RFA & IMarEST Launch New Maritime Professional Development ProgrammeA brand new maritime Professional Development Programme was launched today by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) together with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) during London International Shipping Week 2015.
The programme supports the professional development of engineering, deck and logistic supply professionals and sees the RFA's IMarEST-accredited internal Career Level Framework matched to levels of competence, grades of IMarEST membership and professional qualifications (such as becoming Chartered). Both seagoing and shore-based staff have been put on a path to obtaining additional professional qualifications (allowing them to work towards becoming a Chartered Marine Engineer or Chartered Marine Technologist). They also have access to the IMarEST's resources including a powerful online virtual library, monthly membership magazine, access to technical events and a growing branch network and meetings.
RFA Commodore Rob Dorey commented: “This joint venture with the IMarEST provides a strong, externally assured, framework within which RFA Officers and Ratings, from all specialisations, can effectively manage their continued professional development. It also provides our people with the assurance of knowing that their competence has been externally verified by a leading professional institution and that their commitment to continued professional development has been firmly established, as well as ensuring that they are continually exposed to new developments within their chosen profession.”
The civilian-manned RFA delivers worldwide logistical and operational support for the wide range of tasks the Royal Navy undertakes, including warfighting, counter-piracy, humanitarian and disaster relief, and counter-narcotics operations.
Kevin Slade, Chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board, added; "It is excellent to see such a forward thinking initiative. Providing a structured route to chartered status provides an ideal means to enhance seafaring certification and enable further professional development. This can only be good for the safety and efficiency of our maritime professionals. It will also help to retain our talented crews, and shows the commitment of the company by enabling great career progression and recognition of their seafaring talent.
It allows those who want to come ashore to use their experience and transferable qualifications (such as becoming Chartered) in senior positions within an organisation.” David Henderson, Membership Registrar for the IMarEST said: "A programme like this is really important as it also highlights that formal academic qualifications are not requisite to becoming Chartered – you can use your experience."
Held at HMS President, the launch was attended by a number of key industry representatives including those from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Merchant Navy Training Board, Maritime Skills Alliance, Department for Transport, BP, Shell and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.