Nautilus International is a member-led, democratic organisation, and we offer members all sort of opportunities to shape the organisation's policies. This is how the Union works and how you can get involved.


Nautilus policies are decided by members – and the Union's General Meeting serves as the organisation's supreme policy-making body. Held every four years, the General Meeting is open to all fully paid-up members, and debates and decides on motions submitted by members.

In years where there is no General Meeting, there will be annual meetings of the Nautilus UK, Netherlands and Switzerland branches. These will also consider motions of national relevance and usually include a nationally specific symposium on a topical issue.

The Council

The Nautilus International Council is the Union's governing body, and is composed of 32 members – all maritime professionals elected for a four-year term. The Council is the main supervisory body of the Union, progressing policies agreed at General Meetings.

The Council has several specialist committees, which are comprised only of Council membersThese include the Executive Committee, which was re-established by the Council in May 2002 under the terms of Rule 12.1 and has delegated to it all of the powers of the Council between meetings of the Council. This permits urgent actions to be approved if, for example, a meeting of the Council is inquorate.

The Establishments Committee has decision-making responsibility for a range of items including investment management, management accounts and contract conditions, and will also make recommendations to the Council for endorsement.

The Resolutions Committee monitors the implementation of resolutions adopted at the General Meeting or Branch Conferences referred by the National Committee, to ensure the secretariat is putting members' wishes into practice.

The Professional & Technical Committee oversees all professional and technical activities of the Union and makes reports and recommendations to the Council, and is also responsible for examining the effect of the Council's policy on cadet and unemployed members. The Professional & Technical Committee is unrelated to the Professional & Technical Forum, which is open to all Nautilus members.

The Nautilus Welfare Fund Committee manages the Union's charitable functions and oversees the day-to-day welfare operations and services.

General secretary

The general secretary is the most senior employee of Nautilus International, and the only one who is elected. The general secretary is the chief executive officer and responsible under the Rules for ensuring the proper administration of the Union.

The general secretary is elected every four years. Nomination forms and deadlines for the election will be made available via this website, published in the Nautilus Telegraph and sent to individual Union members in the post.

Due to restrictions imposed by UK legislation, general secretary elections are carried out via a postal vote only. They are overseen by an independent scrutineer.

Other votes

There are occasions where a major change to the Union's policies or constitution requires a one-off vote of members. This is usually done by postal ballot, but there are some circumstances where the Rules allow for the vote to take place at a General Meeting or Branch Conference.

An example of a one-off vote of members was the 2008 ballot in which members of Nautilus UK and Nautilus NL voted to join together to form Nautilus International.

Get involved

Nautilus is a membership organisation, and members are encouraged to contribute to its democratic processes – standing for Council, attending General Meetings, national branch meetings or forums, submitting motions to conferences, or simply feeding in your ideas, opinions and experience via the Telegraph, social media or our LinkedIn members' discussion forums for women and young maritime professionals.

Become a Nautilus member today