Rope on ship

Ship Operations Manager

Maritime SuperSkills

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Occupational profile

The Ship Operations Manager is a shore-based role responsible for the commercial management of vessels. Directly accountable to the vessel management organisation e.g. ship management company or ship owner, this role ensures efficient and effective operation of a fleet of vessels from a commercial perspective, including compliance with maritime legislation and regulations governing crewing, cargo handling, marine insurance etc.

Traditionally, entrants to the role have been former ship’s Deck/Cargo Officers, although experience gained at a senior level in a shipping company is now also considered. However, the role of Ship Operations Manager is significantly different in both scale and breadth of responsibility. It requires additional development of advanced skills in leadership and management, financial and commercial proficiency, project management expertise and the potential to capitalise upon the application of emerging technologies, including cybersecurity measures.

The Ship Operations Manager demonstrates a commitment to continual learning and professional development in order to represent ship owners and operators responsibly. They implement best practice solutions in maritime operations in a sustainable and ethical manner and successfully manage people and projects to deliver long-term commercial success in a dynamic and highly-regulated environment. 

Developing an apprenticeship standard

Each apprenticeship standard is created by ‘Trailblazer’ groups of employers, interested in the occupation under development. These employer groups work together to develop the standard and the associated assessment plan. There are a number of stages to the process of developing a standard, and each stage is approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA).

First, an ‘expression of interest’ (EOI) is submitted for approval, describing the occupation and the duties involved. Next, the apprenticeship standard is developed, detailing the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) required to become fully competent in the occupation. Finally, an assessment plan is created which describes the assessment methods to be used for each of the KSBs listed. Once all of these stages have been approved, the IFA allocates a funding band for the standard and the standard is ready to use.

The current status for the Ship Operations Manager standard is: Trailblazer group being formed

We are actively seeking employers to form this group, please contact us if interested.