NC Shipping and Maritime Operations

The National Certificate (NC) in Shipping and Maritime Operations at SCQF level 6 prepares Merchant Navy Officer trainees for progression to qualifications which form part of deck and engineer officer training programmes.

This NC has been designed to provide the relevant mix of competencies to enable career progression whilst at the same time providing an articulation route to HNC/HNDs currently used in training programmes for Merchant Navy officers.

This qualification is offered in specialist marine colleges.

 

Why deliver this qualification

This is the first nationally-devised programme of this type. The NC forms part of a scheme of training approved for professional certification by the Merchant Navy Training Board.

The NC is designed to be a flexible programme with a generic core. It mixes practical and theoretical lessons, and uses multimedia resources including Virtual Learning Environments and the internet for research.

The time required at the centre typically varies between 18 and 24 weeks, although this is at the discretion of the centre. Part of the NC could be delivered by open/distance learning as well as online.

The NC is mapped to the National Occupational Standards (NOS), is nationally certificated, and offers opportunities to centres for partnership delivery.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is suitable for:

  • school leavers with Standard Grade/GCSE qualifications who wish to enter the shipping industry and progress towards a career at sea as either a Deck or Engineer Officer of the Watch
  • the training of Merchant Navy ratings
  • existing seafarers who wish to transfer from either the Royal Navy or fishing industries
  • anyone wishing to obtain knowledge of marine shipping operations such as shore based employees in the wider marine sector

Access

Most candidates will be new to the shipping industry, and will hold Standard Grade or GCSE qualifications. The minimum academic requirements are as follows:

  • Standard Grade passes at Grade 3
  • or better or GCSE passes at Grade C
  • or better or a pass at Intermediate 2 in:
  • Mathematics
  • English or a subject involving the use of English
  • a science based subject
  • one other subject

Candidates with existing sea service and qualifications who wish to transfer to the Merchant Navy will also be considered and may be exempt from some Units.

Candidates wishing to follow a seagoing career in the Merchant Navy should seek advice first from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

In the case of mature seafarers transferring from either the Royal Navy or the fishing industry and looking to gain STCW 95 Merchant Navy qualifications, centres should contact the UK MCA for advice on possible criteria which may allow accreditation of prior learning (APL) of some of the NC content.

Candidates should be aware of the medical requirements for seafarers, details of which can be obtained from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency or from one of the main UK nautical colleges.

Progression

The NC provides a relevant mix of competencies to enable career progression, whilst at the same time providing an articulation route to HNC/HNDs currently used in training programmes for Merchant Navy officers.

The qualification provides deck trainees with a sound platform from which to progress towards completion of HNC/HND training programmes and then on to higher Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency.

Engineer trainees will gain the basic knowledge required for progression to existing HNC/HNDs in Marine/Mechanical Engineering.

Approval

Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

In certain Units, such as Safety Training for Seafarers, specialist marine equipment will be required to demonstrate certain aspects of the Unit content.

How to assess

Core Skills assessment should be integrated with Unit assessment where possible. Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) for all Core Skills are available to download from SQA’s secure website.

Summative e-assessments are currently being developed for the following Units. These will be available to centres from August 2011: 

  • Maritime Industry: An Introduction — F7HH 12
  • Shipping Operations: An Introduction — F7HB 12
  • Ship Construction and Stability: An Introduction — F7HC 12
  • Nautical Science: An Introduction — F7HD 12
  • Marine Heat Engines — F7HG 12

Additional assessment criteria for the following Units will be required for the purposes of issuing STCW certificates:

  • Safety Training for Seafarers — F7HJ 11
  • Seamanship: Efficient Deck Hand — F7HE 12
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats — F7HF 12

These Units can be delivered and assessed as individual Units, however if they are being used by a centre to deliver underpinning knowledge for an MCA approved STCW course then the guidance on assessment which is contained within the Unit specification should be followed exactly.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code: G9GW 46 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

Structure

The Course comprises seven mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Mandatory Units

Core Skills: Communication — F3GB 12
Safety Training for Seafarers — F7HJ 11
Mathematics for Science — F3T8 11
Computing: Office and Personal Productivity Applications — F1K8 11
Maritime Industry: An Introduction — F7HH 12
Shipboard Operations: An Introduction — F7HB 12
Ship Construction and Stability: An Introduction — F7HC 12

Any other information

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have strict medical requirements for anyone wishing to go to sea. These include general fitness and, in the case of deck officer trainees, eyesight standards.

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) for all Core Skills are available to download from SQA’s secure website.

Arrangements Documents

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary

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