Qualifications and Operational Limites (QOL) Review

QOL review design process background information

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has entered the design phase of its Qualifications and Operational Limits Review (QOL Review).  This design phase extends from now until the end of September 2010, when the proposed new qualifications and operational limits framework will be released for public consultation.  Industry has a voice throughout the design process.   It directly involves people from different parts of New Zealand’s maritime industry to ensure that the new framework is responsive to industry needs and works in practice, while meeting our international maritime obligations and supporting MNZ’s objective of maintaining safe, secure and clean seas.

Vision for QOL framework

The new QOL framework is anchored to the following vision:

Relevant, clear and logical qualifications and appropriate operational limits that meet the needs of New Zealand’s commercial maritime industry now and in the future, while ensuring the safety of vessels, their crew, passengers and cargo and the protection of the marine environment. Accessible qualifications that are current, best practice and enable New Zealand’s certificate holders to operate effectively and safely in New Zealand and abroad.

Design principles

Design principles based on this vision will guide the development of the new framework. These are:

  • Quality – a qualifications, operational limits and licensing framework with the highest integrity and in which the industry has trust and confidence
  • Relevance – qualifications and limits are relevant and appropriate to the nature of the operation and risk
  • Clarity – very clearly understood limits, qualifications and licensing processes
  • Consistency – uniform standards of syllabus setting /review, processing, training, examination and issuing of certificates
  • Sustainability – standards that will not require changing for a considerable period of time –“future proofing”
  • Flexibility – ability to have flexible limits and qualifications to avoid the need for exemptions
  • Responsibility – alignment of QOL Review outcomes with responsibilities of owner/operators under Safe Ship Management
  • Safety/environmental protection – no reduction in standards of safety and environmental protection
  • Accessibility – clear, accessible and attractive pathways into the industry and between different sectors
  • Currency – ensuring knowledge in the broadest sense is maintained
  • Efficiency – maximum cost effectiveness in implementation and administration of the new framework
  • Portability – ability to obtain recognition of certificates internationally.

Industry engagement

The design process will build on the comprehensive information gathered during the community engagement programme conducted last year.  This involved more than 400 in-depth interviews with commercial operators and other maritime community representatives throughout New Zealand.

There will be ongoing engagement with industry through several channels:

Design reference group

A design reference group including design advisors with in-depth working knowledge of a specific industry area or type of business operation has been convened by MNZ. This will provide a pool of expertise MNZ can call on throughout the design process.  MNZ has selected the design advisors from people interviewed last year as part of the QOL Review community engagement programme.   They include a mix of masters, owners and operators, engineers, examiners and training providers bringing different perspectives to the design process.  The design advisors will work with MNZ specialists to have input to, review and test preliminary designs for the new framework in three workshops to be held during April to July.  Their role is to provide independent advice to MNZ, drawing on their personal knowledge and experience.  They are not participating as official representatives of any industry sector.

Stakeholder group workshops

MNZ is holding a series of workshops in July attended by nominated representatives of key industry organisations.  Acting on behalf of their organisation, these stakeholder representatives will be asked to review and provide feedback on a proposed framework before it is completed and released for wider industry consultation.  They will assist MNZ with testing the new model and identifying potential impacts, risks and transition issues it could have for different parts of the industry.  Design advisors and MNZ specialists will also attend these workshops to ensure continuity.

National roadshow

The proposed new QOL framework will be presented to the wider industry for feedback through a national roadshow to be held in October this year.  This will start a period of formal consultation with New Zealand’s maritime community.  MNZ will visit all major ports and regions to talk through the proposal face to face.  Industry feedback will be used to fine-tune the framework. 

Other key considerations

This robust design process will seek to identify solutions to the issues identified in the community engagement programme by current commercial operators and will take a wider view to position the framework to function effectively in the future.  It is important that any proposed model addresses the issues of every industry sector consistently and balances industry needs with other obligations and constraints.  International recognition of New Zealand maritime qualifications is vital to ensure their portability and to enable career progression.

QOL Review timeline

April to September 2010

Development and testing of new framework

27 September 2010

Proposed framework released for consultation

4 to 29 October 2010

National roadshow to present proposed framework

19 November 2010

Submissions on proposed framework close

February – March 2011

Fine-tuned proposal reviewed by industry representatives as required

April 2011

New qualifications and operational limits framework delivered

 NZFCF Chief Executive Pete Dawson has been appointed to the Design Reference Group.