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Six senior maritime professionals marked the pinnacle of their professional careers in September 2019 by receiving Chartered Master Mariner status from the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. Helen Kelly reports
The annual Chartered Master Mariner (CMMar) presentation ceremony was once again held this year onboard the HQS Wellington, the home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM) moored alongside London's Temple Stairs on the River Thames.
Over 100 people gathered on the Wellington's quarterdeck to mark the occasion, including friends, family and supporting maritime professionals. Awardees travelled from as far away as Singapore and South Africa for the ceremony, which was the first in the award's three-year history in which non-British residents were recognised – although awardees were all British citizens.
The six CMMar recipients this year were: Captain Scott Baker; Captain Allen Brink; Commander Gareth Jenkins; Captain John Lloyd; Captain Mike Meade; and Captain Michael Rowland.
Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, the chairman of the CMMar Registration Authority, gave the official greeting, in which he acknowledged that the Chartership scheme's inception comes at a time when there is accelerating change in the maritime profession due to economic and technological developments.
'This makes it all the more important to ensure that, within the ranks of senior Merchant Navy officers and their military equivalents, there is a new mechanism to recognise personal professional excellence in those who go beyond just the achievement of the necessary certificates of competence,' Admiral Essenhigh said.
'More importantly, we need to encourage those who achieve Chartership to commit to auditable, continuous, personal, professional development and to demonstrate their ongoing involvement in the training and mentoring of other officers to follow in their footsteps.
'In an era when the impact of new technologies on ships and maritime operations risks marginalising the role of the professional seaman, I see the Chartered Master Mariner scheme as an international bulwark against erosion of our traditional skills and values which are so often, in the last resort, vital.'
The CMMar was devised by the HCMM – with input from other professional bodies such as Nautilus International – to be a marque of excellence like that held by Chartered Accountants and Chartered Surveyors. It is the highest standard awarded in terms of professional and technical achievement.
The CMMar is awarded to maritime professionals who have risen beyond prescribed qualifications and can prove exceptional performance alongside individual contributions to the industry, including charitable and other not-for-profit work, such as mentoring and skill-sharing.
There is a rigorous six-stage application process that is conducted on a quarterly cycle culminating in the annual award ceremony. Initial application is made to the Nautical Institute (NI) for objective evaluation. It is at this stage that most applications are rejected or returned for further information.
Successful applications will be forwarded to stage two for consideration by the NI's Verifications Committee.
In an era when the impact of new technologies on ships and maritime operations risks marginalising the role of the professional seaman, I see the Chartered Master Mariner scheme as an international bulwark against erosion of our traditional skills and values Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh