11 January 2023

With this newsletter we would like to inform you about the latest developments in the field of the International Standard for Pilot Organizations.

ISPO certified organizations

In 2022, three pilot organizations were ISPO certified; Southern Ports and Midwest Ports Pilots (Australia) and Corporatión de Prácticos del Puerto de Bahia de Algeciras S.L.P. (Spain). We welcome them to the ISPO family and it is great to see that more and more pilot organizations see the benefits of ISPO certification.

We know that for this year several organizations (Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Africa and Cyprus) are almost ready to carry out their initial audit to become ISPO accredited.

If more and more pilot organizations join ISPO, the value of the standard will increase. With the three new organizations included, the total number of pilot organizations that comply with the ISPO code has risen to 32, representing approximately 1350 pilots.

ISPO Conference

Like many businesses and organizations around the world, ISPO and the International User Group (IUG) had to adapt their working practices due to COVID for the last two years. Audits continued but were undertaken remotely, meetings conducted online and our scheduled conference postponed.

Last year our long-awaited conference took place hosted by the City of Cork, the Port of Cork and the Cork Pilots. Meeting face to face after a three-year break, discussing maritime business with over seventy delegates reminded us all just how valuable the face to face meetings are. The presentations, networking, learning from the experience of others makes one realize the values of being part of the ISPO community.

The legendary Irish hospitality was on show from the minute those attending arrived in Cork. A particular highlight was the boat trip from Cork down the river to Cobh. This gave more networking opportunities as well as showing off the wonderful scenery. Thank you to all those involved in organizing this wonderful event.

The Amsterdam pilots are so kind to organize the 2023 conference on behalf of the Dutch Pilot Organization. Their generosity is much appreciated. The conference will be held in Amsterdam on 11 and 12 October. More information regarding the conference will be released soon.

The ISPO conference is not only for the ISPO certified pilot organizations, but also for interested organizations. We hope that those attending in Cork will continue the journey to become accredited.

ISPO website

We are proud to have been able to launch our new website www.ispo-standard.com at the end of 2022. Here you can find all information that is important if you are interested in ISPO certification.

A clear distinction is made between the ISPO Code and the IUG, the responsible foundation of the Code. After certification, it is very important you become a member of the IUG in order to maintain the ISPO and to be able to participate in the development of the standard, for pilots, by pilots.

IUG Board

The Cork conference was a busy time for changes to IUG board members.

Captain Matthew Easton, a Liverpool Pilot, took over as IUG chairman in October 2021, but the first opportunity for the official handshake took place in Cork. The outgoing chairman, Captain Willem Bentinck, was thanked for his excellent stewardship of the IUG over the last seven years.

Another long-standing board member and vice chairman, Captain Keith MacLean, a Forth pilot, also stood down. Keith’s huge contribution during his seven years on the board was acknowledged and he was thanked by the new chairman. Captain José Perez Lorente, a Palma pilot, was chosen to the new vice chairman.

We welcome our new board member, Mr. Trent Lonsdale, CEO of the Auriga Group. The IUG strives to have a balanced geographical representation on the board of the ISPO certified pilot organizations.

A thank you as well to all those who volunteered their time to assist in the running of the IUG, board members, members of the working group and financial auditors. These volunteers ensure the constant development of ISPO Code, so it remains relevant to pilot organizations around the world.


The year 2023 will be an interesting year with all the developments in the world. The IUG has drawn up a new strategic plan for 2022-2026 and will use this plan for the further development of ISPO. The launch of the new website is already one of the elements of the strategic plan.

Furthermore, the focus will be on spreading ISPO with its benefits on pilot organizations worldwide. We also look at other standards and developments in the maritime field to keep ISPO up to date. This means that we will stay in close contacts with the three recognized classification societies as well.

In conclusion

The International User Group is pleased that more and more pilot organizations around the world are seeing the benefits of becoming ISPO certified.

We hope to welcome you all to the ISPO Conference in Amsterdam to exchange experiences and inform you about the developments of ISPO for those who are ISPO certified, but for interested organizations as well. See you there.

If you have any questions about the ISPO in general, do not hesitate to contact the administrator, iug@ispo-standard.com 

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