A new standard to open pathways for Trainee Marine Pilots

The National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) has released for public comment a draft standard on Competencies for Trainee Marine Pilots

Marine pilotage involves directing and controlling the movement of a vessel through near-shore and inshore waters unfamiliar to the ship’s master – or providing navigation advice to the master for this purpose.

NMSC’s CEO Margie O’Tarpey said that many ports are finding it difficult to attract marine pilots because of the pre-requisite requirement of Master Class 1.

“This new standard will not only address the skill shortage but it will ensure a constant supply of pilots in future,” Ms O’Tarpey said.

“The new standard will assist Marine Safety Agencies to achieve a national approach to this important role and this will in turn lead to a more fluid movement of marine pilots around the country”.

Specifically developed for Trainee Marine Pilots, the training program provides not only a traditional seagoing career pathway from Deck Cadet to Master but also a non-seafaring pathway for those who do not want to gain a professional Certificate of Competency. The latter option enables graduates to work in shore-based positions.

The first phase of the program provides candidates with the knowledge required to become a Trainee Marine Pilot. Phase 2 has been designed to provide the appropriate experience needed to practically apply Phase 1.

Ms O’Tarpey thanked the standard’s reference group for their ongoing assistance to NMSC in developing the standard.  The reference group comprises representatives from the State and Territory Authorities, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Australian Marine Officers Union (AMOU), Australian Marine Pilots Institute (AMPI), Port Authorities, Shipping Australia, Australian Maritime College (AMC); and other individual stakeholders.

Have Your Say
Find out more by attending a consultative workshop. NMSC is running a series of half-day workshops in major cities during the public comment period. Starting in Launceston on 29 September, the series of workshops will continue around Australia as follows:

29 September  Launceston  *   1 October Melbourne  *   2 October Adelaide  *   13 October Fremantle  *  14 October Dampier  *   19 October Cairns  *   20 October  Brisbane  *   21 October  Sydney

To obtain a copy of the draft standard and Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)* please contact the NMSC Secretariat on 02 9247 2124 or visit www.nmsc.gov.au  and click on ‘Have Your Say’. More details on workshops can be found by clicking on the ‘Pilot Workshops’ icon on the home page. The public comment period for both documents closes on 15 December 2009.
*The RIS will be posted on the Web shortly.

The NMSC aims to achieve nationally uniform marine safety practices and is made up of an Independent Chair and the CEOs of Australia’s marine safety agencies.