The NWA is the Trade Association for the owners and operators of workboats, mainly built under the MCA Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Small Workboats – the “Workboat Code”.
The Association is run by a committee of members and employs a Secretary who represents the NWA at various government and industry bodies and carries out the administration work for the Association.
The main function of the NWA is to act as the liaison and focal point with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) – from its beginnings twenty years ago the Association has worked closely with the MCA – providing a significant amount of practical guidance and constructive criticism in the formulation of the original Workboat Code which came into force in 1998. It is testament to the good work done by the founding members in drawing up the ‘Code’ with the MCA that it has stood the test of time – and is only now undergoing a major revision to keep it current with the ever-developing Workboat industry.
We have also worked closely with the Seafarers Standards branch of the MCA to establish sensible, practical manning levels for workboats and more recently in creating specific qualifications for Workboat Crews. – Several years ago we were heavily involved developing the Master <200GT (Code Vessel) Certificate of Competency and more recently the Master <500GT (Workboat) CoC which is now available. Both of these are unlimited STCW qualifications allowing the holders to act as Master of workboats operating world-wide. We are currently working to finalise a suite of 'Small Vessel Engineer' qualifications which will be applicable to Workboats.
We are delighted to report that the final piece of the Apprenticeship 'jigsaw' is now in place – with the Workboat Crewmember Standard and end-point assessment already published, the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has now recommended a funding band of £20,000 per Apprentice.
It was great to see so many of you at Seawork and to catch up – both around the event and at the NWA Seawork dinner. Please find below a quick round-up of highlights from the event.
Following comments from the industry about the lack of clarity on the application of MGN 490 (M) & 491(M) on the MLC substantial equivalence for crew accommodation below the waterline on workboats up to 500GT, the MCA has reviewed the two notices and rearranged the material in three notices as follows: