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A new framework for the FIG/IHO/ICA Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors

Andrew Armstrong,  Gordon Johnston, Adam Greenland, Ron Furness, Lysandros Tsoulos, Chair, IBSC


The FIG/IHO/ICA Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors

have guided the delivery of training and education for hydrographers

since the International Advisory Board on Standards of Competence was

formed in 1977. The Standards, as promulgated in IHO Publications S-5,

recognize two levels of hydrographic competence—Category A and

Category B.  Category A programs offer a comprehensive and broad-based

knowledge in all aspects of the theory and practice of hydrography.

Category B programs provide the practical comprehension necessary for

individuals to carry out the various hydrographic survey tasks.  The

standards have been structured so that Category B programs provide

training to support a set of fundamental and practical competencies.

Category A educational programs must include all the Category B

competencies plus additional detailed-level competencies.  This means

that Category B is a subset of Category A, and the S-5 standards are

structured accordingly.  Along with hydrographic technology, the

personnel and training needs of hydrographic offices and the

hydrographic industry have evolved considerably since 1977.  The Board

believes a fundamental change to the structure of the standards is

appropriate.  The Board is in the process of developing a new

structure for S-5 that will separate the standards for Category A and

Category B programs.  Standards for each category will be designed and

developed independently.  Category B standards will be aimed at the

training requirements for hydrographic technicians and field

hydrographers.  Category A standards will be aimed at the theoretical

educational and foundational background necessary for

hydrographers-in-charge and hydrographic managers who will develop

specifications for surveys, establish quality control and quality

assurance systems, and respond to the specific requirements of a full

range of hydrographic projects.  The Board expects to complete a draft

of the new standards this year, and intends to post these standards

for review and comment before their final release.


Preferred method of presentation: Oral


Presenting author is a student (Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate) or

under 30 years old: No


There will be additional imagery or table(s) submitted to consider

with this abstract: No