Several clients have adopted a policy to set aside certificates and actually measure the competency levels of their seafarers, of all nationalities. Their programs evaluate the competency levels and training needs of their Officers using various techniques such as the following, all of which can be carried out on site, assisted and/or supervised by experienced staff at the SSM Centre:
Assessment and Profiling software such as the Seagull CES to thoroughly test STCW knowledge. These tests can also be set up to be company and/or vessel specific.
Multiple choice written tests to check things like aptitude, mechanical understanding, mental reasoning, psychological profiling etc - there are various choices available and each is a valuable guide when assessing candidates.
Free style written exams - for example, candidates could be asked to write a page on how they would react if a passenger complained that they had seen an oil spill coming from the ship. These types of test can show the level of written English and also something about the candidates sense of priorities etc.
Marlins English Test - a well known and internationally accepted standard, the SSM Centre is an approved Marlins Test Centre and is authorised to issue MCA accepted certificates.
Bridge, Engine and Liquid Cargo simulators - scenarios can be planned which will reveal not only the officers technical competence but also how they operate as a leader or team player. These type of assessments must be carried out by suitable experienced personnel.
Steel Workshop – facilities and tools are available to assess a wide range of welding and fitting skills – particularly useful for evaluating fitter candidates.
Interviews - either free style or following a company-specific format.
The facilities at the SSM Training Centre allow all of the above and can be used for the ongoing assessments of the seafarers so that further training needs can be established.
Since 2001, the SSM Centre has been used on a monthly basis by leading cruise operators for the pre-employment evaluation of candidates – mainly Officers but also for specific ratings such as fitters. These companies have been able to take advantage of the fact that all of the required facilities are in one location for making tests and evaluations using the simulators, classrooms and interviewing the candidates in order to select the best. In this way, they have recruited nearly 500 officers and the retention rate has been very high. In addition, other liner companies also use the Centre on a regular basis for carrying out ongoing staff training (such as Crew Resource Management), seminars and team building. The facilities open up a lot of possibilities for the shore staff to work together and assess their seafarers, particularly at a senior level. The simulators have therefore been recognised as an important evaluation tool for potential employees.