Merchant Navy





Closing Date:

21 February 2023

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Ref: 263165

Salary: £50,238

Job grade: Grade 7

Location: Aberdeen, Cardiff, Southampton

Job summary

We welcome applications from all communities and we don’t discriminate against any identity. We’re interested to hear from you, regardless of your background.

Are you able to analyse risks and propose suitable solutions?

Could you effectively represent the UK in international working groups in relation to training for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)?

Would you love to work in a pioneering area creating new regulation for training for autonomous/remotely operated vessels?

If so, we'd love to hear from you!

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) implements the government's maritime safety policy in the United Kingdom and works to prevent the loss of life and occurrence of pollution on the coast and at sea.

Safer lives, Safer ships, Cleaner seas.

Our vision is to be a world-leading organisation, accelerating the transition to sustainable shipping with non-negotiable safety standards. We put our people, our customers and our planet at the heart of everything we do.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Job description

The MCA is taking a prominent role for enabling the training regime for future technology and autonomous vessels and we have an exciting opportunity for a passionate individual to join us as the Autonomous Vessel Training Lead.

This role is instrumental and focussed on creating new training regulation and managing the function for remotely operated vessels, which have little or no human interaction.

The Autonomous Vessel Training Lead will take ownership of the introduction and delivery of a Regulatory pathway for training of operators of remotely controlled vessels, leading the industry working group and effectively engaging with various stakeholders such as training colleges and other administrations who are also working to establishing standards for autonomous vessel operation.

The successful applicant will collaborate with the MCA Ship Standards branch, Technical Services and Department for Transport providing expert technical input to develop UK policies and implement legislation on Autonomous vessel training matters and will take a key role around the approval of training courses for operators of Remotely controlled vessels.

This is a fantastic and interesting opportunity to gain exposure across the maritime industry whilst representing the UK in international working groups in relation to training for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). This is a unique role creating and developing currently non-existent regulations for remotely controlled vessel training, working with new and novel technology and acting as an interface between industry, innovation, and policy.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Providing expert technical input to support the development, maintenance, and delivery of the Autonomous vessel Operator Training development programme/work plan and to enable delivery against the plan. This will include advising on prioritisation of where we should focus our efforts/engagement

Building expertise in implementation of training requirement for autonomous vessel from a regulatory perspective so that technical advice can be given to operators to train Autonomous vessel operators

Actively engaging in all aspects of the regulatory process - working closely with survey and inspection colleagues, analysts, and lawyers, among others, to ensure that training regulations for Autonomous vessels are developed and delivered in a timely manner in accordance with all relevant clearance and consultation requirements

Leading the engagement with other administrations that have an interest in development of training for Autonomous vessels

Leading the facilitation of industry stakeholders input to the regulatory update process considering different types of autonomous vessel operation, including cases for best practice.

This role can be based at the Southampton, Cardiff or Aberdeen office. MCA supports flexible working and operates a hybrid working model between home and office for this role, giving you greater flexibility over where and when you work. Details of the arrangement will be discussed further with your line manager.

There will be a requirement for travel on official duty within the UK and overseas, which may be at short notice and involve overnight stays away from home. A passport valid for international travel is required.

There may also be some work and travel taking place outside normal working hours and potentially at weekends.

Person specification

About You

To be successful in this role you will hold a STCW certificate of competency Chief Mate II/2 or STCW Certificate of Competency OOW II/1 along with experience and understanding of the maritime industry from working on board vessels, and an understanding of relevant concepts of Navigation.

You thrive working in a fast paced and agile environment and your fantastic organisational skills allow you to plan and prioritise tasks in-order-to meet deadlines.

Excellent stakeholder engagement is crucial within this role and you are able to quickly build rapport and trusted working relationships with a large number of diverse stakeholders.

You are open-minded and pragmatic in your approach, able to analyse risk and propose solutions to mitigate any risk, making sound time critical decisions and creating strategies to enable autonomous vessels to operate effectively.

Your embedded leadership skills and strong communication skills will allow you to successfully chair stakeholder meetings, confidently handing challenging conversations and clearly explaining rational behind decisions.

You’re able to adopt a strategic vision, leading people into a bigger and better future by being receptive to new ideas and staying on top of industry and technological developments that could be incorporated into the remote vessel arena.

About Operational Delivery Profession (ODP)

Operational Delivery Profession (ODP) is the largest and most diverse professional community across the Civil Service. Many of us will have an association with several professional communities or specialisms, ODP applies to all public facing roles/or a role that is primarily aligned to supporting the work of those with public facing roles. All critical to the delivery of UK public services.


A passport valid for international travel is required.


STCW certificate of competency Chief Mate II/2 or STCW Certificate of Competency OOW II/1


The sift is due to take place from 23 February 2023.

Interviews are due to take place from 8 March 2023.

This interview could be conducted online via Teams or face to face at one of our offices. Further details will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction.

Contact point for applicants

Ajit Jacob,

Recruitment team,

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email:

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Autonomous Vessel Training Lead

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