ICA contribution to the development of international standards of competence for nautical cartographers
All professions face challenges as how best to ensure the achievement and continuance of the highest standards as they seek to determine and promulgate best practices. In the essentially linked professions of hydrographic surveying and nautical cartography these challenges become immediately international in their impacts and require close cooperation between the professional bodies representing surveyors, hydrographers and cartographers. The Standards of Competence for Nautical Cartographers are known in short form as S-8 and they describe the minimum required competencies for nautical cartographers. They indicate the minimum degree of knowledge and experience considered necessary for nautical cartographers and provide a set of programme outlines against which the FIG/IHO/ICA International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers may evaluate programmes submitted for recognition. The Standards recognize two levels of competence: Cate- gory A and Category B. In nautical charting communities, Category A programmes offer levels of comprehensive and broad-based knowledge in all aspects of the theory and practice of nautical cartography. Category B programmes provide a level of practical comprehension, along with the essential theoretical background, necessary for individuals to carry out the various nautical cartography tasks. The Standards have recently undergone complete review and should be ratified during 2017/18. This paper aims to bring the existence and aims of the Standards to the wider notice of ICA members and to describe the philosophy and aims of the review in meeting the professional competency needs of the nautical cartographic community.