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Diploma for Harbour Masters

Professional development distance learning course for those involved in port marine safety, operations and management

Starts 17 April 2018

Delivered by tutored distance learning

During the course you will study the following modules:


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Role and Functions of a Harbour Master

Chapters you will cover in this module include port management structures, marine operations, working with the port community, health & safety of personnel.

  • General introduction
    • Course objectives
  • Port management structures
    • Port ownership and administration
    • Statutory responsibilities and legislative framework
    • Jurisdiction
    • Activities and services
    • Organisational structures
  • Marine operations
    • Overall management responsibilities
    • The role of the Harbour Master
    • Navigation safety policies
    • Core functions
    • Supporting services
  • Working with the port community
    • Relationship with port users
    • Setting standards
    • Monitoring performance and delivery
    • Integrating commercial and recreational users
    • Working with the emergency services and other external agencies
  • Health & Safety of personnel
    • Compliance with Health & Safety legislation
    • Management responsibilities
    • Assessing risk in the workplace
    • Provision of training and appropriate equipment
    • Monitoring safety practices
    • Investigating incidents
    • Safety committees
    • Continuous improvement


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Managing Marine Operations

In this module you will cover chapters like maritime legislation and commercial practices, incident investigation and enforcement, risk management, communication, managing marine operations during an emergency.

  • Maritime legislation and commercial practices
    • Legislative framework, international influences and laws affecting ports
    • Marine insurance, registration and classification
  • Incident investigation and enforcement
    • Procedures
    • Recording and data protection
    • Enforcement policy
    • Local regulations and other guidance
  • Managing risk
    • Assessing hazards and threats
    • Risk mitigation
    • Safety management systems
    • Compliance with external standards and guidance
    • Continuous improvement and audit
  • Communications and the provision of navigational information
    • Pre-arrival/port entry information
    • Passage plans
    • Ship/shore communications
    • Providing timely information
  • Maintaining access to the port
    • Hydrographic surveys
    • Provision and maintenance of navigational marks
    • Disseminating navigational critical information
    • Capital and maintenance dredging
    • Environmental constraints
    • Consultation with stakeholders
  • Managing marine operations during an emergency
    • Origins of crisis
    • Risk assessment and emergency planning
    • Command and control
    • External emergencies
    • Business continuity


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Managing Harbour Staff

In this module you will study topics on managing people, skills and performance, establishing the correct employment framework and employee relations, recruitment policy, supervision of harbour staff, training and development.

  • Managing people, skills and performance
    • Management style
    • Competency frameworks
    • Giving feedback
    • Avoiding pitfalls
  • Determining, planning and maintaining safe and efficient manning and skills levels for marine functions
  • Establishing the correct employment framework and employee relations
    • Policies, procedures and guidelines
    • Job description and terms of employment
    • Disciplinary, grievance and communication procedures
  • Recruitment policy
  • Delegating authority and responsibility
    • Establishing goals and objectives
  • Supervision of harbour staff
  • Training and development
  • Performance management and appraisal systems
  • Managing conflict


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Finance and Asset Management

This module covers important chapters like budget process, principles of budgeting and capital expenditure/project appraisal.

  • Budget process
    • Making a return
    • Financial management
  • Principles of budgeting
    • Why budget?
    • The budget process
    • How to budget
    • Challenging the budget
  • Capital expenditure/project appraisal
    - Reviewing the basics
    - Appraising a project
    - Risk management through sensitivity analysis
    - Project stages


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Marine Environmental Management

In this module you will get to know about conservancy, environment, marine environmental regulation and port waste management planning.

  • Conservancy
  • Environment
  • Key standards
  • Marine environmental regulation
    • Case study
    • Planning or development context
    • Geographical context
    • Planning and consenting process
  • Port waste management planning
    • Legislation
    • The port waste management plan
    • Waste management system


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Managing Pilotage Services

By the end of this module you would have explored important topics like managing safety in marine pilotage services and authorisation of pilots.

  • Managing safety in marine pilotage services
    • Legislation
    • Port Marine Safety Code
    • Development and maintenance of policy
    • Determining the service need
  • Authorisation of pilots
    • Verifying competence and medical fitness
    • Occupational standards
    • Managing Pilot Exemption Certificates (PEC)
    • Training


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Managing Vessel Traffic Services

This module covers chapters like implementing a VTS, operational considerations, recruitment, qualification and training, legal aspects.

  • Implementing a VTS
    • Types of VTS
    • Types of service
    • VTS area
    • VTS equipment
    • Workload and staffing levels
  • Operational considerations
    • Procedures
    • Reporting
    • Monitoring - intervention and direction
    • Voice communications
    • Navigational assistance
    • VTS sailing plan
    • Equipment monitoring
  • Recruitment, qualification and training
    • Recruitment
    • Qualifications
    • Training and revalidation
  • Legal aspects
    • Regulation
    • Direction
    • Liability


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Port Security and the ISPS Code

This module includes topics like the international ship and port facility security code and measures, the harbour master’s role within the security team and potential problems in harbour security.

  • The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
    • Duties and responsibilities of Port Facility Security Officers
    • Port Facility Security Assessments
    • Port Facility Security Plans
  • Security in practice
    • Threat levels - how does this translate into action within the port
    • Techniques which circumvent security
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Security drills and exercises
    • Control of access
  • Ship and Port Facility Security Measures
  • Liaison with other agencies
  • The Harbour Master’s role within the security team
  • Harbour security – potential problems


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Managing Emergencies

In this module you will cover topics like emergency planning, responding to an emergency, pollution planning, port of refuge and media and public relations.

  • Introduction
    • Terminology
    • Types of emergency
  • Emergency planning
    • Analysis
    • Preparedness
    • Exercises
  • Responding to an emergency
    • Incident response organisation, command and control
    • Response strategies
    • Recovery
    • Debrief
    • Withdrawal strategy
  • Pollution planning
    • Planning
    • Information gathering
    • Operational plan
  • Port of refuge
    • Salvage
  • Media and public relations
    • Holding statements
    • Dealing with a live incident
    • Media briefing centre
    • Media enquiries
    • Interviews
    • Dealing with death or serious injury
    • Terms to avoid


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Strategy, Marketing and Media

This module explores strategy and business planning, marketing and media, including essentials like crisis PR management and project management.

  • Strategy and business planning
    • Strategic planning and decision making
    • Advising the board of impact to marine operations
    • Project feasibility, development and implementation
    • Project management
  • Marketing
    • Planning, marketing and funding
    • The marketing plan
    • The marketing mix
    • Employing professional support
    • National/local government involvement
  • Media
    • Communicating with your public
    • Introduction to Public Relations (PR)
    • Communication media and press releases
    • Golden rules
    • Talking to the media
    • Working with journalists
    • Crisis PR management


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Managing Leisure Use in the Port

By the end of this chapter you will be able to discuss and assess the role of the Harbour Master in a mixed use port, commercial leisure interface, talk about regulations and enforcement, harbour zoning and diving activities and other recreational activities.

  • The role of the Harbour Master in a mixed use port
  • Risk assessment in harbours
    • Safety management systems
  • Commercial leisure interface
    • Potential conflicts between commercial and leisure use
    • Management policy and communications
  • Regulations
    • National and local regulations
    • Maintaining an up-to-date legislative framework
  • Enforcement
    • Strategy, procedures and enforcement
  • Risk assessment and harbour management for waterborne events
  • Harbour zoning
  • Diving activities and other recreational activities
  • Managing complaints and conflicts
    • Education and promoting safety issues
    • Communicating with leisure users
    • Managing leisure activities
    • Visitor facilities
    • Resident’s facilities