Level 4 Port Marine Operations Officer

Course Overview

The port marine operations team assists in ensuring the safe transit and handling of vessels into and out of the port. A Port Marine Operations Officer may work as a leader or member of a port/harbour marine operations team and may be involved in: berthing of vessels, port control and marine services, operation of harbours and marinas, conservancy, environmental protection, statutory compliance and operation of harbour marine craft within the Harbour Authority area of jurisdiction.


Course Length

20 - 24 months

Levy Funding

Maximum £12,000

Apprentice Requirements

Have the right to work in England.

Be 18 or older.

Individual employers will determine their own entry requirements but due to the nature of the role it is expected that candidates will meet certain medical standards of physical health.

Possession of a driving licence is likely to be advantageous.

Enthusiasm and a willingness to learn your chosen trade.

Dedication and commitment to coursework and the job.

English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent) grade C or 4. If you do not meet the Maths and English requirements, Marine Society will assist you in gaining your Functional Skills qualification prior to End Point Assessment.


By the end of the apprenticeship, a port operative will be able to do the following:

Manage Maritime Safety and Security

  • Oversee the safe navigation of vessels within port waters, ensuring adherence to safety protocols.

Coordinate Vessel Traffic

  • Effectively manage and direct the movement of vessels to optimise port operations.
  • Utilise radar, communication systems, and other technologies to monitor and guide vessel traffic.

Oversee Cargo Operations

  • Supervise the loading and unloading of cargo, ensuring compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Manage various types of cargo, including bulk, containerised, and hazardous materials, ensuring proper handling and storage.

Maintain Port Infrastructure

  • Plan and oversee the maintenance and repair of port facilities, such as docks, quays, and warehouses.

Implement Environmental Management Practices

  • Develop and apply strategies to minimise the environmental impact of port operations.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental regulations and promote sustainable practices.
  • Monitor and manage environmental risks associated with port activities.

Provide Excellent Customer Service:

  • Offer highquality service to shipping companies, freight forwarders, and other stakeholders.
  • Address customer inquiries and resolve operational issues promptly and professionally.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

  • Understand and apply relevant maritime laws and regulations in daily operations.

Utilise Technology in Port Operations

  • Employ modern technologies and systems to enhance port operations and vessel traffic management.

Career Options and Progression

Port Marine Operations Officers can pursue careers in various areas, including:

  • Port operations management
  • Maritime safety and security
  • Cargo and logistics coordination
  • Port infrastructure maintenance
  • Environmental management within port settings

This apprenticeship offers a pathway to roles such as Port Operations Manager, Marine Traffic Controller, and Environmental Compliance Officer, among others.

Occupational Map


Further information

Apprenticeship Standard and End Point Assessment