The International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) publishes the internationally recognised Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors (S-5) (Download PDF). This document provides guidance and syllabus for educational and training programmes in order that courses (not individuals) are recognized with Category A or Category B status. In addition to the academic requirements of Category A and Category B courses, an individual must gain appropriate practical experience to become competent as a hydrographic surveyor.
The Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) certification process is based upon the minimum subject matter as outlined in S-5, recognizing Category A, B and equivalent qualifications and appropriate experience.
The AHSCP certifies surveyors at two competency levels:
Level 1 - The highest attainable level of professional hydrographic surveying certification:
- Deep understanding (Degree equivalent level) of the theoretical aspects of hydrographic surveying.
- Extensive experience in practical hydrographic surveying.
- Experience in leadership and management of project teams.
A Level 1 Hydrographic Surveyor is expected to:
- Plan, undertake and manage complex hydrographic surveying projects.
- Identify sources of error and resolve data discrepancies.
- Maintain quality assurance principles.
- Provide professional advice on hydrographic matters.
- Compile and approve project reports.
Level 2 - Initial professional level of hydrographic surveying certification:
- A fundamental understanding (Diploma equivalent level) of the theoretical aspects of hydrographic surveying.
- Practical experience in conducting various hydrographic surveying tasks.
A Level 2 Hydrographic Surveyor is expected to:
- Undertake the survey plan as directed.
- Conduct data processing.
- Prepare reports.
The subjects contained within the IHO S-5 Standards of Competence include:
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Information and Communication Technology
- Nautical Science
- Water levels and flow
- Hydrographic practice
- Hydrographic data management
- Environmental science
- Legal aspects
In addition to the compulsory modules, a course may also provide additional Options and Hydrographic Surveyors will normally specialise in one or more of these areas:
- Nautical Charting Hydrography
- Hydrography to support Port Management and Coastal Engineering
- Offshore Seismic Surveying
- Offshore Construction Hydrography
- Remote Sensing
- Military Hydrography
- Inland Waters Hydrography