Published: 23/03/2021

Dr Carole Davis, (pictured below) Assistant Director for Modernising Maritime Education, joined the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as part of the UK Maritime Services Directorate in early 2021. She will be working alongside the Director of Maritime Services, Katy Ware, our teams in the agency, and with external partners, to deliver and to develop a new, modernised training strategy for the maritime industry.

Carole has a wealth of educational experience, she taught in several in UK universities, and has spent the last fourteen years working in academic development. She passionately believes in the transformational nature of education and has dedicated her career to enhancing the students experience of learning and how it can positively impact on professions.

Intrinsic to her work is the importance of connecting, collaborating, and networking with others. These values are embodied in her record of transformational change to enhance learning, teaching and assessment in practical applied subjects including engineering, computing science, nursing, medicine and maritime. We’ve spoken to Carole about her ambitions for the role and the future of maritime education.

What are your ambitions for the role?

I want to use my vocational educational expertise and experience to develop our new training strategy for the maritime industry. To do this I am working closely with Katy Ware, our Director of UK Maritime Services, teams at the Agency and external partners.

What are you working towards?

Our intention is to provide flexible and robust awards and career pathways within the industry and to further connect training to safety and well-being. The vision behind the new strategy will be informed by emerging new technologies and led by current and future industry needs. We believe that education should be outcome focused, using evidence-based approaches to training and assessment.

What have you achieved so far?

Since starting work at the MCA I’ve spent a lot of time connecting with internal and external stakeholders to discuss the proposed new maritime education and training with them. I think it’s important that I hear as many views as I can on what the new strategy should include. It’s been an enjoyable and interesting experience that I intend to continue.

What can the MCA learn from other industries regarding their training models, to modernise our approach?

There is much that we can learn from other sectors training models. For example, I am really interested in seeing how we might apply Aviation’s approach to safety and see what we can learn from the Health Care industry too. However, ours is a unique, complex sector and I’d want to make sure that those other ways of training are applicable to the maritime industry.

What is outcome-based education and  what does it mean for maritime sector?

In short, outcome-based education has a syllabus which designs content around activities that leads to specific outcomes. It directly leads to increasing the proficiency of a particular skill, knowledge, or behaviour of the student. For example, you judge outcomes not just on the number of safety certificates but also on the tangible evidence of improved safety. Our focus is not on just compliance but on competence.

What is a blended approach training?

Blended learning and hybrid learning are terms that are used interchangeably by providers when describing different models of delivery which use a mix of methods to engage students in learning. Blended is the more commonly used term of the two and is applied in several different ways to describe different models of delivery and/or student engagement. Providers use this term to describe students' engagement with learning that takes place partly in a digital environment (either onsite or remotely) and partly in-person, onsite. Critical to the development of any learning is the concept of Pedagogy First in which the pedagogical approaches to be taken in the delivery of the programme are placed at the forefront and regarded as a key driver in the programme development and design process.

For further information on work of UK Seafarer Services please click here:

Connect with Carole on LinkedIn.