WP7 Communities of Practice

To ensure the effective implementation of the multiple safety-critical systems and technologies developed within the SafePASS project by crew and passengers, a sociotechnical analysis of stakeholder requirements and acceptability was employed. Ensuring the social acceptance of novel technological advances is of pivotal importance, with significant financial and opportunity costs arising where such acceptance is not ensured (Franks et al., 2014). The need for social acceptance in technological development is addressed within a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). A SLO captures the acceptance of an organisation, process or technology by those who are most likely to be impacted by it (Adams et al., 2021). Through ensuring a human-factors-centred approach to implementation mapping, stakeholder acceptability and accessibility can be enhanced and an SLO is more likely be better informed and more relevant. To ensure the acceptability of SafePASS technologies and the development of a SLO and implementation roadmap SafePASS (WP7) has ensured that co-design featured in research activities from the outset of the project. This means that stakeholder feedback is included in every stage of the design process- including implementation. Input from a wide range of stakeholder groups continues to be being gathered via the SafePASS Community of Practice.


Community of practice workshops

In order to integrate stakeholder input with the development of an implementation roadmap for SafePASS technologies (and to inform the technology development), a series of workshops with the SafePASS Community of Practice were conducted. The Community of Practice seeks to provide a means through which stakeholder co-design is facilitated in the development of the SafePASS technologies. The community itself includes representatives from crew and passenger groups, alongside other stakeholders such as shipyard employees, classification societies, LSA/PSE manufacturers, amongst others. At present there are 135 members of the community of practice, of whom 41.4% are crew, 22.6% are passengers, and 12% are researchers or academics. See figure 1 below for additional detail.

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In order to gather community insight on the SafePASS technologies, a series of interactive workshops were conducted. These workshops consisted of a short presentation on SafePASS technologies, followed by interactive activities and group discussion. Workshops employed a scenario-based cognitive walk-though format, in which participants were guided through an emergency scenario, both with and without SafePASS technologies, and asked about the perceived risk and how they would respond in each.

The format of the community of practice workshops was trialled at the TCD EU Researcher’s Night Event (23 September, 2021). Attendees of this workshop included both community members and members of the public who had previous experience onboard cruise ships. Attendees were provided with a series of scenario-based discussions and asked to rate how they would feel within each scenario. Great insight into factors impacting passenger decision-making in emergency scenarios was gleamed from the eight attendees, with discussion focusing on key informational supports required to enhance willingness to use novel safety technologies within emergency scenarios.   

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Following this a series of Community of Practice workshops were conducted. For the purposes of these interactive workshops, SafePASS technologies were divided into cognitive groupings, namely 1) Dynamic Evacuation, 2) Location Support, and 3) Life Saving Appliances. These groupings were used to aid community member understanding of the specific functions and overall role of individual SafePASS technologies, and to ensure that adequate feedback on each technology was obtained. While each workshop was individualised to ensure fulsome analysis of the specific technology grouping, similar overall structures were applied across workshops. In each workshop a scenario-based cognitive walk-through approach was taken with attendees provided with an emergency scenario and asked to rate how they may respond in such situations using both current approaches (as-is), and with SafePASS technologies (to-be). Open discussion was also facilitated to further gather perspectives on technologies presented and any factors which may impact use. An overview of each of the Community of Practice workshops is presented in detail below.


Dynamic Evacuation Workshop


The first Community of Practice workshop (conducted on the 9th December 2021), sought to gather stakeholder input into the Dynamic Evacuation technologies. In advance of this workshop, meetings were held with CDI, the technical partner, to determine workshop aims and structure, and to ensure operational and functional aspects of dynamic evacuation were covered as well as any key acceptability concerns were addressed within the workshop. Four attendees took part. All noted uncertainty and confusion in the as-is scenario, with concern regarding separation from families. Attendees responded positively towards the to-be scenario and the Dynamic Evacuation technologies, though they felt additional information prior to boarding would be helpful to reduce concern. Further, the need for muster station signage to be visible to passengers as they move around the ship was also felt to be helpful.

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Location Support Workshop

Stakeholder perspectives on the Location Support Technologies were explored within a Community of Practice workshop (conducted on the 13th December 2021). A series of meetings were held with NTUA and Telesto, the technical partners, prior to the workshop to support its development and to ensure information gathered would address any key acceptability concerns. Four attendees took part in the workshop. All perceived high risk around not reuniting with family members in the as-is scenario, and that their focus would be directed towards reuniting with travel companions, particularly children. Attendees reported a reliance on smartphones to maintain communication with travel companions in such instances. Specifically, phones would be used to ensure travel companions had successfully mustered, and to seek to reunite. Attendees were familiar with smartphone applications and navigational applications, and responded positively to their use in an emergency scenario. Less familiarity towards smartwatch/wearable technologies was noted. Some concerns pertaining to smartphone use in emergencies included having sufficient battery, technological capacity, and internet access to allow applications to be accessed. Again, attendees noted a need for additional information on the technologies prior to boarding to support use in practice.


Life-Saving Appliances Workshop


A final Community of Practice workshop was conducted to explore stakeholder perspectives towards the SafePASSS Life-Saving Appliances (conducted on the 15th December, 2021). Again, technical partner input into workshop design was gathered, in this case from Viking and Survitec. Three attendees took part in this workshop.  All attendees reported concerns around wayfinding in the as-is scenario, due to the high volumes of passengers on board. Concerns were raised regarding separation from friends and family, particularly should they be sent to different muster stations. Attendees responded positively to the SafePASS LSAs and reported confidence in their use. Attendees reported that having had the opportunity to watch a video of what the LSA would look like, and how it would be boarded, reduced their anxiety regarding use somewhat. The need for visual information on the evacuation process was highlighted as having an important impact on sense of preparedness for passengers.

Supporting the Accessibility of SafePASS Technologies

A key aspect of importance to the development and implementation of SafePASS technologies is ensuring that the needs of those with mobility challenges, or who require special assistance are addressed. To support this a meeting was held with the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (AISM) regarding the accessibility and implementation of SafePASS technologies (10th March, 2022). This workshop was convened to liaise with these experts in accessibility to (a) demonstrate the SafePASS technologies to ENAT and AISM, and (b) gain insights for the Community of Practice and the development of the SafePASS Implementation Roadmap. As such, feedback and recommendations on how technologies may be best implemented in a manner accessible to those with access requirements or who require special assistance was gathered.​


Next Steps

The overall purpose of the Community of Practice is to provide insight into the development of the SafePASS Implementation Roadmap which will be delivered within D7.4. While the completed Community of Practice workshops allowed for initial insight to be gathered on stakeholder perspectives towards the SafePASS technologies, efforts to gather input from larger numbers of community members will be made. To this end, a survey has been developed for the community of practice to gather broader input into the acceptability of SafePASS technologies. Within this survey, each cognitive grouping of SafePASS technologies will be addressed in turn to ensure fulsome analysis of how implementation may be best supported in an acceptable and usable manner. This survey will be circulated to the SafePASS Community of Practice shortly and will provide valuable insight on passenger needs, which will be used in the development of the Implementation Roadmap.   Feedback from External Advisory Board workshops (21st & 22nd June 2021, 22nd July 2021) will  provide critical input to the implementation roadmap, especially with regards to data monitoring and protection. This feedback will be used to ensure an ethical approach to the implementation of SafePASS technologies, relevant input to SLO and sound recommendation to IMO.