||LR & The Nautical Institute
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In many parts of the world recognition of competence is a necessary professional requirement for employment, career development and, unfortunately, liability insurance. As interest in the Human Element grows, not least in response to the awareness raised by Alert!, there will be a need for recognition of competence in the skills related to the science and practice related to addressing Human Element issues in the marine context. Traditional professional bodies, such as the Ergonomics Society and Psychological Societies, emphasise academic qualifications as necessary entry requirements. For such bodies, technical experience that contributes to recognition is centred on the application of particular technical skills, rather than experience in a particular sector of industry. Sector experience, in this case experience in the marine sector, is not taken into account. In any new area of application of the sciences and techniques related to the Human Element the individuals with the responsibility and interest to address these issues will come from a range of backgrounds including, in the case of the marine industry, ship's officers, engineers, surveyors, designers, office staff, academics, etc. A coherent professional body of knowledge may or may not emerge, depending on the depth of the requirement and the novelty of the treatment of the Human Element in the sector. What is required in terms of professional recognition is a scheme that recognises a range of academic backgrounds and gives due regard to experience and achievement.