Superyacht AV/IT Officer Qualification – What’s New?
This article follows on from the previous exclusive for OnboardOnline regarding the forthcoming Superyacht AV/IT certification. Previously it was more the necessity that was covered, but this time Scott Molloy reveals the approximate structure.
So what’s new? The industry Working Group, including myself, has continued to develop the qualification framework, which has gained real momentum over the past months. Those of you attending the Superyacht Technology Conference in Barcelona in September may have heard Bluewater’s director of crew and training John Wyborn present an overview of the qualification. In this article I will elaborate on those details for the wider industry.
Who are the AV/IT Working Group?
The more regular meetings have included many experienced individuals from on board and ashore in the superyacht sector. In addition, the following industry bodies have been involved to date.
MNTB – UK’s Merchant Navy Training Board
PYA - Professional Yachting Association
MYBA - The Worldwide Yachting Association.
IAMI - International Association of Marine Institutions
Maritime Skills Alliance
Creating a Qualification Framework
The objective of the group has been to create a qualification framework. It is important to understand this states what a learner should know and be able to do. It does not directly represent specifics of training courses. These are put together by training providers based on their interpretation of the framework. In reality, most of the relevant training actually already exists. The real aim is to create a recognised industry standard, for the reasons set out below.
What we aim to achieve with the framework, and how.
Create a recognised relevant standard, to more easily identify seafarer capabilities.
Provide an AV/IT career path for those entering, and already within, the superyacht industry.
Improve service level to guests and crew on board.
Improve crew ability to discuss technology with others on board and ashore.
Take the opportunity to improve safety through education and raise awareness.
Provide a modular approach.
Provide a blended learning approach (self-study with instructor-led sessions where appropriate).
Include modules that are not AV/IT concepts, but relate to AV/IT in a marine environment.
Recognition of previous relevant qualifications and experience.
Independently-administered assessments to assure quality candidate accreditation.
AV/IT Qualification: Three Levels
The framework has three levels, with 1 being the most basic. It is an assumption that at Levels 2 and 3, learners will already have the knowledge from the previous level, either from having taken a course based on that previous level, or by being able to prove the relevant knowledge and abilities.
Level 1: Basic AV/IT Knowledge. This is potentially relevant to any crew member on board, but especially those most guest-facing on the ‘front line’, for example, the service department.
Level 2: On Board Operation and Support of AV/IT Equipment. Suitable for anyone on any size of vessel who is fulfilling the AV/IT support role. The smaller the superyacht, the more likely this will be a dual role crew member, and not a dedicated AV/IT Officer.
Level 3: Maintenance and Troubleshooting of AV/IT Equipment. Suitable for the member of the technical department responsible for AV/IT who wants to learn more, or the dedicated AV/IT Officer on a larger superyacht.
We are close to finalising the framework for Levels 1 and 2, before formalising the qualifications. Assessment mechanisms will then be developed. A great deal of time and thought has already gone into the first two levels, therefore, to facilitate earlier release of qualifications for Levels 1 and 2, it has been decided to develop Level 3 later.
When asked for his input on this article, John Wyborn, chair of the Superyacht AVIT Working Group also added a next step involving a further industry body’s involvement: “SYBAss (the Superyacht Builders Association), will now provide their input and then four associations - SYBAss, MYBA, the PYA and IAMI - will work together to promote it as The Superyacht Alliance.”
We appreciate there may be a lot of questions and suggestions, and we certainly welcome input from any corner of the industry. This can be posted publicly or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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