Assessment of candidates for promotion

The captain onboard a ship makes judgments and decisions of risk and efficiency that directly impacts the safety of the operation and the bottom line of the company. He also sets the tone for teamwork and work standards that resonates throughout the crew. A good captain will be able to coach and facilitate development of the people onboard yet remain able to be assertive and decisive when needed. There are of course several leader roles onboard, each of these should be filled with people suited for the role.

At Simsea, our human factors specialist and our maritime director provide assessment of candidates for promotion. We use proven techniques and technology to support us in making a thorough assessment. We provide a thorough report to the company, as well as feedback to the candidate coupled with a discussion to facilitate personal growth and awareness.

We can tailor the assessment to your needs. However, to give a thorough assessment, we recommend an assessment in three parts: 1. personality questionnaire, 2. ability tests and 3. evaluation in the simulator.


  1. We use the industry leading Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) to measure the candidate’s personality on 32 dimensions. We focus on the dimensions highlighted by our predefined six competencies. These are competencies that are needed in order to perform well as a captain. For example, one of the competencies is “deciding and initiating action”. Together with the candidate, we explore the dimensions associated with deciding and initiation action. This is gives us a clear picture of whether the candidate is likely to thrive with this each aspect of taking on the role of Captain.
  2. We use the SHL suite of ability tests to test numerical, verbal, and inductive reasoning. There is industry-wide agreement that ability testing is a strong predictor of future performance.
  3. We evaluate the candidate in our simulators. We put the candidate trough challenging exercises and evaluate them on the 4 NOTECHS categories; decision making, situational awareness, cooperation and leadership. The simulator assessment can be done as one of our courses such as BRM 1.22.

Finally, we use the research-based tool SPGR to conduct an anonymous survey of candidate. This survey remains confidential between the candidate and our human factors specialist. Colleagues who have worked with the candidate recently are asked to answer questions about how they perceive the candidate in a work setting. This survey is not part of the assessment, but it is a good opportunity for the candidate to learn about how colleagues perceive him or her in the work environment.