No standing still on career pathways
Continuing personal development is a cornerstone of the MIA's certification programs for senior marina personnel. Colin Bransgrove explains what the process involves and the benefits it delivers.
The marina industry in Australia places increasing value on quality staff training and development as part of the drive to improve business performance and customer service within the competitive leisure industries. The Marina Industries Association (MIA) provides a globally-recognised pathway for marina staff training and development that is central to the mission of the MIA and its members.
Unique within the marine industries, this pathway includes three certifications available to senior industry personnel, the Certified Marina Operator (CMO), the Certified Marina Manager (CMM) and the Certified Marina Professional (CMP). The CMO and CMM certifications are open to experienced marina managers while the more recently established CMP certification has been designed for senior personnel not directly managing a marina such as yacht club executive managers, marina manufacturing personnel and marina development consultants.
There are currently 35 certified industry personnel in Australia, a growing number across Asia and over 250 globally. Certification in the Asia Pacific region is managed through the MIA under the auspices of the Global Marina Institute (GMI).
A lifetime of learning
Certification is not just a static process. Once applicants have achieved certification through meeting the training and experience pre-requisites, they commit to the on-going continuing professional development program (CPD). This is the means by which people maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives. It can involve a range of learning and industry support activities, such as seminars and courses, reading journals, providing service to the industry through participation on committees and advisory panels, researching and writing articles, and lecturing at recognised industry training courses.
The CPD program for CMOs, CMMs and CMPs requires participants to accrue at least 30 hours of professional development per year to maintain their certification. For example Allan Cayzer from Melbourne’s Yarra’s Edge Marina has been a CMM for the past 16 years. His 2015 CPD included attendance at a Dock and Marinas course at the University of Wisconsin as well as at the Certified Members’ meeting on the Gold Coast, lecturing at the MIA Intermediate Marina Management course in Perth and serving as a board member for the Yarra River Business Association.
CPD provides a multitude of benefits to those participating and to the industry as a whole. In addition to increasing the professionalism of the industry, CPD also ensures participants are incentivised to continue their education, learning and contribution to the industry. Certified members also meet annually to network and share knowledge.
Global recognition of certification
As the certification and the associated CPD program is GMI endorsed, participants achieve global recognition within the industry. This furthers their professional reputations and that of the Australian marina industry internationally. Over the past decade numerous Australian CMMs have gone on to manage marinas in many countries across the globe. Increasing numbers of marinas specify CMM status when advertising for a marina manager.
Industry recognition of the benefits of CMP is also starting to increase. This year will see an increasing number of senior marina personnel who have moved beyond hands-on marina management apply for CMP status.
Andrew Fenwick CMM from Fenwicks Marina in NSW commented: “I was excited to be one of the first 10 to receive CMM certification in Australia. As a marina owner and operator, the networking with other certified members provides me with an excellent platform to share knowledge and experience with like-minded professionals.
“When recruiting new staff, the certification also gives marina owners and operators additional certainty that the applicant has reached a high standard. The career pathway and courses taken through this also raises the standard of the marina industry.”
Trevor Fong, CMP from Singapore’s Marina at Keppel Bay (MKB) added: “I was delighted to be recognised as the first CMP in Asia and I appreciate the value the certification brings to the industry. As a multi award-winning marina, we view the importance of human capital as our greatest asset and ensure that there are opportunities for our people to consistently improve themselves with relevant skills and pursue professional marina qualifications.
“A training and development plan following MIA’s course pathway is in place to ensure that all personnel will fulfil their potential to achieve operational excellence, as well as achieve greater service, infrastructure and environmental standards which will ensure MKB maintains its status as a progressive 5 Gold Anchor facility.”
This article first appeared in the Feb-March 2016 issue of Marine Business magazine.