AIMS members who hold Masters’ Certificates of Competency have become concerned that after December 31st 2016 their certificates will no longer be valid and that if they do not revalidate prior to the December cut-off date that they will have to re-sit the entire Masters Certificate should they ever wish to return to sea.
Master Mariners who were granted their certificate in perpetuity are concerned that this qualification is now being taken away from them if they do not revalidate this year.
Concerns were also raised at the cost of revalidation – up to $16,000.00 to maintain the validity of certificates when many were unsure as to whether they would return to sea.
Soon after the press release many AIMS members contacted me to clarify the requirements.
I was able to speak personally with Allan Schwartz, AMSA General Manager Ship Safety, who assured me that this is not the case.
We were advised that If shore based Master Mariners wish to return to sea after the cut-off date and their certificates require re-validation they simply revalidate when and if required.
Any of these certificates that have not been revalidated by this date may be revalidated at any time by either a combination of sea service and shore based training, or, if no sea service, shore based training alone said Schwartz.
AMSA also confirmed that these changes only relate to certificates issued under the STCW Convention and that any certificates issued by a State or Northern Territory Marine Authority are not effected in any way by these changes.
AMSA has a Marine Notice 2016/14 on this matter and a Press Release further clarifying see http://www.amsa.gov.au/media/
Please be aware that we have had quite a lot of scam and a couple of attempts to hack into both the President and Executive Officer emails.
We would like to remind all members that neither the President or EO or any other Council or staff member of the AIMS would ever request that a member deposit money into an account that is not the official AIMS bank account.
No-one at the AIMS would request money without providing you with an invoice clearly stating what the payment is required for.
Once the AGM is over the EO will retain the services of a website IT specialist and attempt to reduce all spam attacks on our website.
We will also take all email addresses off the find a surveyor section and provide only phone numbers and physical work addresses. Email addresses of members will be kept in the members only area when that is finally established.
If the membership is agreeable we will keep full contact details in a section for lawyers, shippers and insurers and provide them with an access code.
The Blue Book will also be forwarded to corporate users of marine surveyor services to ensure that all members have good advertising and coverage of their services wherever possible.
On Wednesday 20th July 2016 the DAWR – Grain and Plant Products Export Industry Consultative Committee met in Adelaide to discuss the AO Trial Training Program that was held at Oran, Kwinana Western Australia.
The AIMS Executive were advised that the meeting in Adelaide was agreed upon by all “members” of the working group when Viterra offered their boardroom for the meeting.
Viterra offered the use of their boardroom after the last meeting that was held in Melbourne but there was no official notification to the AIMS by DAWR that the meeting would be held in Adelaide.
The contents/discussion at the Adelaide meeting did not pertain to any matters associated with Adelaide/South Australian Grain / AO Inspections nor were any issues raised on this matter.
All discussion was centred on the AO – Trial Training Program recently held at ORAN, Kwinana, WA.
Present at the meeting were:
Following is a summary of the meeting from notes provided by the AIMS representative:
All persons were individually requested to provide / discuss their particular view on how the recent AO – Trial Training Program went and whether there were any adverse incidences to report.
In essence, the feedback from all persons’ present was extremely positive and there were no negative / adverse incidences to report.
There were some issues noted, which the AO assessors obtained from their “one-on-one” interviews held between the AO assessors and the individual AO trainee towards the final stages of the Trial Training Program.
DAWR – Health Safety personnel were satisfied with the safety aspects of the AO – Trail Training Program.
Upon closure of the meeting, the AIMS representative directed the following enquiries to the DAWR representatives.
The questions and the responses are listed below
DAWR - Whilst there was no definitive date nor time frame period in place, it was inferred that we / industry should receive some form of notification “in about 4 to 5 months’ time!”.
DAWR - They would consider the request; however, further “internal” discussions would have to be made in this regard.
DAWR – (As above) - They would consider the request; however, further “internal” discussions would have to be made in this regard.
AIMS representative Michel Lagesse has advised the Executive that subject to no adverse / negative output from DAWR’s internal review of the current AO Program, it is his opinion that the AO Program will eventually be “rolled-out” to other “hub” port anchorages subject to DAWR conducting their own assessment at that particular location.
If this were the case it would be imperative that an additional representative from the AIMS Executive plus a locally based AIMS member be present and part of the “assessment” and “discussion”.
The AIMS President and Executive would like to assure members that their input will be sought and additional representatives appointed before any future AO trials are conducted in any other Ports.
The Executive “will await the outcomes of the AO program for Oran before seeking a formal response from DAWR on the likelihood of AO Inspections being implemented in other ports”.
If the AO Program is not accepted for ORAN for whatever reason, then it is doubtful as to whether there would be any further trials or discussion related to the matter.
NOMINATIONS FOR EXECUTIVE POSITIONS OPEN TODAY
In accordance with the AIMS Constitution we wish to advise all associate and full members that nominations for positions on the AIMS Executive open today.
There are three positions available for nomination
2. Vice President
Participating in the AIMS via the Executive is an important role and demands a significant commitment of time as well as the ability to work with others to achieve the AIMS objectives. The positions are non-paid voluntary positions however travel costs for attending the AGM and Council meeting are reimbursed by the Institute.
As well as working closely with the State Representatives the Role of the Executive falls into five broad areas:
• Maintain the statutory and legal requirements of the Institute including the review and amendment of the Constitution as required
• Approve business and financial plans and provide these to Council for ratification
• Promote the Institute as the peak body for Marine Surveyors in the Australasian Region
• Address issues raised by members relevant to categories of survey, training and development and qualifications and experience required to maintain the professional standing of the industry
• Support the Executive Officer in the management of compliance with all statutory and legal requirements including financial obligations, the AIMS Constitution, the NVR Standards for Registered Training Organisations the AIMS ISO9001 quality system and any other relevant organisational policies and reporting requirements
You can download the nomination form here <Executive Nomination Form> All nominations will be published on the AIMS website.
Nominations will close at 1730 hrs (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday August 8th.
Nominations can be sent to email@example.com or via post to PO Box 6255 Kingston ACT 2604
Another financial year is over (and not a moment too soon) and now is the time the Executive and Council can reflect on budgets and achievements and ensure that there have enough resources to support our new projects.
Once again the team has achieved much as both an association and as a small business. The RTO has managed to trade for the full financial year under its own steam and we now have an Office Manager to help with the load.
Many of you have now had some interaction with Andy van der Rijt who came on board in February of this year. Andy has been managing most of our correspondence with students and members and bearing the load of the mountain of administration that comes with our operations.
Andy has developed a great rapport with all of our clients and I think that everyone will agree that our systems are running more smoothly and our response times to students, queries from the public and membership applications have all improved dramatically.
The RTO projects include the review of the Diploma for accuracy and relevance and over the next few months many of the learning materials and assessments will undergo some changes. Student feedback has been really well received and we have had some great tips on how we can improve our materials. We hope to have this qualification fully reviewed and updated by 2017.
While the review is underway we will be working even more closely with industry to develop the Advanced Diploma and a more relevant range of professional development courses. We have already had significant industry input, for which we are most grateful, from our members but we have also some input from AMSA. At a recent meeting it was agreed that we would develop a bridging course that would allow surveyors of vessels over 500gt to gain the knowledge required for small vessel surveys.
All AIMS members should have some knowledge of the new National Law and the National Standards for Commercial Vessels whether they do these small vessel surveys or not. This is fundamental information that every surveyor should have or should at least know where to find it, and how to apply it if necessary. I hope to have this short course available by 2017.
We have now completed the basic structure of the Advanced Diploma and we hope to apply for accreditation for this qualification as quickly as possible.
In order to do that I would like to have as much final input as I can get on the proposed structure. Members who would like to provide comment can view the proposed qualification structure here: http://aimsurveyors.com.au/Members-only. I welcome any feedback that members can provide.
If any members do have old course material that is relevant to any of the proposed units we would gratefully accept that as well. The more information that we can gather the better our learning materials will be.
If any retired member would like to earn some additional income helping us to write materials then please let me know. You don’t have to be a writer, we can do the technical writing, but you do have to know how to carry out the particular survey that the module is dealing with.
We will provide templates for you to fill in information and ask you for suitable methods of assessment. Again, any help that we can get is very much appreciated and I will gladly chat with any members who think that they might like to assist.
While the need to ‘grow our own surveyors’ is very much our focus much of the activity going on in regard to the qualifications and courses is in response to the member feedback suggesting that CPD become mandatory for membership.
The Executive and Council were impressed by the number of members who voted for CPD in the last survey and this has resulted in CPD being mandatory as of January 1st 2017.
Members will have until January 2018 to provide some evidence of CPD.
Formal training is not the only CPD activity available to members. CPD includes attending state meetings, conferences and events, contributing to the development of training materials, reviewing materials, mentoring students, writing articles, speaking at events. I am working to develop a list of CPD activities that can be aligned to each survey category so that members have ample choice of activities to choose from.
It is exciting and pleasing to see that so many of our new surveyors are showing plenty of spirit, attending meetings and volunteering to participate in subcommittees as well as being vocally active.
Their participation is so very welcomed. These new surveyors will form a large part of our membership and it is up to our longer term members to display leadership and encourage them in every way that they can.
Yes, the institute is changing and it needs to in order to progress our commitment to the ever changing structure of the industry we represent. When an industry is growing as rapidly as ours is change is inevitable.
Leadership is a challenge that many of us struggle with. Not just within our profession or our institute but with our children, our families, our community our employees and our mates. It is a hard concept to master.
One person who does know about leadership and how to develop the necessary qualities is AFL great Kevin Sheedy. You don’t get to be as great as him without knowing how to develop leaders.
It is timely indeed that he is presenting this very topic at our 30th Dinner in August.
I for one think that it is an opportunity not to be missed. Everyone one of us can benefit from this presentation in some way. He will focus on how our Executive and Council can become better leaders, how our long term members can lead the new surveyors and how our new surveyors can develop their leadership skills and progress their business objectives.
Leadership, like education can enrich our lives.
I hope our members get behind this auspicious celebration and be part of another moment in our history.
Don’t look back at what was – look forward to what is coming.
To initiate discussion amongst and between members, I wish to raise several issues that remain central to the core values of both the AIMS and Marine Surveying Profession in Australia. These may provide some talking points for the next State, local area or team meeting in which you are involved.
1 – The ethics around meeting client requests that do not sit well with the fundamental independence of the professional marine surveyor will raise voices within two distinct camps – those who maintain that the client should receive whatever they request and those who draw a line in the sand.
“That is a rather simplistic view” I hear you saying. Okay, there are a number of factors to be considered:
What exactly is being requested of the surveyor?
Does it compromise the integrity of the surveyor?
Does it compromise the independence of the surveyor?
Is the surveyor meeting the obligations of the scope of the appointment?
It is fair to say that, when a client provides a detailed scope, the surveyor is able to decide whether they are:
A) capable and competent, and
B) happy to consent to the requests within the scope.
However, when the client request is simple e.g. an on hire bunker survey for a charterer, it will often leave the surveyor exposed to further requests, often following acceptance of the quote and the appointment of the surveyor. Such requests may leave the surveyor in a difficult position, compromising integrity and introducing another complexity to an often already challenging situation.
The surveyor has to decide:
A) do it and report to meet the client request,
B) do it and report actual findings or
C) decline to do it. As business ethics dictate, the client will have the say in who receives the report, but should they also have a say in how we conduct our professional operations?
2 – A closely related issue which draws upon the above bunker survey example is the ‘bunkers for money’ surveys that are used by certain companies in attempts to discover undeclared bunkers. This practice ‘rewards’ the surveyor by offering an incentive payment per tonne for any additional bunkers discovered! I condemn this practice and suggest that AIMS members should insist on fair payment for their services and refuse these incentives which may well tempt those less ethical to rort their existence.
3 – Being a member of the AIMS should be considered beneficial for the surveyor in a number of ways:
It can offer networking opportunities with other members, government and regulatory department personnel, and potential clients.
It is an effective way to build business relationships with other members in other locations and possibly effect an efficient servicing of client needs without the expense of travel and accommodation.
It facilitates professional development targets and helps you reap the benefits of improved knowledge, competency and job satisfaction for yourself or within your team.
It helps to future proof and expand your business and train Australians to meet your exact business requirements
It allows for individual development and interaction with others within the profession
It encourages discussion and debate between members on fairness and ethical behaviour and provides a comprehensive, reasonable and just system to deal with complaints and disciplinary matters concerning members and the profession as a whole.
I hope this will get people talking and provide a basis for improved communication within both local and wider circles.
I know that AIMS, and in particular some members, have been the subject of criticism over the last twelve months and we seek to better understand what members really think, what they want and how they think we can improve.
Let me know directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post below.
A reminder - if you can get along to Melbourne for our 30th Birthday Dinner on 19 August we would enjoy your company. It will be a great opportunity to meet new people and celebrate your Institute.
A successful marine surveyor needs to be competent in a broad range of surveys to make it in the business these days. From the specialist survey to the more mundane, our members are providing services to a broad range of clients both here and overseas.
Last Wednesday evening, I attended an AMSA board reception with WA stakeholders at the Ocean Center Hotel, Geraldton.
Holding board meetings in regional locations gives AMSA’s
constituents the chance to meet the Board and the Executive. It’s also a
chance for the Board to get a firsthand understanding of stakeholders
needs, especially newest National System stakeholders.
The Evening was very informative and outlined the direction AMSA hopes to take in the management of Domestic Commercial Vessels after State Authorities have been relieved of their responsibilities in this area, post 2017.
AMSA is prepared to assume responsibility for delivering a number of domestic commercial vessel services from 1 July 2017, and transition to delivery of all National System services by 1 July 2019. This will allow for an orderly transition and will involve consultation with industry.
AMSAs challenge is to realise the true benefits that a National System can deliver, particularly in the area of consistent service delivery.
The Marine Surveyors Accreditation Scheme, which commenced in January
2015, ensures surveyors are competent to conduct and provide survey reports
for domestic commercial vessels.
The scheme is the product of extensive consultation with the various state and
territory maritime agencies and representative bodies such as the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors.
I also had the opportunity to speak informally with AMSA Board and Executives about the transition plans for RTOs in relation to sea service assessment, final exams (orals assessment) and where AMSAs responsibility may lay in regards to the higher certificates of competencies, however, some areas of AMSAs projected responsibilities are yet to be finalized.
AMSA will continue its search and rescue capabilities which are being bolstered by new dedicated aircraft to be based in Perth, Cairns and Essendon. The Bombardier Challenger jets will progressively come into service from
AMSA now manages a network of 492 navigational aids at 381 sites around
the 36,000 km of Australia’s coastline, assisting the maritime industry in making safe passages.
As part of AMSAs day-to-day business, they will:
I would commend AMSA for conducting these evenings around the country and people who attended were pleased with the attentive nature of AMSA delegates who made themselves available for this valuable networking opportunity.
Green Sea Survey
From July 1, 2016, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will implement changes to regulations for container weight verifications in the shipping industry, requiring shippers to provide a verified gross mass (VGM) for containers.
These changes reflect amendments to the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention, approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). To implement the new international requirements, AMSA has amended Marine Order 42 (Cargo, stowage and securing).
Under the changes, the shipper is required to provide a signed VGM to the terminal and the master of a vessel or their representative, in advance of a container being loaded. Providing a VGM for a container allows the master of a vessel to plan ship loading, so that the ship is stable, hull strength and stack weights are not exceeded and lashing arrangements are effective
To download the new marine order click below:
Marine Surveyor, Ships Engineer, Shipwrights and Boat Builders are among several occupations that are flagged for possible removal from SOL
The Department of Education and Training is responsible for providing advice to the Government on the composition of the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
The annual review of the SOL takes into account the labour market prospects of skilled migrants along with domestic training and labour market outcomes.
Following each review, there are a number of occupations which are ‘flagged’ for possible removal in the future. The 2016 / 2017 review has resulted in Ships Engineer, Ships Master and Officers, Marine Surveyor, Naval Architect and Shipwright and Boat Builder all being flagged for removal from the list.
Industry feedback has cited the flagging of these occupations as a potential boost to the sector which will encourage cross training for existing non-maritime engineers and mechanics and allow them to move into the maritime sector.
AIMS Executive Officer Susan Hull advised that the news of the flagging of marine surveyors was a potential boost to accredited marine surveyor training and the industry generally. This is good news for the industry, for training and for encouraging employers to look at cross sector synergies said Hull. We now have a chance at getting Government to assist further through traineeships and incentives to employers to take on new entrants.
A significant percentage of our students in the Diploma qualification are previously qualified mariners or skilled engineers who miss out on job opportunities due to 457 visa holders.
According to the most recent figures from the Department of Immigration, there are 303 foreign workers employed in the maritime industry under the 457 program — that is despite hundreds of similarly qualified Australians looking for work
Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm AEST
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Kingston ACT 2603