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.
The MCA have finally published and uploaded the on-line version of the Revised Workboat Code on the Gov.UK website. It can be found in the Small Craft Codes section under Statutory Guidance and is titled; "The Workboat Code, Edition 2".
Keen observers of the MCA website will have noted recent revisions to and the re-issuing of their guidance on 3 important legal areas of risk assessment.
This month we spoke to Damian Crowley, Managing Director of MARITAS (Maritime Training and Assessment Services) LTD, Chair of the National Workboat Association’s Training Group and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.