Competency assessments are valid and reliable tests that measure the knowledge and skills required for a job. The maritime industry uses competency assessment to certify the knowledge and skills of seafarers for critical functions. Seafarers work in highly risky environments, where skills and abilities play a key role in performance and safety at both the individual and organizational levels.
There are many diverse types of competency assessments, and the specific assessment that is given will depend on the job or position that is being applied for. Moreover, competency assessment can also be used to identify areas for improvement for an individual. By pinpointing areas of weakness, these tests can help individuals focus their efforts on improving their skills.
Importance of the Maritime Competency Assessment:
• Helps to identify the abilities of employees:
Competency assessment help identify the employees’ abilities to perform certain tasks that are assigned to them. Identification of certain abilities helps the seafarer work on the weak ones and learn some new skills that would benefit both the employee and the employer. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you know where your employee stands. Does he or she need to work on any skills or personality traits?
• Can be used for hiring and promotions:
Competency assessments are helpful and reliable for hiring, promotion, and training decisions. With help in measuring job responsibilities, seafarer skills, and the resulting gaps, it becomes easy to put together a fair and thorough performance appraisal plan. It avoids bias, as the selection and promotions are totally based on how the seafarer has performed in the competency assessment. Competencies have started becoming part of the feedback process.
• Training decisions:
Competency assessment helps to take decisions regarding training that is used to develop valuable characteristics and skillsets in seafarers, leading to greater employability and life-long learning. It's also known as mastery-based learning, proficiency-based learning, or performance-based education. It requires a well-designed framework at its core. Your Organization Can:
o Recognizing standards for performance and evaluating employees’ references for their job expectations and success.
o Better convey job expectations, address performance issues, and acknowledge employee accomplishments.
o Determine where to assign resources and budgets for training.
o Initiate training and other required professional development undertakings- to zero in on pain points and skill gaps, grow employee knowledge, boost competence, and increase productivity so that they can perform their task in a better way.
o Recognize potential candidates and their readiness for specific roles within the company.
o Build a culture of regular improvement and organizational transformation.
o Create feasible succession plans, for developing employees to progress into new responsibilities and accomplish success.
• Aids in the development of employee skills:
Competency assessment help to improve seafarer skills in various aspects. The seafarer can work on his weak skills and improve them. It is especially important that each seafarer knows what his key skills are and what improvements he needs to make. Competency assessment, in general, identifies a seafarer's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the areas in which he needs to improve. Thus, improved skills help reduce time consumption in performing any task and avoid errors.
• Increase seafarer’s productivity:
Competency assessment help to increase seafarers’ productivity when he performs their task on time and does not consume much time. Also, improved skills avoid any kinds of errors, which makes his job easier and more productive. Employee productivity is particularly important, not only for the organization but also for the employee, which would help the growth of both sides. The competency assessment overall boosts employee productivity, which leads to an increase in sales and turnover. A boost in employee productivity increases the morale of the entire team management.
• Staff turnover is reduced:
Competency assessments are conducted initially at the time of recruitment, which helps to select and recruit the right candidates for the right position. When the right candidate is selected based on the skills and knowledge that he or she possesses, positive results follow. This motivates the seafarer and leads to the seafarer's satisfaction. When the employee is satisfied with his work, there are fewer chances of employee or staff turnover. Also, during training and development, seafarers improve their skills and knowledge through competency assessment. This also helps them learn new skills and makes them more efficient. Overall, the competency assessment is an important aspect of reducing staff turnover in the maritime organization.
• Encourages creativity and innovation:
The competency assessment makes one aware of their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them improve on their weaknesses and be more productive in their work. Knowing one's own strengths makes one's job easier and helps one avoid mistakes. This helps to generate more innovative and creative ideas and their implementation. Innovation and creativity are important aspects of every field, including the maritime industry. Thus, competency assessment boosts the innovative and creative mindset of the seafarer, which results in higher productivity.