Small Non-Profit Leads the Way in Training Port Professionals

Port professionals in training

Published Aug 7, 2023 5:08 PM by The Maritime Executive


The International Association of Maritime and Port Executives (IAMPE) has evolved over the last decade since its creation, when several port and maritime professionals sat down and realized the industry was missing a solid training program. What began as an astute observation in 2007 has flourished over time into a non-profit organization offering maritime training programs not only in Maine but all over the U.S. and internationally.

In the early 1980’s, Captain Jeffrey Monroe began utilizing the initial concepts of what is now the Maritime Port Executive program in his classroom teachings at The State University of New York Maritime College (SUNY Maritime). Over time, the concepts were further developed as he continued teaching, but it wasn’t until 2007 when an informal board meeting took place following a North Atlantic Ports Association (NAPA) conference that the idea of putting the training concepts into dedicated certification program really started. In 2014, the first official Maritime Port Executive (MPE) course was held in Portland, Maine certifying the very first group of Maritime Port Executives and thus the start of the IAMPE.

The importance and benefit of the IAMPE trainings quickly spread beyond Portland, Maine to various U.S. locations. The geographical expansion of the organization has contributed to the addition of course offerings and partners. Not only does the IAMPE offer coastal water courses, but in 2016 the IAMPE signed an MOU with The Inland Rivers, Ports, and Terminals (IRPT), which allowed the IAMPE to tailor course offerings to include inland waterway and river programs. As this need for maritime professional development training all over the globe has grown, so has the IAMPE’s geographical reach of course training locations. From the Port of Alaska in Anchorage all the way to the Georgia Ports Authority on the East coast and up into Canada to the Port of Halifax, the IAMPE has held training programs all over the world in the last decade. The IAMPE has even started hosting virtual courses due to the 2019 COVID pandemic to continue training port professionals uninterrupted during trying times.

Since the first teaching of the Maritime Port Executive course in Portland, Maine back in 2014, the IAMPE has sent 342 graduates through the MPE program. The program continues to certify all industry port, maritime, and logistics professionals, as well as military personnel in both coastal and inland locations. The programs also offer port professionals networking opportunities to develop their careers. Captain Jeffrey Monroe, Director of Education and Standards for the IAMPE, stated, “There is a substantial demand for professional port management training which has evolved and become apparent. With nearly 2,500 industry personnel worldwide who have attended our programs, the IAMPE has set a worldwide standard for professional development that did not exist in our industry before the Association began. We have set the standard for an international professional certification with post-graduate academic credit that meets an entire generation of new professionals.”

What started years ago as a single classroom teaching concept has blossomed into a suite of industry service offerings for IAMPE members, including assistance with strategic planning and policy document guidance, cutting-edge industry insights, and bespoke training seminars by a wide range of highly qualified faculty members. Since the birth of the organization, the IAMPE has certified 14 faculty members with extensive industry experience. All faculty members go through a comprehensive preparation program before entering the classroom, and training material is updated and revised regularly to keep it current with the industry. IAMPE programs are reviewed and approved for certification by the IAMPE’s Board of Advisors, comprised of 20 industry professionals.

The International Association of Maritime and Port Executives has strived to create engaging and informative programs for students, always bearing in mind the goal of the organization over the last decade: to develop and maintain standards for managers and executives in the maritime industry.

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