The Marine Officer and Surveyor of Ships grades are responsible for discharging the statutory functions relating to all navigational matters in the waters of Hong Kong and safety standards of all classes and types of vessels. They are the core professional grades in the Marine Department and have the opportunity to advance to the senior directorate ranks in the Department. At present, entry into the two grades normally requires a professional qualification at Certificate of Competency Class 1 (Deck Officer or Marine Engineer Officer) and certain years of work experience at designated positions on ocean-going vessels. For the post related to naval architectural work, the applicants have to accumulate at least four years of relevant work experience after obtaining a corporate membership from a relevant engineering institution.
Due to the stringent entry requirements, the two grades have been facing recruitment difficulties over the years. To solve the manpower shortage problem in the long run, the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service (Standing Commission) has conducted a grade structure review for the two grades and submitted its report to the Chief Executive on 31 October 2017. One of the key recommendations is to create an assistant rank for the two grades so as to recruit young candidates who are interested in pursuing the maritime career to join the Department as early as possible.
A gist of the recommendations of the Grade Structure Review is at here. The report is now available at the website of the Joint Secretariat for the Advisory Bodies on Civil Service and Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service.