Five leading UK maritime professional bodies have come together to form the Maritime Professional Council of the UK with the aim of influencing lawmakers. The formal launch of the Maritime Professional Council of the UK took place on HQS Wellington at 1200 hours on Merchant Navy Day, 3rd September 2021. Over 40 VIP guests, including three members of the House of Lords, were present to hear Captian David Chadburn (pictured right) and Captain John Lloyd speak.

Shipping and boating are going through huge technological changes, but the industry’s professional bodies say their expertise needs to be listened to when policy decisions are made in these vital sectors. The Maritime Professional Council of the UK wants to make sure policymakers are aware of the considered professional opinions of those with the qualifications, expertise and experience to provide informed advice on the many policy decisions that need to be made.

The Council will bring together the collective voices of the United Kingdom based professional organisations for the British Merchant Navy and associated maritime industry. It will promote professionalism within the industry and offer expert opinion on maritime matters to the maritime community, industry, government and the media.

The founding organisations of the Maritime Professional Council are the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, The Nautical Institute, International Institute of Marine Surveying, Institute of Seamanship, and the United Kingdom Marine Pilots Association. The group’s position is that the government and government aligned bodies charged with the policy and direction of the Merchant Navy and associated sectors of the maritime industry, need the best practical pool of experience to draw upon.

While the individual maritime professional bodies are respected within the shipping and boating industry, their knowledge and experience are rarely sought when decisions are made on key policy and legislative changes. The Maritime Professional Council believes that having a strong collective voice will be a game changer.

One area of great concern to the professional bodies is maintaining the quality of seafarer training and the Maritime Professional Council will provide guidance to regulators and employers on the professional training standards for our maritime professionals.

More generally, the Council will be able to provide independent expert advice and guidance on a range of matters based on its combined professional knowledge and experience unhindered by any financial or commercial interests.

The Maritime Professional Council is intended to provide a common space for collaboration, and exchange of ideas between the major technical organisations, closely allied with the Merchant Navy and associated sectors of the shipping and boating industry. It is intended that the Maritime Professional Council will become a key source of knowledge and opinion reflective of the skills, experience, and professional status of the membership of the individual member organisations.