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 while 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.

NCs are designed for full-time delivery over one year or part-time delivery over two years (including evening provision). Many are suitable for open and distance learning and may also be offered as January-start access to HN courses.

 

 

Qualification structure

Group award code: GT0K 46 (72 SCQF credit points)

SCQF level: 6

This NC consists of seven mandatory unit(s) (48 SCQF credit points) and four optional units (24 SCQF credit points).

Mandatory units include:

  • Computing: Office and Personal Productivity Applications F1K8 11
  • Communication F3GB 12
  • Shipboard Operations, an Introduction F7HB 12
  • Maritime Industry, and Introduction F7HH 12
  • Transverse Stability of Ships: An Introduction J5D9 46
  • Naval Architecture: An Introduction J5DA 46

Essential optional units (learners must complete 1)

  • Mathematics for the Maritime Industry — Engineering Officer J5DK 45
  • Mathematics for the Maritime Industry — Deck Officer J5DJ 45

See the group award specification (638 KB) for the full list of mandatory and optional units.

NC Shipping & Maritime Operations Qualification Structure (51 KB)

Unit search

This group award has been replaced. G9GW 46

It entered its lapsing period on:  31/07/2021

It finishes on:  31/07/2024

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

NC Shipping and Maritime Operations at SCQF level 6

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary - NC Shipping and Maritime Operations (733 KB) 

Structure

The Course comprises seven mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Mandatory Units

  • Core Skills Unit: 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 1 5
  • 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.

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How to assess

Throughout the design and development of the NC Shipping and Maritime Operations award; emphasis was placed on producing a coherent award that allows learners to develop appropriate technical and practical skills to meet the needs of employers in the marine industry.

The award provides a solid foundation of theory and practice upon which learners can build new knowledge, understanding and skills. Transferable skills and Core Skills have been built into the award to allow easy progression on to HNC and HND awards that deliver the underpinning knowledge required for professional certification.

An appropriate assessment strategy is in place for the NC Shipping and Maritime Operations. The assessment strategy is outlined below:

Aims

To ensure that:

  • a consistent, rigorous and efficient approach to assessment is used
  • assessment instruments units satisfy agreed standards
  • the assessment load on learners and staff is reasonable and does not unduly detract from teaching and learning elements
  • reliable and rigorous verification processes are put in place to ensure that standards are achieved

Objectives

Adopt a holistic approach to assessment. The implications of this are:

  • that assessment instruments will be designed to sample Knowledge and Skills in each unit
  • that a unit assessment strategy will be adopted, where possible, to produce a single assessment instrument for the whole unit. Where this is not possible, the minimum number of assessment instruments should be used
  • that while not seeking to be entirely prescriptive with regards to time spent on assessment, over assessment should be avoided
  • to ensure that consistent and rigorous internal and external verification procedures operate throughout

Holistic assessment

The learning outcomes of each unit can be combined into one, holistic assessment, if possible. Learners are permitted to use scientific calculators and data books/formula sheets developed by the centre during examinations.

In cases where a single error at one stage of an extended calculation sequence has a cumulative effect on the final answer, provided that working/formulae are correct, acknowledgement of the correct working should be given.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment should be used throughout unit delivery to reinforce learning, build learner's confidence and prepare them for summative assessment.

Re-assessment 

The way in which centres re-assess learners is integral to the way they manage the award assessment process. Re-assessment should be subject to the same rigorous internal verification as the primary assessment process. 

Due to the sampling nature of assessment for the group award, all learners should be re-assessed using a substantially different and alternative assessment. This will be undertaken by the re-assessment of the unit that has not yet achieved the pass grade, and should be based on a substantially different assessment paper.

Re-assessment should be operated in accordance with a centre's assessment policy and the professional judgement of the assessor. The award will use current SQA advice, that there should normally be at least one re-assessment opportunity available to all learners.

The design of original assessments should inform the re-assessment process to a large extent, as the original determines the type of assessment instruments used and the purpose of the assessment. It is normal practice for centres to build up a bank of assessments which can be used for re-assessment purposes. 

Assessment writers should always refer to the unit specification when developing an alternative assessment to ensure that it is of equal demand to the original and that it covers the relevant criteria. 

Alternative assessment

It is possible for centres to design alternative assessment methodologies to make use of technology such as simulators. This is to be encouraged by centres and will be supported through the SQA guide to assessment. Where alternative assessment is proposed, the sampling nature described in the unit specification will also have to be reviewed as part of the assessment design to ensure sufficient evidence is generated which meets the aims and principles of the unit and overall qualification.

Deliver this qualification

Why study this qualification

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

Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the centre. The following information on prior knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications that provide suitable preparation for this qualification has been provided by the Qualification Design Team as guidance only.

Learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • Completing an SCQF level 5 pre-cadetship programme.
  • At least 4 GCSE (grade 4 or above)/National 5 (grade C or above) qualifications to include:
    • Mathematics
    • English
    • Physics/Engineering Science
    • one other subject

When non-UK qualifications are used to measure suitable entry level, the learner will have equivalent qualifications to those stated above, including English language as necessary.

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 of some of the NC content.

In all cases, the learner will be informed that for progression into a career in the Merchant Navy, a level of physical health and fitness is required. This will be assessed via the MCA Medical Standard as detailed within Merchant Guidance Notice (MGN) 264.

Employment and progression

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

The qualification provides deck trainees with a sound platform from which to progress towards completing 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 HNCs/HNDs in Marine/Mechanical Engineering.

Qualification structure

Group award code: GT0K 46 (72 SCQF credit points)

SCQF level: 6

This NC consists of seven mandatory unit(s) (48 SCQF credit points) and four optional units (24 SCQF credit points).

Mandatory units include:

  • Computing: Office and Personal Productivity Applications F1K8 11
  • Communication F3GB 12
  • Shipboard Operations, an Introduction F7HB 12
  • Maritime Industry, and Introduction F7HH 12
  • Transverse Stability of Ships: An Introduction J5D9 46
  • Naval Architecture: An Introduction J5DA 46

Essential optional units (learners must complete 1)

  • Mathematics for the Maritime Industry — Engineering Officer J5DK 45
  • Mathematics for the Maritime Industry — Deck Officer J5DJ 45

See the group award specification (638 KB) for the full list of mandatory and optional units.

NC Shipping & Maritime Operations Qualification Structure (51 KB)

Unit search

This group award has been replaced. G9GW 46

It entered its lapsing period on:  31/07/2021

It finishes on:  31/07/2024

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

NC Shipping and Maritime Operations at SCQF level 6

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary - NC Shipping and Maritime Operations (733 KB) 

Structure

The Course comprises seven mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Mandatory Units

  • Core Skills Unit: 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 1 5
  • 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.

Unit search