Thursday, December 3, 2009

USCG Marine Safety Performance Plan Objectives—improve marine safety program capacity and performance

The next few blog excerpts were originally published in the Summer 2008 issue of the U.S. Coast Guard “Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council” magazine as part of a special section—Capacity, Communication, Culture: The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Performance Plan.

For the past decade, our marine inspector and investigator workforce has remained relatively constant despite a growing demand for domestic inspections, increasing port state responsibility, and increased homeland security requirements. Our ability to keep abreast of this evolving maritime industry is fundamentally linked to our potential to develop and retain an experienced cadre of technically savvy professionals.

Increase Capacity
To accomplish this, the Coast Guard must increase marine inspector and investigator capacity. To retain expertise and geographic-specific competencies while ensuring long-term continuity in critical mission areas, many of these will be civilian positions.

Achieve Appropriate Blend of Military/Civilian Workforce
Military personnel must continue to serve as marine inspectors and investigators to ensure innovation and to garner experience for management and command responsibilities. We will distribute civilian positions according to need and to complement the military workforce.

Maintaining proficiency within the marine safety program begins with recruitment and accession of additional maritime professionals. We intend to strengthen recruiting efforts at the maritime colleges through additional liaison officers and by seeking opportunities for Coast Guard officers to serve as faculty at those institutions.

Support and Reward Competency
To support these marine safety program recruits, we will work to ensure a viable career path to the most senior ranks of the Coast Guard. We must recognize and reward those who advance from apprentice, to journeyman, to expert marine safety professional status.

In addition, we will expand training and education programs, including engaging industry (within applicable legal and ethical guidelines) to maximize training opportunities and immerse our personnel in industry operations.

Expand Professional Education
Increased complexity in ship design and construction, including high-speed ferries, liquefied natural gas ships, mega-container and mega-cruise ships, and novel structural designs, calls for an innovative and knowledgeable technical staff to develop guidance, standards, and policy. We will work toward additional capacity and expertise to meet this demand.

For more information:
Full article and “Focus on Safety” edition of USCG Proceedings is available at Click on “archives” and then “2008 Vol. 65, Number 2” (Summer 2008).

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