Hydrography Coaching Program

Aim of the Program

The SSSI Hydrography Commission Coaching Program (HC-CP) is an initiative to involve and encourage the development of young professional hydrographic surveyors in the Commission’s activities and events by connecting them with certified Level 1 and Level 2 hydrographic surveyors.

The broad aim of the coaching program is to encourage young professional hydrographic surveyors to work towards certification, be involved in the industry and Commission, and network with other professionals who they may not otherwise have the opportunity to connect with.

More specifically, the program will ensure that trainees working towards certification have identified knowledge gaps and addressed them prior to the panel assessing their application for certification. The coach will provide guidance on how best to remediate these gaps.


Certified Hydrographic Surveyors generously offer their time, experience and expertise to the younger generation of hydrographic surveyors and contribute to the future of the industry. Interactions with certified surveyors are highly valuable in supporting trainees in their preparation for certification, early career guidance and technical pursuits.

CPD points for being involved in the coaching program may be claimed in accordance with the SSSI CPD policy.


Trainees on the program will have access to the wealth of knowledge and experience of the certified hydrographic surveyors, networking opportunities and insights to the industry. For trainees working towards certification, the program offers interaction with certified professionals who can offer guidance.

Trainees should note that participation in the program does not guarantee a successful application for certification. However, the program will help trainees identify and work on knowledge gaps prior to their application for certification.

Note: A Hydrographic Surveyor can apply for certification without participating in the Coaching Program.

 Interested? Please email hc.coaching@sssi.org.au 


Trainees and coaches must hold be a current SSSI or S+SNZ members who reside in Australia or New Zealand.

Trainees of any level are invited to participate. This includes students, recent graduates or members working towards certification.

Coaches must be a current Certified Professional Hydrographic Surveyor at Level 1 or Level 2 with a minimum of four years of experience.  The program is not compulsory for certified surveyors - involvement is voluntary.

Potential trainees are welcome to organise a colleague or contact from their organisation to participate as their coach. This should be noted on the application form.

2.Matching of Coaches and Trainees

Coach and trainee applicants must complete an online application form to assist in the matching process.

The following will be considered when matching trainees and coaches:

  1. The trainee and coach’s locations
  2. The trainee’s field of interest (i.e., nautical charting, port surveying, offshore construction etc.) will ideally be matched with a coach whose expertise is in that field
  3. The trainee’s goals for the program – i.e. are they working towards Level 1 or 2 certification, require early career guidance or develop technical knowledge etc

The above will apply in the default matching, however trainees may wish to ‘diversify’ their understanding by requesting a coach from a different field or location.

3.Preparing the Coaches

Prior to the start of the program, coaches will undertake an information session to gain a further understanding/refresher of the Level 1/Level 2 certification requirements. This workshop will also provide the coaches with suggestions for areas of focus, or where recent candidates for certification have had weaknesses.

Throughout the program, coaches will have access to members of the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) via the Program Coordinator to assist with pathway questions they may receive from their trainees.

4.Program Structure and Details

The SSSI HC Coaching Program will commence in June 2022 and formally conclude in December.

It is the responsibility of the trainee in the first instance to contact the coach to introduce themselves and provide any preference for communication.  Communication may be made via email, telephone or a virtual platform. The coach or trainee may wish to meet in person if convenient.

The HC-CP Coordinator will be in contact with participants throughout the program for a general check-in.


After initial introductions, the trainee fills out the coaching Journal document in cooperation with their coach.

This Journal consists of:

  • What the trainee would like to achieve through this program
  • Any knowledge gaps the trainee believes they currently have
  • Any knowledge gaps identified during the course of the program
  • A record of meetings

A template of the Journal will be provided during the matching process.

The record of development and learning in the Journal may be used by the trainee as evidence for CPD points if required.

At the conclusion of the program, the Program Coordinator will email the trainees to remind them to complete their journals and submit them by the deadline. Their coach will confirm the record to be correct and record any closing notes on the trainee’s performance or learnings during the program.

Participants will also receive a post-program survey, seeking feedback and any suggestions for the program into the future.

Responsibilities of the Trainee

It is the responsibility of the trainee to initiate communications and coordinate meetings. The trainee must email the coach before each meeting identifying any questions, advice or information requested relating to career or certification application. This will allow the coach to prepare and formulate answers prior to the meeting for discussion and to use the meeting time effectively.

The HC-CP coordinator will follow up with trainees early in the program to ensure they have established communication with their coach. The HC-CP Coordinator will follow up with trainees early in the program to ensure they have established communication with their coach.

Responsibilities of the Coach

The coach will assist in identifying knowledge gaps, provide advice on certification application, assistance with completing the trainee’s curriculum mapping spreadsheet if appropriate, provide general career development advice etc.

For those seeking Hydrographic Certification, suggested discussion topics for coaches to begin with their trainees are:

  • An overview and explanation of the hydrographic syllabus
  • Correct etiquette for certification logbook entries and matching the experience curriculum.
  • Access to resources – the Hydrography Commission may be able to suggest publications for reading, webinars and other online resources to obtain CPD points.

At the conclusion of the program, the coach should update the coaching journal with comments on the trainee and their development.

Frequency of meetings

It is recommended that meetings take place once a month to ensure that the trainee receive regular contact with their coach. The meetings should occur at least 5 times during the course of the program.

However, if the coach feels the workload is too great or that communications are excessive, the HC-CP coordinator can approach another potential coach to share the trainee. The trainee may approach other certified professionals to remediate missing competencies identified with their primary coach.

5.Code of Conduct

It is very important that both coaches and trainees extend respect to each other’s time and experience. It is expected that coaches and trainees respond to communications in a professional, thorough and timely fashion.

In the case of any inappropriate or unprofessional conduct by the coach or the trainee, the other can contact the program coordinator to discuss appropriate action.

6.Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD points are awarded to coaches and trainees in accordance with the SSSI CPD Policy. CPD points will be accrued for all meetings at a rate of 1 CPD point per hour, to a maximum of 5 points per year.

For trainees seeking a Level 1 or 2 certification, CPD points achieved through the coaching program can be used in their first year of certification. The number of CPD points that can be carried forward after certification is outlined in the SSSI CPD policy.

7.Program Communication Channel

As part of the program, all participants will be invited to a Microsoft Teams group which will be used as a place to share ideas, solutions, resources and challenges as well as ask questions.

8.Conflict of Interest

Should a trainee be employed by the coach’s competitor, the assigned coach may wish to withhold details of work methods or similar. The coach may exercise discretion to withhold or decline to communicate business or projects details as they see necessary.

It is important to note that the program does not permit trainees to ask questions specific to a survey or project. The program is designed for discussions relating to career progression, training, and certification. Information provided to the trainee is at the discretion of the coach, noting that best practice methods should be shared and encouraged wherever possible. It is for the benefit of the profession that its members are performing work to the highest possible standard.

If there appears to be a conflict of interest, the coach can request that the trainees be assigned to a different coach.

Questions about career, technical and certification goals will be asked on the program application form to minimise conflicts.


Questions can be forwarded to the HC-CP coordinator at hc.coaching@sssi.org.au .


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