This apprenticeship standard is fully approved for delivery, but the ESFA is not yet permitting apprenticeship starts on it. Starts on the apprenticeship will be possible when a suitable end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) has given an ‘in principle’ commitment to deliver assessments on this apprenticeship standard. When the EPAO concerned and its ‘in principle’ commitment has been approved by ESFA, the apprenticeship standard will be released for starts and this message will be removed.
Leading the engineering function for small vessels (less than 9000 Kilowatt and less than 3,000 Gross Tonnage) unlimited area.
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Small vessel chief engineers work in the maritime engineering sector.
Small vessel chief engineer (Chief Engineer Officer, less than 9000 Kilowatt, less than 3000 Gross Tonnage, unlimited area STCW Reg III/2) is a statutory regulated occupation. In the UK, it is regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The occupation relates to eight categories of small vessel, as defined by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. These are:
The small vessel chief engineer occupational standard incorporates the MCA’s regulatory requirements. It also has additional knowledge, skills and behaviours required for competency in the occupation, as defined by employers. In this document the inclusion of 'MCA' following a knowledge or skill statement means it is required by and assessed by the MCA.
Small vessel chief engineers ensure the day-to-day operation of the engineering aspects of a small vessel at sea and alongside (not at sea). This includes the vessel’s engine and other machinery and the technical side of ‘hotel services’ such as heating and ventilation. They prepare and check engineering systems, order engineering stock and supplies including bunkering (fuelling), and ready the vessel and systems for going to sea. Whilst at sea, they monitor engineering systems - adjusting parameters to maximise performance and minimise waste, diagnose faults and conduct basic repairs and replace parts. On return from sea, they shut down vessel running machinery and maintain operational availability. Liaising with repair contractors, keeping records, reporting, and preparing for statutory surveys and dry dock are all part of the role.
They typically work for several weeks at a time on board, sleeping on board, followed by a similar length of time on leave. Although some operate patterns to enable them to return home at the end of the day. The detail will vary between different types of vessels, and individual companies.
They are a first responder to safety related alarms and defects, both when on duty and on emergency alarm call out. Even when not on duty, a small vessel chief engineer needs to act during emergencies.
In their daily work, they interact with the vessel’s Master – who has overall responsibility for the vessel. Plus other officers and crew responsible for the navigation of the vessel. Depending on the size and nature of the vessel, they may work on their own or within a small team of engineers. They report directly to the vessel’s Master. They have contact with a shore-based Superintendent - who has responsibility for the engineering aspects of several vessels. Plus repair contractors and regulatory personnel, such as classification society surveyors and Port State inspectors.
They are responsible for conducting their duties in line with health, safety and environmental policy, and company procedures. They must work within the legal requirements set by international and national bodies. This includes SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea), MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), local port requirements, and Port Marine Regulations. They can be personally prosecuted for failure to comply. They may have responsibility for the line management of more junior colleagues. They have budgetary responsibilities.
This summary page outlines the information that you and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should also read the end-point assessment plan for the full details including roles and responsibilities, assessment method requirements and re-sits and re-takes.
An EPA is an assessment at the end of the apprenticeship. It assesses your competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) on the occupational standard. You will have been trained on them during your training, both on and off the job. The EPA is your chance to show an independent assessor you can do the occupation you have been trained for. Your employer will only recommend you start the EPA when you have finished your training and both your employer and you think you are ready. Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should provide you with support on what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA.
The grades available for this apprenticeship are:
At the end of the apprenticeship, and having passed the EPA, you will be awarded with your apprenticeship certificate.
The gateway is the point when all on-programme training and any mandatory qualification requirements have been met. When you have completed your training and your employer says you are competent in your occupation, you enter the gateway. The EPAO will check any mandatory qualifications are complete. They will tell you how to submit any necessary documents (for example, a portfolio). After the EPAO confirms that you have met all the requirements, the EPA starts.
When you reach the gateway, you need to complete the following:
Have passed English and maths at level 2.
1For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.
Project summary requirements To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable. A brief project summary must be submitted to the EPAO. It should be no more than 500 words. This needs to show that the project will provide the opportunity for the apprentice to cover the KSBs mapped to this EPA method. It is not assessed.
For the project report and presentation with questions you must submit: project summary
Project summary requirements
To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable. A brief project summary must be submitted to the EPAO. It should be no more than 500 words. This needs to show that the project will provide the opportunity for the apprentice to cover the KSBs mapped to this EPA method. It is not assessed.
Passed any other mandated qualifications listed in the occupational standard. For the small vessel chief engineer,
The qualification(s) required are:
An apprentice must complete the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) mandatory qualifications, courses and other requirements to obtain a Chief Engineer Officer, less than 9,000 kW, less than 3,000 GT, unlimited area, STCW Convention Regulation III/2, Certificate of Competency . These requirements are detailed in MIN 524, or subsequent M-Notice.
Project with an report output: you You will be asked to complete a project. The title and scope will be agreed with the EPAO at the gateway. As part of the project, you need to write a report and submit this to the EPAO. The report should be a maximum of (with a 10% tolerance). The minimum requirements of the project are:
You will have 16 weeks to complete the project and submit the report to the EPAO.
Discussion: you will meet with the independent assessor in a quiet place that is free from distractions and be asked questions. The professional discussion will last 1 and the independent assessor will ask a minimum of 1 questions to find out how well you can do your job. You need to compile a training record book during the apprenticeship. Your training provider and employer should discuss this with you. You can use your training record book to help you answer questions in the .This method may take place remotely, though the EPAO will confirm the details. You will be given at least 1 days notice of the professional discussion.
If you have a query that relates to your job, then please speak to your employer. You should speak to your training provider if you have any other questions about the apprenticeship including the end-point assessment. You should get detailed support from the EPAO before the EPA begins. Your employer and training provide should talk to you when they think you are ready to take the EPA. The EPA is for you to show how good you are at your job. You should speak to your training provider about what to expect in the EPA and how to prepare. You should speak to the EPAO if your EPA has already started, and you have a query.
If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.
This apprenticeship aligns with Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) for Engineering Technician (EngTech). The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.
Please contact the relevant professional body for more details.