Safety Score 3, 4 and 5 (the Safety Score model)

If no rules are triggered against the vessel, the vessel has received a positive Safety Score rule review, the Safety Score model will calculate the vessel’s score, providing a score between 3 and 5.

The Safety Score is made up of six sub-scores, providing indications of historical safety performance. Each has been chosen to encourage all participants in the supply chain to work towards the highest standard in maritime safety practices and focuses on various risk areas which are weighted and combined to create the overarching Safety Score in a “balanced scorecard” approach. Incidents and the performance of the DOC holder have the highest impact on the Safety Score, while the performance of flag and class has the lowest overall impact of the six sub-scores.

The six sub-scores

Highest Impact on the Safety Score model


The Safety Score is calculated from the total number of incidents a vessel has had over the past five years and make note of how recent those incidents were. Incidents are defined as activities that occurred on the vessel that affected the condition of the ship or endangered the safety or environment for passengers and crew.

The type of incident can also indicate the level of safety practices on board a vessel. Therefore, each incident is categorised by the severity of each incident which is based on the damage to the vessel and the environment, as well as its effect on crew welfare. Category A incidents have the highest impact on the vessel’s overall score.

Incident Categories

  • Category A incident: Where there is a loss of life, total loss or another incident classed as very serious
  • Category B incident: Where there is significant damage to the vessel or an event that renders the ship unseaworthy, such as underwater penetration of the hull, immobilisation of main engines, serious fires and pollution or any other incident classed as serious.
  • Category C incident: Where there is not significant damage to the vessel or the ship remains seaworthy, such as contained fires and pollution or any other incident classed as non-serious.
  • Category D incident: Any event not meeting the definition of an incident considered by the Safety Score, typically non-marine casualty events. These are excluded from the Safety Score calculation.

The vessel's DOC Holder

RightShip develops an average score for a typical vessel’s safety performance under each DOC holder through four key risk areas: the number of detentions, PSC deficiencies* and incidents along with the severity of these incidents.

The DOC sub score focuses only on events that occurred when vessels were under the management of the current DOC holder. This includes vessels currently and or previously managed by a DOC. However, if a vessel had an incident, PSC deficiency or detention before moving to a new DOC, they will not impact the new DOC sub-score.

The size of the DOCs fleet is also factored into the Safety Score model calculation to ensure small and large DOCs are handled fairly – and that the number of detentions, PSC deficiencies*, and incidents along with their severity are standardised against the size of the DOC fleet at the time they occurred.

Medium Impact on the Safety Score

Vessel PSC deficiencies

The number and recency of a vessel’s deficiencies will have an effect on a vessel’s safety score. However, the regional practices of Port State Control variy, which may result in a higher number of deficiencies* reported on certain trade routes. The model mitigates the risk of vessels working on specific routes being penalised by comparing each PSC Inspection against the average for that location.


Instances in which vessels are detained by Port State Control in response to serious deficiencies will impact the Safety Score. The model will tally the total number of detentions over the past five years and how recent they were. A period without detentions will improve the score.

Lower Impact on the Safety Score

The vessel's Flag State

The Flag State Performance Table from the International Chamber of Shipping is used to measure the performances of each flag state. If a large number of positive indicators are shown as being absent, this might suggest that performance is unsatisfactory.

The vessel's Classification Society

Only IACS Classification Societies are included in the Safety Score model. However, safety standards vary from one Classification Society to another. We measure the safety standards of each class across detentions and deficiencies to determine a vessel’s Safety Score. This provides an overall score for a Classification Society’s historical performance, divided by the fleet size, to get an average per vessel in their fleet.

Similar to the DOC, the Class sub-score focuses only on events that occurred to vessels when they were under the current Class. If a vessel had a detention before moving to a new Class, that detention will not impact the score of the Class, and a detention on a vessel after it has passed to a new Class will not impact the previous Class.

Where a vessel is a member of multiple class associations, we will select one of the Classes for use in the Safety Score calculation.

*PSC Deficiencies

The Safety Score includes PSC deficiencies when reviewing the operational performance of the vessel, DOC holder and Classification Society. The number and type of PSC deficiencies can vary between port state authorities. To avoid penalising a vessel for frequently visiting specific ports, the model takes into account the average number and type of PSC deficiencies for each place of inspection.

If the port of inspection is unknown or there are less than 100 inspections in total for that port, the model considers the average number of PSC deficiencies for the country of inspection. If the country of inspection is unknown or there are less than 100 inspections in total for that country, PSC deficiencies are relative to the port state authority of inspection.

Where vessels have not been inspected during a 12-month period, their performance is assumed to be “average” for that time period. If the vessel was not inspected in the last five years, the overall score will be a 3 which represents “average”. This is to provide fairness and to ensure vessels with limited PSC exposure are not scored unfairly nor penalised for having an inspection with stricter inspection rules.

Indicative scoring

Indicative Scores are generally used to notify or caution our customers of the following:

  • The vessel’s rating may need to be less reliable due to a lack of data, such as trading behaviour not exposing the vessel to normal levels of inspection/reporting. In these cases, there is potential for the Safety Score to be higher than it would be had the same vessel been more active or trading in an area with higher levels of inspection/reporting.
  • There is outstanding vessel information that should be reviewed by a vetting superintendent as part of the due diligence vetting process.
  • Notify vessel operators that there is outstanding or missing information for their vessel that could limit their ability to achieve their best Safety Score.
  • Identify riskier vessels through RightShip management or those companies associated with abandonment cases. This is to deliver on our commitment to safety and welfare.