Q1-I want to apply, where do I start?

All applications are submitted to the HPAS Secretariat and must be deposited by the published deadline. Application forms and associated documentation are available for download from the HPAS website. This guide is designed to assist in the general process of applying. If you are relatively new to hydrographic surveying and perhaps still training or in full time education, then the application process is explained in Section 4 Applying for Affiliate level.

An HPAS application comprises the following pieces:

  • A signed letter of application including your society membership number or reference when appropriate;
  • A completed online HPAS application form;
  • A full and up to date CV including referees;
  • A logbook of your experience. It must cover the appropriate period of time and demonstrate your work experience of the hydrographic subjects. Activities and experience will normally be expected to have been witnessed or supervised to indicate completion and any specific outcomes or learnings. An example logbook is included on the HPAS website;
  • Sample survey reports. These should be restricted to the technical aspects of the project, the requirements and objectives, the methods, critical reasoning and lessons learnt. It should avoid repetitive operational and data descriptions and listings. It is acknowledged by the HPAS Panel that some surveys may involve work of a sensitive nature or be subject to security restrictions thereby limiting some of the context of the content. However, with planning and appropriate editing, it should still be possible to provide a useful example project;
  • Critique;
  • Experience Matrix Form;
  • A certified copy of any original certificates received from relevant formal education. For non-Category A or Category B courses, the application must be accompanied by a description of the course and a completed HPAS Qualification Mapping Form that lists all the hydrographic survey subjects, showing which subjects have been covered and to what level of competency;
  • Individual CPD records should be up to date and submitted where appropriate. Note that the CPD includes a compliance list of the hydrographic survey subjects that should be covered and the applicant can indicate the level.

Templates of these documents can be downloaded here.

These documents should be compiled and submitted along with the online HPAS application form in time for the HPAS Secretariat to carry out a check against the required application items.

Q2-What happens when I apply?

On receipt of the completed forms, documents and fees, the HPAS secretariat checks the items for completeness. In case of a missing or incomplete document, the applicant will be contacted by the HPAS Secretariat to request the additional item(s) and/or information.

Once confirmed to be complete, the documentation is then passed, securely, to the HPAS Panel for technical review and assessment. At this stage the technical subjects are assessed by the evidence submitted and the HPAS Panel will determine if there is any additional material or evidence required to make a decision. The HPAS Panel may, during this assessment period, contact the referees included in the CV.

On the basis of the review and consultation within the HPAS Panel members, the applicant may be invited to an interview to clarify and respond to queries raised by the HPAS Panel.

The HPAS Panel will meet and agree the outcome of each application and inform the HPAS Secretariat who will then inform the applicant of the decision.

Q3-How long does an application take?

Once the HPAS has published an application deadline the process will take as little as 9 weeks but more usually 15 weeks from applying to being informed of a decision. In the event of an appeal this could extend the evaluation period by a further 4 to 6 weeks.

The figure below shows the timeline outlining the general steps in the application process from initial notification through to a final decision.

HPAS Application Timeline

Q4-In case of unsuccessful application, what are my options?

The decision of the HPAS Panel will be recorded and if an application is not successful, an explanation will be provided indicating what areas for improvement were noted and where further coverage (experience or education) is required.

An appeal is possible if the decision is not accepted and it is felt that there are grounds for a further review.

In such cases the applicant should request the appropriate form from the HPAS Secretariat who will also provide a deadline date for the submission of the document to support an appeal. The appeal form should be completed with the reasons for the appeal and must be lodged back with the HPAS Secretariat by the due date.

The HPAS Panel Chair shall appoint an arbitration team to investigate the application and assess the review and decision of the HPAS Panel. The Arbitration Team may contact the applicant as part of its work to fully understand all the aspects of the application. Once the Arbitration Team has concluded its analysis, the HPAS Chair shall be informed. The applicant will be notified shortly thereafter of the outcome of the appeal.