HYDRO 2016 Paper 8B1

Changing market requirements for competence and certification for the hydrographic surveyor

Johan Stam, Jan Appelman


The maritime industry is becoming more aware of certification and competence related standards, the benefits of completing a recognised training programme are greatly increasing. The demand is confirmed by market indications in subcontracting as well as in tenders.

Requirements published by the FIG-IHO-ICA International Board on Standards of Competence dictate that the Category B program is under continuous revision. Also IMCA and ICES provide more detailed guidelines. Therefore, clients and individuals are now searching for more training support to confirm their knowledge, next to their experience.

Skilltrade offers a relatively short Hydrographic Survey Category B programme, of 30 weeks. The course starts with our 3 e-learning modules: Bathymetry, Geodesy, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Evidence supports that e-learning has proven to be an effective and flexible way to expand the student's knowledge prior to their in-classroom experience.

Skilltrade is committed to supporting students throughout their e-learning activities via e-mail and group video calls. In addition, progress is monitored through interactive questions, tasks, and assessments. And while the e-learning modules were initially designed to be part of the Category B course, we believe that all individuals associated with hydrography can benefit by enrolling and completing them regardless.

After successfully completing the e-learning modules, the student can participate in a 12-weeks training on location in Ijmuiden, which runs twice a year. Once students arrive in Ijmuiden they can expect the Hydrographic Survey Category B course to be fully intertwined with field trips, workshops, and guest lecturers by individuals associated with the Hydrographic Industry and Governmental Hydrographic Departments.

After completion of the 13-week theoretical course in IJmuiden the student needs to gain at least 4 weeks experience in a fully supervised Field Training Project (FTP) in a qualified survey organisation.

In addition to the aforementioned, Skilltrade publishes the 3 volume Handbook of Offshore Surveying, and the GPS Handbook for Professional GPS Users.

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