MAR Dredging Operations

Project scope

The purpose of this project is to develop a new Dredging Operations Skill Set and four new Units of Competency to provide seafarers the skills and knowledge to undertake maintenance and capital dredging operations within Australian territorial waters.  Dredging safety operations is an industry focus.  The most common incidents and accidents that occur on a dredger are caused by inadequate training, impaired workers and a lack of a safe work environment provided by employers.  Accidents including crush and amputations, drowning, hypothermia, and other injuries are a continuous threat to maritime workers and can happen at any given moment while working aboard a vessel.


The reduction of injury and incidents during dredging operations has become a clear priority for dredging companies who have developed their own customised safety programmes to prevent industrial accidents.


Avoiding damage to sensitive and protected areas of Australia’s marine environment is key for long-term sustainability of Australia’s tourism industries.  Dredging operations need to be conducted with minimal impact to Australia’s marine environment.


The proposed project will provide vocational skills transferability across the maritime industry, support the mobility of skilled workers, provide opportunities for professional development, address safety and regulatory requirements, incorporate dredging best practices and emerging technologies.  A skilled trained workforce will assist in reducing the risk of damage to sensitive and protected areas of Australia’s marine environment.




  • 4 new Units of Competency
  • 1 new Skill Set


The Case for Endorsement is expected to be submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee by 30 June 2021.

How to get involved

A Technical Advisory Committee will be formed to provide expertise for this work. If you have any questions about this project, or are a subject matter expert and would like to be considered for the TAC for this project, please contact the Industry Manager.

Stakeholder feedback on draft training materials will be sought as part of the development phase of work.

Technical advisory committee




The Maritime Industry Reference Committee has established a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for this project.


Comprising six subject matter experts from Industry and Union, the TAC has been tasked with:

  • Providing specialist industry subject-matter knowledge regarding Maritime Dredging Operations to the review and development of Units of Competency, qualifications and Skill Sets
  • Validating the technical content of the Training Package products
  • Identifying relevant qualitative and quantitative data sources to inform the development of draft materials
  • Reviewing feedback from stakeholders through public consultations
  • Assisting in identifying and engaging broader industry networks to participate in consultation and/or validation activities during the duration of the project
  • Offering advice and guidance to assist in informing the direction of the project throughout its duration.
  • Making recommendations on the developed Training Package materials to the relevant IRC, which has the final decision-making authority


The TAC held its first meeting on Thursday, 22 October 2020.





Work on this project has commenced and the Maritime IRC is forming a TAC.

Your industry expertise and insight is welcome to help develop a new Dredging Operations Skill Set and four new Units of Competency to provide seafarers the skills and knowledge to undertake maintenance and capital dredging operations within Australian territorial waters.


TAC nominations closed on Friday, 25 September 2020.


For more information about this project please contact the Industry Manager.



5 JANUARY 2021



The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has drafted materials for this project and would like your feedback.


The Dredging Operations project resulted in the development of one new Unit of Competency to ensure deckhands undertaking dredging operations have the appropriate skills and knowledge and focus on safety relevant to the job role.


To view the drafts, click below:








Please submit your feedback by close of business Tuesday, 2 February 2021.




Feedback will be collated and discussed at the next TAC meeting.

Summary of development

Draft units, skill sets and/or qualifications are developed in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and industry stakeholders.

Initial drafting of Training Package material (Units of Competency, Skill Sets and/or qualifications) is being undertaken by a Technical Advisory Committee established by the IRC. Comprising people with diverse expertise and experience in Maritime Compass Adjusters, it has ensured that the draft Units are informed by the needs of industry.


Summary of feedback


Anna Jerrems

Industry Skills Specialist - Maritime




Phone: 0459 031 101