The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has commissioned an independent study into the feasibility of instigating professional qualifications for the global bunkering industry workforce. It has put the study out to tender, and expects to announce the successful bidder by the end of June this year.
IBIA secretary-general Ian Adams says, “IBIA does not want to become a training establishment itself. But it recognises the need to improve the capabilities of the bunkering workforce by establishing a comprehensive training regimen and independent system by which people in the industry can be assessed.”
Two levels of qualification have been discussed, but not finalised. These are the IBIA Foundation Diploma (IFD) and the IBIA Professional Qualification (IPQ). The IFD could be achieved by relative newcomers to the industry, or could be structured as a refresher course for those looking for career advancement. The IPQ is envisaged as a qualification widely respected and recognised throughout the bunkering and marine industry sectors and as an essential qualification for significant career advancement. It could comprise three parallel in-depth courses focused on buying, selling and services.
The study must address, among other things, the format which these qualifications should take, and identify the courses to be studied, based on industry input into which syllabuses best respond to the present and future needs of the bunker industry.
IBIA envisages that the independent study will provide a way forward to establishing it as the arbiter of training standards in the bunkering sector. It is looking for responses to the tender from independent consultancies which understand the bunker industry, which are acquainted with a wide range of industry participants, and which have experience of setting up - and involvement in running – successful training programs.