Occupational Standards

IJUBOA has worked with barge operators and other experts to write four new National Occupational Standards (NOS) that cover the specific skills a barge master needs. These NOS are now the official industry standard of competence and knowledge. They are written in PLAIN ENGLISH and define simply and clearly what people need to be able to do, know and understand.

The skills and knowledge a good barge master needs

A good barge master is a multi talented individual. They have overall responsibility for the barge and the people working on it and so need a wide range of skills if they are to be truly effective in their job.

They need to have good leadership and management skills, able to use their initiative, make decisions, communicate well and maintain good relationships with the people they work with, both on the barge and on shore.

They will also need the generic maritime skills that anyone working in a position of responsibility at sea needs such as dealing with emergencies, complying with regulations, navigation, operating communications equipment and sea survival.

And, of course, they need the specific skills required to operate a jack up barge and an understanding of the principles behind safe and effective barge operation.

UK National Occupational Standards (NOS) are an excellent way of articulating the precise skills people need. They define, for each aspect of the job:

    • What people have to be able to do
    • What people have to know and understand

NOS already exist for management and leadership and for the generic maritime skills. IJUBOA has recently (2011) developed four new NOS to cover operating the jack up barge. They are:

    1. Prepare the jack up barge for offshore operation
    2. Transit the (non propelled) jack up barge to and from operational site
    3. Position and refloat the jack up barge
    4. Maintain the stability and effectiveness of the jack up barge at the operational site

Click on the links to read the Standards

Although these NOS were primarily developed for use in designing a barge master qualification they can also be used by anyone to:

    • Identify what training people need – by looking at the “you need to know and understand” section, gaps in people’s knowledge can be easily identified.
    • Specify what training needs to be done – showing the NOS to a provider of training will help make sure the training is what is needed, rather than what is simply convenient and easy to deliver.
    • Assess competence, both of existing staff and of job applicants
    • Help write job descriptions and person specifications
    • Assist job applicants by defining the skills and knowledge they need to have

For further information about NOS and advice on how to put together a skills development and training plan in your organisation please contact IJUBOA’s skills and training adviser, Michael Woodgate