Technical Domain 1 - Operations covers the following broad areas:

  • VTS operations, service standards, and performance measures,
  • Inter-VTS operations, interactions with allied and other services,
  • VTS communications,
  • Monitoring and evaluating developments in VTS and potential impacts on the recognised framework for VTS.

The IALA VTS Manual provides a detailed overview of all aspects of Vessel Traffic Services. IALA also produces other manuals including the NAVGUIDE and the Preservation Manual. The NAVGUIDE covers all aspects of Aids to Navigation (AtoN) and is updated every four years at each IALA Conference. The VTS Manual covers all aspects of Vessel Traffic Services and is updated every four years at each Symposium.

vts operations


The IALA World-Wide Academy publishes three categories of model course for VTS personnel; Aids to Navigation Managers and Aids to Navigation Technicians.

Click here to see VTS Model Courses

vts operations

Technical Domain 3 - VTS training covers the following broad areas:

  • Qualification, training, and certification of VTS personnel
  • Accreditation and approval process for VTS training
  • Human factors
  • VTS training for navigating officers
  • Support to the World Wide Academy

model courses

vts technology

Recommendations represent the highest level of IALA documentation (they would relate to a 'standard' in an intergovernmental organisation). Recommendations provide direction to IALA members on uniform procedures and processes that will facilitate IALA objectives. IALA recommendations contain information on how members should plan, operate and manage Aids to Navigation. Recommendations may reference relevant International Standards and IALA Guidelines.

Click here to see VTS Recommendations

the iala vts manual 2016


This section of the website intends to raise awareness of the work of IALA and the range of technical and operational advice that has been prepared in order to contribute to the safety of navigation.  

The aim of IALA is to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels, through improvement and harmonisation of aids to navigation worldwide and other appropriate means, for the benefit of the maritime community and the protection of the environment.

IALA is a non profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it gathers together marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and, scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world and offers them the opportunity to exchange and compare their experiences and achievements.

vts training

The IALA Council establishes a Committee when it considers that a subject or a technical matter, relevant to the aims of IALA, needs further study, clarification or discussion. The Committees constitute an international community of experts in a particular field, who prepare and review relevant IALA publications in accordance with the IALA quadrennial work programme. They also continuously monitor specific developments; these can influence the guidance offered to the IALA membership and affect decisions made in the provision of aids to navigation.

IALA Recommendation V-128 provides the high level policy on the operational and performance requirements for VTS systems.

IALA Recommendation R1014 provides policy recommendations with respect to the human centred, ergonomic, harmonised and task and mission focussed portrayal of VTS information and data.

IALA Guideline 1111 provides in depth information, guidance and best practices on the preparation of operational and technical performance requirements for VTS systems.



vts training

IALA Guidelines provide detailed, in depth information on an aspect of a specific subject, indicating options, best practices and suggestions for implementation. IALA Guidelines relate to planning, operating and managing aids to navigation.

Click here to see VTS Guidelines

essential pillars of safe and efficient vts delivery

IALA Recommendation V-119 provides the overarching framework to consider when establishing or modifying an existing VTS area.

IALA Recommendation V-127 provides the general structure for the formulation of operational procedures in VTS.

IALA Recommendation R1012 and Guideline 1132 recommend the harmonisation of VTS communications through common phraseology and procedures.

IALA Recommendation R1013 and Guideline 1101 set out the requirements for and conduct of audits of Vessel Traffic Services.

IALA Guideline 1089 sets out the background and options to consider when determining and implementing the three types of VTS.

IALA Guideline 1118 provides guidance on incident/accident and near miss reporting and recording in VTS areas.

IALA Guideline G1131 provides guidance on the setting of VTS objectives to demonstrate compliance with SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 12 and IMO Resolution A.857(20).

the iala vts committee


The three essential components of a VTS are the appropriate and relevant operational procedures and types of service, suitable technology to enable the effective delivery of a VTS and appropriately trained professionals to execute the VTS mission.

vts technology

Technical Domain 2 - Technology covers the following broad areas:

  • VTS systems technology, sensors, presentation
  • VTS equipment standards and performance requirements
  • Inter-VTS data exchange
  • Data populating for S-100

IALA Recommendation R0103 (V-103) provides the international framework for the recruitment, training, certification and development of VTS personnel

IALA Model Courses provide detailed information on the training requirements for VTS personnel

  • V-103/1 VTS Operator,
  • V-103/2 VTS Supervisor,
  • V-103/3 VTS On-the-Job Training,
  • V-103/4 VTS On-the-Job Training Instructor,
  • V-103/5 VTS Revalidation Process

IALA Guideline 1014 provides detailed information on the Accreditation and Approval process for VTS Training Organisations.