Hydrography News – October 2021

October 19, 2021

Achieved CPHS1…now where to?

SSSI AHSCP certification identifies a level of expertise in the surveying and spatial professions to your peers, clients, employers, and the wider community. Certification recognises your competence and integrity as a hydrographic surveyor. Achieving CPHS1 is a significant milestone in a hydrographic surveyor’s career and one that should be celebrated. However, it is just the beginning of what will be both challenging, yet highly rewarding, and a continuing learning experience.

Achieving Level 1 recognises that the hydrographic surveyor is highly skilled in the theoretical background, as well as the operational processes and instructions in place to complete main field tasks with little to no assistance from a senior team member. At this level the hydrographic surveyor will find themselves in a position of Surveyor in Charge (SIC).

After gaining CPHS1, the hydrographic surveyor will begin to take on more responsibility and it is best to recognise that just because they have certification doesn’t mean everything will be perfect and easy from here on out. Quite the opposite. Added responsibilities not only mean solely managing projects, but accountability for teams and its members, responsible for client interactions, including timeline and completion pressures, as well as being liable for sign off and ultimately responsible for the projects’ integrity, now and in the years to come.

Quite possibly, of all the additional tasks required of a CPHS1, managing people may be the hardest thing to do. There is no textbook. There is no 'one-way' or license/permit/certificate you can earn or buy to make leading easy. It is nearly impossible to always get it right or even do consistently well. Building a team and leading that team has nothing to do with hitting targets or delivering projects. Yes, they will be committed to a clear vision and uniting the team around that vision, but these are merely metrics to tell us if we are on track. They are important but not the point of the work itself.

All in all it comes down to relationships. Relationships are built on communication. Managing different personalities is inevitable. Building good relationships within teams will encourage two-way, open, and honest feedback, trust in each other, and accountability towards reaching team and/or company objectives. Your relationship with each team member will be different and how you build a positive working relationship with each of them is crucial to the ongoing success as a leader.

Managing diverse personalities isn’t easy, but it’s important. That’s because the most successful teams are formed when  that team’s leader understands each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, knows how to leverage each member’s unique talents, and encourages everyone to work together. Being a leader means you are in a position to inspire, uplift, and by setting the example for others to become their best, build their skills, and achieve company goals.

How does this all relate to being a Surveyor in Charge (SIC) of a complex hydrographic project?

In a complex project the team is the most important factor in completing and meeting the complex requirements. The Level 1 SIC must understand their teams’ capabilities and competencies to have the confidence that the tasks assigned are undertaken to meet the required standards and specifications. The SIC has overall responsibility for every aspect of the project, but will not personally conduct each function and/or task and must keep an overall view of the projects progress and quality.

The level of responsibility assumed by the SIC is considerable and consequences range from minor to major, and may include fatalities, massive economic and environmental costs. This responsibility should never be taken lightly by any Level 1 SIC and should be at the forefront of mind when taking on and delivering complex projects.

With Level 1 certification comes the expectation that any project you undertake will meet or exceed requirements and minimise the risk of unwanted consequences. By valuing and encouraging the development of every member of the team you ensure they are dedicated to go above and beyond in order to deliver to your standards and ultimately a client’s needs.

Rebecca Mousley
Neil Hewitt



Hydro Modules are now incorporated into the Diploma of Surveying as elective units 

Hydrographic modules are now included in both the Diploma of Water Industry Operations and the Diploma of Surveying. Strategically, it now means that there are two industries to support the uptake. 

For further info: https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CPP50121


Identify and analyse information technology for hydrographic surveys


Interpret and analyse science principles for hydrographic surveying


Manage and analyse water levels and flows


Manage hydrographic surveying projects


Use alternate positioning systems to gather data


Use remote sensing for hydrographic surveying


Use underwater acoustics to map waterways

Tweed Sand Bypassing

Tweed Sand Bypassing (TSB) is one of Australia’s most innovative coastal engineering solutions. Operating since 2000, the project is a joint coastal management solution with the objectives of restoring the natural coastal sand drift to the Southern Gold Coast beaches and ensuring a navigable Tweed River entrance. 

The project is defined in Queensland and New South Wales legislation and describes that the objectives are to be achieved in perpetuity by the use of a permanent sand bypassing jetty and recurrent dredging. The project team works collaboratively on a range of projects and activities in which Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping is an important tool.

For more than two decades TSB has collected varied data, including environmental, operational, social and economic to determine and better understand the various impacts of the project. A cloud-based GIS database is being developed to provide the interstate team with the tools to store, visualise, analyse, and interpret these data. Outputs are shared through the shared online platform (ArcOnline) to better understand relationships, patterns and trends for enhanced decision-making and project management.

The local and international community have always shown a lot of interest in the project and with the new online platform, the team will be able to produce on the fly outputs that will satisfy these community expectations.

The GIS cloud platform will create a common operational picture, providing a consolidated and integrated single view of what-where-when things are happening. It will empower the interstate project team and the community, and by supporting broader dissemination of information to all TSB stakeholders this will ensure the best sustainable outcome is achieved for our coastal environment.

If you have any comments or queries please email the Hydro Commission secretariat suling.meimaris@sssi.org.au 


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