Lloyd's Maritime Academy Trains a New Generation of Marine Surveyors

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File image courtesy Ulf Larsen / CC BY SA 4.0

Published Sep 29, 2021 1:32 PM by Lloyd's Maritime Academy

In past decades, the "marine surveyor" or "ship surveyor" would typically be an ex-seagoing marine engineer officer with extensive experience of ship operations and engineering theory, achieved through long term academic study and practical work on board ships. Alternative routes to the role of the surveyor included ship yard experience or graduating from a university program. 

Today, those routes still exist, but the pool of ex-seagoing engineers has greatly reduced in size. The attraction towards developing relevant maritime experience into the role of the marine surveyor does however seem to be as strong as ever, and competition to join this highly respected profession can be intense as and when such vacancies arise. 

Marine surveyors work for many different sectors of the maritime industry, from flag states to port state control agencies, insurers and classification societies. Some also work independently, providing services like pre-purchase surveys, insurance surveys and condition surveys.

Yet, in many areas of the world the title of "marine surveyor" is not legally protected, and this means that anyone can refer to themselves as such - a worrying thought when we consider the high level of responsibility these maritime professions hold. While some organizations do produce their own definitions for the title, these are not one and the same throughout the industry. 

When we consider this situation, it is clear that maritime professionals looking towards a career as a marine surveyor, or persons who interact with marine surveyors, need a clear understanding of what is involved and how the marine surveyor operates. 

This is where the Lloyd's Maritime Academy Diploma in Marine Surveying brings value to those who successfully complete this course, says Academic Course Director Allan Larsen (EurIng, CEng, CMarEng, FRINA, FIMarEST).

According to Larsen, the academic qualification provided by the diploma sets the course for participants to further understand marine surveying. It brings benefit not only to those wishing to develop their careers as a surveyor but also to ships staff, superintendents and operators who see value in understanding what to expect at times of survey and how to plan for it, thus reducing survey-related operational downtime of their vessels. Successfully obtaining the diploma can also demonstrate to potential employers that an applicant has relevant knowledge in the field. 

Larsen, who has been in the industry since 1987 and has worked as a marine surveyor since 2001, has been academic course director for the Diploma in Marine Surveying since 2013. He now welcomes two intakes per year, with the next cohort commencing their studies on November 16, 2021. Each participant must pass four tutor marked assessments and a minimum of one case study during the 12-month distance learning program.

"By working with participants through online forums and by continually assessing the ten core modules and the selection of eight specialist modules, we can deliver up to date material and simultaneously support the participants in their studies," says Larsen. 

The ten core modules include Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture for Marine Surveyors; Laws and Conventions; Survey types; and Business Skills for Marine Surveyors.

Larsen mentions also that the studies are time consuming and very detailed, thus requiring a high level of commitment from those who undertake the course. To have it any other way would be detrimental to the role, to the profession and to the standards that marine surveyors must work to. 

"The association of Lloyd's Maritime Academy (LMA), North Kent College (NKC) and Larsens Marine Surveyors & Consultants Ltd is clearly effective, as evidenced by the number of participants completing the course," says Larsen. "We look forward to welcoming future participants from around the world for many years to come."

This post is sponsored by Lloyd's Maritime Academy. For more information on LMA and its marine surveyor course offerings, click here

Top image: Engine room, ferry Bastø IV (Ulf Larsen / CC BY SA 4.0)

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.