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  • Midge
    replied
    Just some questions, perhaps someone's knows the answer to.
    The FD route as I understand it has a requirement for most modules to be passed at a higher pass mark than is required to gain an FD, the pass marks are almost the level required to gain a 2.1 or above or distinction at FD, plus the MCA has a requirement for 80% attendance at college. You could in theory get an FD but not pass it at the level the MCA requires. Reading the framework doc, this is where the exemptions are mentioned, the modules on management etc and style of an FD was used because it promotes independent learning and lifelong learning amongst other things, some modules are at a higher level than HND too?
    Does the HND have a higher pass mark requirement like the FD and attendance requirement too? If not perhaps this is why FD has exemptions and also because FD students are required to self study and research, and not quite so much teacher led?
    In many ways this argument reminds me of the old O level GCSE arguments.
    The FD and HND are benchmarked, and from I have read the whole idea was to phase out HND. One reason was as it allows 16 year olds who are less likely to have the maturity and staying power of an 18 year old.There will of course be perfectly capable 16 year olds who will do well.
    Just because the MCA has a requirement that those without exemptions must pass two exams at the same time, doesn't mean that its a good way either. Seems daft I would have thought it better to just require a resit of the exam which hadn't reached the grade.
    The framework doc also says that FD students should have to do more sea time than the 12 months the MCA require, think it was 3 months more. Does that happen?
    Perhaps they will tweak the FD modules and keep the exemption if its felt its not as testing as the other route, it is after all a relatively new way of qualifying. Oh and is the cut off date 2017 the last FD student qualifying as oow or is it by which time they must have the seatime done? It didn't seem that clear.
    http://www.mntb.org.uk/en-GB/Training-Frameworks
    Last edited by Midge; 18 September 2013, 08:33 AM. Reason: added link to framework

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  • Steve
    replied
    An NVQ or SVQ at Levels 2 and 3 was part of the cadetship until around the time the FD/PD route was introduced. Level 2 was deck hand stuff, and was completed by trainee deck hands. Level 3 was OOW stuff. The VQ was part of the course of training to satisfy the STCW requirements to lower overall sea time required from 36 months to 12 months. This has continued in the form of the restyled training portfolio that appears to be broadly based on the VQ portfolio, but without the specific written reports that were required for VQ.

    VQ Level 4 was optional, could be commenced after qualifying as OOW, and if successfully completed exempted candidates from MCA Mates/Masters written exams. It was a bit different in style to the Level 2/3 VQ, IIRC it had even more emphasis on written reports, but with looser topic guidance. Again, it was withdrawn mid-2000s.

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  • YoungMariner
    replied
    The NVQ is/was another portfolio where you completed tasks and reports in lieu of the SQA exams. Apparently they had a tougher oral exam focusing on stability, but that's heresay.

    The MNTB seem to be trying hard to get around the SQAs because it is such a major stumbling block for many people wanting to progress and the MCA are pushing back equally hard.

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  • IFHP
    replied
    As far as I am aware the NVQ route has also be binned. All candidates will have to do the SQA Writtens (I think)

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  • Lewis
    replied
    How does the NVQ route work? Seen it on the chart in MGN 92 but theirs not much explanation.

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  • Pilot Chris
    replied
    Originally posted by YoungMariner View Post
    that they were wasting the time and should consider doing the NVQ Portfolio route or try an alternative career.
    The SQA's have seen some good officers from my original cadetship choose a career ashore after several attempts. They do bring your standard of Stability up a long way from what is needed at HND and Foundation Degree level, primarily because of the way they are assessed/marked. One clerical error could result in the complete failure of the exam, and failing one exam can actually result in you failing the other exam that you've passed.
    However, an alternative method of equal quality could be substituted.

    .
    This was pretty much what I was getting at - we were also told if your not sh*t hot at Stability and Nav leave and do the NVQ route etc, if people are being told this then surely it means the SQA is the challenging option and not doing them is the easy option?

    I will say without the excellent Ron Price at WMA I would have failed!

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  • bobofinga
    replied
    The whole thing about British CEC's being issued to STCW complied countries I personally think is nonsense. They should have to complete some kind of formal study like switching to an AUS certificate or at least an Oral.

    Too often I have seen Officers from (Majority eastern europe) who don't really have a clue and have quite honestly told me they have paid for their ticket in 1 form or another...

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  • YoungMariner
    replied
    I think that Stability does need to be addressed and the SQA's may or may not be the way forward with that. The SQA's do without a doubt sort the men from the boys, they just an incredibly hard challenge and I can't say I totally agree with that. I think in my group of 20+ guys doing Chief Mates only 3 of us passed both exams first time. Within the first week of the course we were given a stability assessment exam by Ron Price, who in a matter of fact way told a few students that they were wasting the time and should consider doing the NVQ Portfolio route or try an alternative career.
    The SQA's have seen some good officers from my original cadetship choose a career ashore after several attempts. They do bring your standard of Stability up a long way from what is needed at HND and Foundation Degree level, primarily because of the way they are assessed/marked. One clerical error could result in the complete failure of the exam, and failing one exam can actually result in you failing the other exam that you've passed.
    However, an alternative method of equal quality could be substituted.

    When it comes to Laura's comments about British Officers it does make me quite sad that she's had such a poor experience with them so far. I have sailed with some awful British Officers and Crew as well (primarily in the North Sea, but had a few on the cruise ships), but on the most part have sailed with some excellent Officers who really have a dedication and knowledge far superior then most nationalities that I've sailed with, but generally they are the people who have a true passion for the job and are at sea because they want to be, unlike some of our friends from 3rd world countries who are simply choosing the least worst option of many. The Mates column in the September Seaways reaffirms to me how motivated some of my fellow nationals are.
    Also in terms of deck crew, the best I've ever sailed with are Brits, Australia, Kiwis and South Africans on the Super Yachts, far far superior in terms of seamanship, attitude and workmanship then anyone I've sailed with in the commercial world and would do a far better job 9 times out of 10 then guys from the Far East. But then when a Deckhand is on 2000-3000 euros a month + bonus and the Bosun on anything upto 7000 euro a month plus bonus, you can choose a better calibre of Deck Crew.

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  • IFHP
    replied
    Not just people with Chief Mates tickets - the MCA has had a policy reversal and its SQA's for all. Better get a wiggle on if you want to get your ticket the easy way.

    *Throws hand grenade*

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  • Lewis
    replied
    Seems like those against are those who already have chief mate tickets. Sounds a lot like rent seeking to me.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_seeking

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  • laura
    replied
    I don't feel so unfortunate, I have a fantastic Captain and wouldn't want to sail with anyone else, if I had a tenth of his knowledge and experience in shiphandling and seamanship I would be pretty happy. My Chief Mate isn't so bad either, and neither have a British ticket between them, or an SQA exam for that matter, and not because they did the FD course As for the junior officers I sail with, the less said the better.

    I have always been quietly proud to be a British seafarer but the reality is I've never sailed with British seafarers and the way things are am unlikely to in the future. Majority? There wasn't so much as a minority on the ships I've sailed on. On a large offshore project in the UK sector I've been involved in this trip the only accent on the field from the UK among the five vessels working there was from myself and those on the standby boat, it's embarrassing to say the least. How can we have an MN when we have so few vessels in the fleet left and we can't even send our cadets to train with our own officers. Increased academics cannot replace core elements of decent hands on training, but of course that is only my opinion. I would opt for a longer cadetship, but then that would mean companies committing to trainees long term, not just giving them the minimum sea time on their foreign manned but British flagged ships and throwing them through college as quickly and cheaply as possible. I say this because I care about the future of British Seafaring.

    This exemption debate is probably going to go round in circles based on different experiences and opinions, I still think Alistair is right and we should concentrate on other priorities. The MCA sets the rules, not us.

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  • Pilot Chris
    replied
    Originally posted by laura View Post
    I work and have worked with a lot of guys with British CECs who scare the hell out of me on a regular basis. That the college didn't cover it is a poor excuse for incompetency!
    I would suggest Laura that unfortunately you haven't sailed with the majority of good quality British Officers that we have in the MN and you have been stuck with guys who hold a CEC not CoC which is a whole new subject that gets my back up!

    I hope one day you will be on a ship where the Officer above you can give you great guidance and really put your knowledge to the test, push your boundaries of knowledge and encourage you to exceed!

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  • Martyboy
    replied
    Originally posted by EH75 View Post
    Would agree with everything you have said. The teaching at my college was pretty poor and most exam papers were re-used year on year and consequently over the years copies of them had found their way into the hands of various people. This resulted in being taught to the exam, as opposed to being taught the overall subject. Also there were so many exams and so much to learn that a lot of it went in one ear and out the other after the exam was over. Add in to that the fact that I was never very convinced that the officers on board the ships I sailed on really knew what they were doing a lot of the time and the fact I have never really needed to use the stability and stuff I learned since I was examined on it about a year and a half ago means I am a wee bit apprehensive about my level of knowledge as I go into the job proper. I know a lot of my classmates feel the same.

    Whilst I am currently eligible for the exemptions I actually don't think I'd mind having to do the writtens that much, would be good to get a proper refresher on things.
    TBH I didn't really grasp stability until I dont my SQA Revision........... I could always number crunch, make tables and put numbers in, but it wasn't until the revision I actually sat and thought........ Hrmmm, L X B X d X Cb.................... AHHHHHHHHHHH So Cb Is a ratio! It was always just a number in a figure to me before... and thats the most basic example from stability day one!!!

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  • Martyboy
    replied
    Originally posted by laura View Post
    I work and have worked with a lot of guys with British CECs who scare the hell out of me on a regular basis. That the college didn't cover it is a poor excuse for incompetency!
    I think STCW has a lot to answer for there! If your Ticket is STCW Approved, we'll hand you a CeC and really........... They aren't at an equiv level, they should be, but just aren't!

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  • EH75
    replied
    Originally posted by Pilot Chris View Post
    I know my comments wont be popular but having seen some very switched on people fail the chief mate written exams (often passing one but failing the other leading to having to resit both again) I have seen how much you really need to know, bearing in mind at the time we did an experiment and most of us passing the exams set by the college for FD route it was a way of comparing oranges with oranges. Also at the time most of us had well over 18 months sea time (when the companies were not so tight on time) most of us had a really good practical and theoretically knowledge.

    My views were also shared by most of the MCA examiners as I used to spend many hours talking to them during surveys as part of my shore management role.

    I am sure a lot of the people who did get the exemptions are excellent and it is nothing to do with them personally but I have had a situation in the past with someone who did the exemption route that almost got a ship in real trouble due to not fully (inside out) understanding Stability and when questioned on it they said the college didn't really examine that particular area of Stability.
    Would agree with everything you have said. The teaching at my college was pretty poor and most exam papers were re-used year on year and consequently over the years copies of them had found their way into the hands of various people. This resulted in being taught to the exam, as opposed to being taught the overall subject. Also there were so many exams and so much to learn that a lot of it went in one ear and out the other after the exam was over. Add in to that the fact that I was never very convinced that the officers on board the ships I sailed on really knew what they were doing a lot of the time and the fact I have never really needed to use the stability and stuff I learned since I was examined on it about a year and a half ago means I am a wee bit apprehensive about my level of knowledge as I go into the job proper. I know a lot of my classmates feel the same.

    Whilst I am currently eligible for the exemptions I actually don't think I'd mind having to do the writtens that much, would be good to get a proper refresher on things.

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