Professional Development is the process of improving and increasing the skills and capabilities of our Pilots.
This is achieved through access to education and training opportunities within the workplace, attending outside training organisations or by watching others perform the job. Professional Development also helps build and maintain morale.
When you are charged with precision control of the largest moveable man made objects in the world, there is very little margin for error.
While large ships may appear to move very slowly, they also take a significant amount of time to stop or change direction, and this becomes very apparent when breakdowns occur that affect the vessel’s propulsion and steering systems. The Pilot is depended upon to safely manoeuvre vessels to and from the berth, and for the most part this occurs under “normal” or expected conditions. However things don’t always go as planned, and unexpected events occur such as mechanical breakdowns, lines parting or human factors etc. When these situations arise, the dependence on the Pilot is total, and the Pilot is expected to act with assertion and confidence, and in some circumstances due to either stress, cultural or language factors, in complete isolation with very little support.
To arm our Pilots with the necessary skills to manage such situations, at Fremantle Pilots we ensure our Pilots are subjected to ongoing contingency simulation training designed to expose the Pilot to every conceivable incident or emergency. This allows the Pilot to encounter situations in a virtual environment, so that if they have the misfortune to be exposed to such an event, they will have the skills and confidence to act, and either rescue the situation, or at least mitigate the level of serious damage to vessel, port infrastructure and environment.
In addition to this training, our Pilots regularly exchange ideas and information with their peers either through attending vessels with another Pilot, or discussing and analysing operational matters at office meetings and brainstorming sessions. They also attend approved development courses such as Bridge Resource Management, Advanced Marine Pilots Training, and Manned Model Ship Handling just to name a few.
Our Pilots also hold regular meetings with other port users such as the Harbour Master, the Deputy Harbour Master, Fremantle Ports marine operations personnel, tug operators and skippers, mooring gang personnel, lines boat personnel, terminal and berth custodians and operators, plus navy, army and border protection to ensure standards are not only maintained but continually improved.