Continuing professional development for Queensland port pilots


Maritime Safety Queensland has implemented a Continuing Professional Development framework (CPD), to enhance the knowledge and skills of Queensland port pilots and to provide a practical avenue for enhancing the competence of port pilots and for the renewal of port pilot licences.  

Pilotage is a primary safeguard against serious marine incidents, protecting the marine environment and maritime infrastructure and ensuring the economic viability and sustainability of our ports. It is therefore critical to ensure that the very best qualified personnel are recruited, trained and continuously developed to provide port pilotage services.

The Pilot must either hold a valid Master Class 1 (MC 1) Certificate of Competency or have the skills and experience that in the opinion of the general manager are equivalent.


A marine pilot has an additional set of skills and knowledge and accordingly the processes to train and licence pilots need to be tailored and relevant. The framework has been introduced to enhance these specialised attributes, to ensure that Queensland port pilots remain at the forefront of their profession so as to protect our ports and our unique marine environment.


The CPD applies to all marine pilots licenced by MSQ for providing pilotage services in Queensland ports. The approach is focused on improving pilot training and making it contemporary and relevant to pilots’ needs. It is also about making training more progressive and being able to capture new developments and initiatives within the pilotage profession. 

This program is aligned with the current MSQ key outcomes by providing for the safety of vessel movements and the protection of the marine environment through the prevention of ship-sourced pollution.

Program Outline

Pilotage entities are responsible for ensuring that pilots in their employ are receiving targeted training that suits the pilot’s abilities and the area and nature of their operations.

CPD provides pilotage service providers and pilots with the choice to determine what specific training is best suited to address each individual pilots’ needs and when training is to be undertaken, while ensuring that over a specified period, identified key mandated modules are completed. 

This training is supplemented by practical tests of local area knowledge and completion of an appropriate number of mentored and check movements, in order to maintain a Pilot Licence.

The CPD is a living program of learning that is open to pilots to cultivate and grow. Opportunities for improvement of the CPD program can be brought to the attention of MSQ for consideration and input, as appropriate, to further enhance its development potential.

The CPD framework engages the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute developed CPD system. Rather than create a completely separate record management system, MSQ has agreed that the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute CPD database can be used to record progress of all Queensland port pilots against the MSQ CPD program. Certificates produced through the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute system will be recognised by MSQ for licence renewal purposes. 

Each current pilot has a transitional period of 3 years to obtain the required points for consideration at renewal of their Pilot Licence. MSQ will also fully consider any alternate training program by responsible pilot groups / pilotage entities that meets the required competence standards.

While the MSQ CPD framework is specifically tailored to satisfy Queensland pilot licensing parameters, MSQ will continue to consult with stakeholders to further develop and enhance the CPD program.

You can access the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute CPD website by visiting

Last updated
19 June 2023