This apprenticeship standard is fully approved for delivery, but the ESFA is not yet permitting apprenticeship starts on it. Starts on the apprenticeship will be possible when a suitable end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) has given an ‘in principle’ commitment to deliver assessments on this apprenticeship standard. When the EPAO concerned and its ‘in principle’ commitment has been approved by ESFA, the apprenticeship standard will be released for starts and this message will be removed.
Represent the vessel operators or owners to facilitate the efficient arrival, working, and departure of their vessels in a port.
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This occupation is found in the shipping industry and located in ports around the country. These ports range considerably in size, from major import/export centres through to much smaller and sometimes remote ports. Port agents work for commercial companies, that may be based in a port or off site.
The broad purpose of the occupation is to represent the vessel operators/owners to facilitate the efficient arrival, working, and departure of their vessels in a port. They do this by supporting vessel progress during a voyage (anywhere in the world) and by ensuring the vessel captain has the help and assistance they need. This support can be very wide-ranging, from making sure the vessel has the right permissions, and the correct crew complement, through to having enough provisions onboard.
Port agents spend a lot of their time communicating with other stakeholders to agree and coordinate activities, ensuring a safe and smooth voyage. While this occupation is often office based, port agents can expect to spend time working onboard vessels when moored in port. Typically, they may have a home port they work in most of the time, yet sometimes need to travel to different ports around the UK. A port agent must work flexibly, including some unsociable hours. And they can expect to be in and around the port in all weathers.
In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with the vessel’s captain and crew who may be of any nationality. The scale and purpose of ports varies a lot, with each port being unique. The port agent will identify and interact with all parties involved in port operations, such as importers and/or exporters, the port authority, terminal operator, stevedores, government authorities (HMRC, Border Force, Port Health, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Immigration), marine pilots, harbour masters, docking masters, company representatives, local ship providores, repairers and maritime equipment suppliers. A port agent is appointed by a Principal, who might be the vessel owner or vessel operator. A port agent must work to the overall instruction of the Principal.
An employee in this occupation will be responsible for completing their own port agency work within the limits of their responsibility. They must follow instructions, by delivering on the agreed commercial arrangement between their own organisation and the vessel owner or vessel operator.
They are also responsible for providing advice and support to the vessel captain during the voyage, for providing financial services (including cash float) as instructed by vessel owner/operator, and for arranging and overseeing cargo operations when in port.
They will arrange crew, purchase supplies needed by the vessel, and negotiate any work needed with local port suppliers. They also help support the safety and security of vessel related operations. And they must submit any reports or applications needed to comply with port requirements.
They do not arrange an agency agreement themselves or win new work for their organisation; this is instead the responsibility of a senior port agent or a sales/business development manager. They are expected to respond to incidents that affect the vessel, by taking decisions that help bring the operation back on course. Although a port agent must try to resolve any problems themselves, they will escalate issues beyond their authority to a senior port agent or manager in their own organisation and the vessel owner/operator. When a voyage is completed, the port agent must provide their closing reports, including a financial summary.
This summary page outlines the information that you and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should also read the end-point assessment plan for the full details including roles and responsibilities, assessment method requirements and re-sits and re-takes.
An EPA is an assessment at the end of the apprenticeship. It assesses your competence against the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) on the occupational standard. You will have been trained on them during your training, both on and off the job. The EPA is your chance to show an independent assessor you can do the occupation you have been trained for. Your employer will only recommend you start the EPA when you have finished your training and both your employer and you think you are ready. Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should provide you with support on what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA.
The grades available for this apprenticeship are:
At the end of the apprenticeship, and having passed the EPA, you will be awarded with your apprenticeship certificate.
The gateway is the point when all on-programme training and any mandatory qualification requirements have been met. When you have completed your training and your employer says you are competent in your occupation, you enter the gateway. The EPAO will check any mandatory qualifications are complete. They will tell you how to submit any necessary documents (for example, a portfolio). After the EPAO confirms that you have met all the requirements, the EPA starts.
When you reach the gateway, you need to complete the following:
Have passed English and maths at level 2.
1For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.
Portfolio of evidence requirements: Apprentices must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. The portfolio of evidence will typically contain 12 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence should be mapped against the KSBs. Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested. Evidence sources may include: This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included. The portfolio should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this. The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. Independent assessors should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion assessment method. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.
For the professional discussion underpinned by portfolio you must submit: portfolio of evidence
Portfolio of evidence requirements:
Apprentices must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. The portfolio of evidence will typically contain 12 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence should be mapped against the KSBs.
Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested. Evidence sources may include:
This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.
The portfolio should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.
The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. Independent assessors should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion assessment method. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.
Passed any other mandated qualifications listed in the occupational standard. For the port agent,
The qualification(s) required are:
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Foundation Diploma in Port Agency
Test / examination: you will be asked to complete a multiple-choice test. The EPAO will let you know if this is at an assessment centre or if it can be completed remotely. The test will be closed book so you will not be able to have any books or reference materials.
The test will have 30 multiple-choice questions. You will have 45 minutes to complete the multiple-choice test. There will be 4 possible answers but only 1 will be correct. Each correct answer with be worth 1 mark.
To achieve a Pass, you need to get between 21 and 26 questions correct.
To achieve a Distinction, you need to get between 27 and 30 questions correct.
You will get at least 2 weeks notice of the test.
Discussion: you will meet with the independent assessor in a quiet place that is free from distractions and be asked questions. The professional discussion will last 45 and the independent assessor will ask a minimum of 7 questions to find out how well you can do your job. You need to compile a portfolio of evidence during the apprenticeship. Your training provider and employer should discuss this with you. You can use your portfolio of evidence to help you answer questions in the .This method may take place remotely, though the EPAO will confirm the details. You will be given at least 2 weeks notice of the professional discussion.
Practical assessment: you will be observed by the independent assessor completing a task or set of tasks that they give you. These tasks will be similar to your normal work. All equipment and information will be provided, and you will be told where this will take place. The practical assessment will last 2. You will be asked a minimum of 5 questions by the independent assessor about the task(s). You will get at least 2 weeks notice of practical assessment.
If you have a query that relates to your job, then please speak to your employer. You should speak to your training provider if you have any other questions about the apprenticeship including the end-point assessment. You should get detailed support from the EPAO before the EPA begins. Your employer and training provide should talk to you when they think you are ready to take the EPA. The EPA is for you to show how good you are at your job. You should speak to your training provider about what to expect in the EPA and how to prepare. You should speak to the EPAO if your EPA has already started, and you have a query.
If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.
Professional body recognition is not relevant to this occupational apprenticeship.