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Chief Officer

Job Requisition No.:  17941
Category:  Seagoing

Reporting structure

Job Summary and Purpose

The Chief Officer is the Master's deputy and hence his Second-in-Command. He understudies the Master in all aspects of his managerial, professional and commercial duties with a view to qualifying him for eventual command. He is responsible to the Master for the overall care and carriage of the Cargo, in particular during cargo operations. He is responsible for the overall planning of all cargo procedures.

He must keep a navigational watch. However, where a ship may carry an extra navigating officer, his watch keeping may be reduced, but not normally eliminated, (exception may be made to allow the navigating officer to undertake a period of day work), at the discretion of the Master.


  • Shipboard security in the role of the Ship Security Officer (SSO) as required by the ISPS Code
  • (Together with the Chief Engineer) the safe working practices of all personnel 
  • Cargo custody, handling and documentation   
  • The preparation of cargo systems for the carriage of cargo and refit requirements
  • Ballast custody and handling as the Designated Ballast Management Officer
  • Stability, safe draughts and trim  
  • Preparation of safe and suitable loading/discharging plans using the loading computer, to ensure that at no time do cargo/ballast operations exceed safe stresses and that the vessel always sails complying with damage stability criteria
  • Maintenance and testing of deck portable fire-fighting equipment and lifesaving appliances 
  • Anti-pollution measures 
  • Deck maintenance under the Chief Engineer Officer
  • He oversees the medical locker and is responsible to the Master for first aid and medical treatment
  • He has overall responsibility to the Master for the vessel’s seaworthiness and security with regard to proceeding to sea
  • Maintaining the Deck Information Book and all related records  
  • Ensure that all deck officers are fully conversant with safe operational practices and are made fully aware of the correct methods and practices of ballasting, use of cargo pumps, valves etc. This is especially important with respect to the Second Officer who shall be able to take over the Chief Officers duties at any time
  • Cargo Watch at Loading and Discharge ports 
  • Maintain regular checks on fixed and portable gas detection apparatus
  • Ensure all cargo/ballast/inerting valves are operational and turned on a regular basis
  • Responsible for the inspection of void spaces   
  • The training of Deck and Marine Cadets and monitoring their progress
  • The Chief Officer must carry out any lawful command and delegated duty as issued by the Master.
  • The Chief Officer shall ensure that the other deck officers assist and understudy him as an essential part of their training and development. 
  • The Chief Officer is the designated Ballast Water Management Officer.
  • He is also responsible for the proper performance of duty, including job allocation, of the other navigating officers and cadets, other than in navigational matters for which they are directly responsible to the Master.
  • He is further responsible for the supervision of the C.P.O./Bosun and ratings when assigned to deck tasks, and also the supervision of all ratings when engaged in tank cleaning, cargo or ballast handling.
  • Under the requirements of Annex V of Marpol the Chief Officer will act as the designated Environmental Waste Control Officer. Refer to NSQL Environmental Aspects and Impacts register 
  • While he retains overall responsibility for all aspects of cargo handling care, he will hand over operational control of the cargo and the responsibility of the deck watch to the Officer of the Watch (OOW) during off duty periods whilst the vessel is in port.
  • While he retains overall responsibility for all aspects of cargo handling care, he will hand over operational control of the cargo systems to the Cargo/Gas Engineer and keep him/her fully informed of all relevant aspects of operations during sea passages and when engaged in navigational duties during port entry and departure., 
  • The handover between the Cargo/Gas Engineer and the Chief Officer shall be a formal procedure to avoid any ambiguity over who is in operational control and is to be recorded so in the deck operations log.
  • Undertake regular security inspections of the ship
  • Maintains and supervises the implementation of the Shipboard Security Plan (SSP), including any amendments

Accountabilities - 2

  • Co-ordinating the security aspects of the handling of cargo and ships stores with other ships crew and the PFSO
  • Proposing modifications to the SSP
  • Reporting deficiencies and Non-conformities identified during internal audits, reviews, security inspections and verifications of compliance and implementing any corrective actions
  • Enhancing security awareness and vigilance onboard  
  • Ensuring that adequate training has been provided to crew members
  • Reporting and recording all security incidents
  • Co-ordinating implementation of the SSP with the Company Safety Officer (CSO) and the relevant PFSO  
  • Ensuring that security equipment is properly operated, tested, calibrated, and maintained
  • Completion of the ship security log recording all incidents that occur and are investigated
  • Conduct Annual review of the Ship Security Plan, highlighting any recommendations to the CSO

Accountabilities - 3


Awareness of cargo tank construction
Budget Control
Bunkering operations
Cargo Orders, Charterers instructions, terminal and state requirements, port documentation
Charter parties, Bills of Lading
Charterer’s Instructions & Compliance
Communications with 3rd Parties and Company
Communications with other nationalities
Customer Focus
Demurrage, Laycan, NOR
Different Ship Charters
Disciplinary procedures & process
Diversity Awareness
Experience in environmental protection and use of anti-pollution equipment.
Experience of transiting high density traffic areas
Experience with cargo transfer operations (STS, Co-mingling, COW, Inert Gas, LNG discharge, emergency operations)
Experience with multinational crews
Experience with Products Crude and LNG Cargo planning arrangements
Experience with Tankers of all sizes
GMDSS operation and maintenance
Handling incompetent/difficult staff
International Trade
IT experience
Man Management Skills / Awareness
Notes of Protest
Onboard Accounting procedures
Operation of cargo handling equipment
Ordering & Purchase of victuals and stores,
Personal safety, Ship safety & protection of the environment.
Preparations for statutory surveys and inspection
PSC, SIRE, ISM, ISPS and other industry inspections P & I inspections
PTW systems, ISM requirements, Risk assessment
Refit Experience
SMS management and implementation, PPE requirements
Team building - How to train and guide subordinates
Variety of ports visited
Written and spoken English to high standard.


Class 2

Key Result Areas

Interactions and Working Relations

Financial Authorities

Qualifications, Experience and Job Skills

Chief Officer


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