Making marine safety management simple, efficient and effective

Solving the often time-consuming task of operating a Marine SMS

 Making marine safety management simple, efficient and effective

The Port Marine Safety Code applies to anyone who operates any form of port or marine facility including those which do not otherwise have defined statutory powers and/or duties.

A foundational element of the PMSC is to develop, maintain and operate a Safety Management System (SMS) to minimise and manage risks associated with marine operations/activities.  This is often referred to as a Marine SMS.

To comply with the Code the operator is required to initiate a systematic annual internal audit and an external/peer review audit every three years to ensure it is functioning effectively.


In our work with harbour authorities and marine terminal operators, it became apparent that operating and managing a Marine SMS is often a time-consuming task.  

Through discussion we regularly found that time is lost because the various elements of the system (documented legislative powers, roles/responsibilities, marine safety policy, related procedures, review and audit records) are often held in disparate places.  

The phrase we heard time and time again was “it’s a full-time job just keeping the SMS up-to-date". The burden of maintaining an unwieldy system left little time for trends analysis and driving safety improvements, let alone the other myriad day-to-day tasks.  


Our governance and innovation team believed that an online digital system would make operating and maintaining a Marine SMS simple, efficient and effective.  

We applied and won funding from Innovate UK (Fast Start 2022 competition) to develop a digital product to reduce the challenge faced by many in managing and operating a SMS.  

Work began in October 2022 to develop the online system, called DigiSMS. The system is based around our structured, tiered approach to SMS management and acts as a single repository and source of truth for SMS documentation.  

Beyond document management, DigiSMS automatically logs all activities for traceability and audit, enables delegation of tasks to responsible owners and shows weekly and monthly tasks on an SMS calendar.


Built with input from harbour masters and terminal operators, DigiSMS has already been seen to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Marine SMS – saving time, driving safety and enabling compliance.  

Late 2023, we launched DigiSMS and showcased its capabilities at the Autumn meeting of the UK Harbour Master Association.  

Learn more about DigiSMS and organise a free trial, the online Marine Safety Management System

Get in touch to find out how we can help

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.