantly, if these areas are not delegated then the Directors of the Company retain these responsibilities.

If you are a Director for company owning a commercially owned vessel (500GT or more) which follows the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, you are required by maritime law to have a DPA. Even if you do not follow the ISM Code you can still voluntarily adopt aspects of its best practices. In fact, there are several privately registered yachts who choose to appoint an experienced person or company to undertake similar responsibilities of a DPA to oversee the implementation of a Safety Management System (SMS). This is referred to as ‘Mini-ISM’ and typically provided to yachts less than 500GT, however this may also be dependent on the flag state.

As outlined by the ISM Code, the DPA’s primary responsibilities revolve around the safety management and pollution prevention aspects of a vessel’s operation; this includes emergency response procedures. However, there is a misconception that emergency response is the only role of a DPA. Within the umbrella term of ‘safety’, there are many other distinct roles a DPA will implement. Their duties and responsibilities vary, but here are 4 key roles you may or may not already know.

Roles of a designated person ashore (DPA):

1. Safety Management System (SMS) Implementation

The Captain is responsible for the implementation of the Company’s Safety Management System (SMS) onboard, by ensuring that the requirements of the SMS are followed, through regular maintenance, running drills and making constant improvements. A DPA compliments this onboard activity by incorporating lessons learned from past incidents across the fleet of yachts operating under the same SMS. The result? Safety in numbers is effective and efficient. Yachts that ‘go at it alone’ are not able to benefit from the information, running the risk of having to learn all of these lessons themselves by investing a significant amount of time studying the safety bulletins from the IMO, flag and class. Time that could be spent on the successful implementation onboard and supporting crew operations.

2. Supporting a Strong Safety Culture and Ensuring Continuous Improvement

A DPA supports and encourages a strong safety culture both onboard and ashore. From implementation to operation, this is achieved through disciplined training activities and overseeing onboard familiarisation and training programmes. The additional oversight and accountability ensure all crew are aware of the standards and benefits of adhering to the ISM Code.

By monitoring reports and providing analysis to the shore-based safety company a DPA can report any actions or recommendations to ensure continuous improvement of vessel operations. In particular, regarding matters of safety and pollution prevention.

A DPA can maintain a view of the big picture to allow Captain’s and their crew to concentrate on the day-to-day operations and tasks. Working together succinctly ensures the SMS remains fit for purpose, at all times.

3. Ensuring All Parties Understand and Correctly Implement the Company Safety and Environmental Protection Policy

This includes ensuring the Safety and Environmental Protection policy is fit for purpose and regularly reviewed. An effective policy lays out the company’s aims and objectives and details how they are achieved. It is imperative that everyone onboard and ashore fully understand the importance of this policy and work together to ensure the policy objectives are met. A DPA will scrutinise documentation published through the SMS to ensure this remains the case and therefore keeping the yacht ISM compliant.

4. Reviewing All Reports of Non-Conformities, Hazardous Situations or Accidents Received from The Various Vessels Operating the SMS

Any non-conformity, hazardous situation or accident is serious. Each and every report of this type requires a root cause analysis. A DPA and their team will work closely with Captains and Crew to identify what happened and how to avoid recurrence in the future. Referring to the first role mentioned above, a subsequent task completed by a DPA by sharing this information with the rest of the managed fleet presents an opportunity to avoid the recurrence across all yachts operating under the same SMS.

Our Deputy DPA, Giuseppe Corrado, is writing a new article about his experience as a DPA on his LinkedIn profile, click here to connect with him.

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Rob Tobin Riela Yachts

Robert Tobin

Riela Group Managing Director

Rob Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible for overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Robert brings over 25 years of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward-thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step every day”.

Email: rob@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 1624 605650

Clive - Riela Yachts

Clive Harrison

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Clive Harrison is a Director at Riela Yachts and leads the Operations Team.

After a 22 year service as a Deck Officer in the UK Royal Navy, Clive moved ashore and is enjoying a second career, spanning over a decade,  in the yachting industry and relishing the challenges that this brings.

Clive brings a wealth of expertise and experience to our Company and has earned a reputation for providing a professional and pragmatic approach to the delivery of our services.

Email: clive@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 1624 605661

Giuseppe Corrado

Safety & Compliance Manager | Director

Giuseppe Corrado is a Safety & Compliance Manager / Deputy DPA, CSO and Director at Riela Yachts UK. Giuseppe ensures that our Safety Management System is fit for purpose and correctly implemented across the fleet of superyachts.

After 8 years in the cruise sector Giuseppe moved ashore to further his studies at university attaining a Bsc (Hons) degree in Marine Operations Management. Since joining in 2015, Giuseppe is very much enjoying the new challenges that the yachting industry brings

Having worked both onboard and shore-based, Giuseppe brings a range of skills, knowledge and contacts to our company and has earned a reputation for supporting a strong safety culture and providing a practical and professional approach to the delivery of company services.

Email: giuseppe@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 2380 633794

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Email: george@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 1624 605662

Ken - Riela Yachts

Ken Hickling


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The experience that he brings to The Riela Group in optimising our internal business processes helps to ensure that the quality of service we provide to our clients is at the highest level.

Telephone: +44 7769 881418

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Email: matthew@riela-group.com

Telephone: +44 7425 314973

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Email: mark.bridson@riela-yachts.com

Christian Moore

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Email: christian@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 1624 605664

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Email: megan@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 2380 633794

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Email: tina@riela-yachts.com

Telephone: +44 1624 605658

Christian Goelz

Christian goelz


Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Email: christian.goelz@riela-group.com

Telephone: +44 7624 222 567

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An Isle of Man University-College graduate, Lucy joined Riela Yachts in November 2018 bringing experience and vocational qualifications from her previous employment into accounts and client relations at Riela Yachts.

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Alexandria halsall

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As a Marketing Executive, Alex is responsible for all marketing duties spanning the Riela Group.

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Email: alex@riela-group.com

Telephone: +44 7706 806443