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NOSS – Building The Malaysians Skill Standards

The Tourism Ministry’s collaboration with the Department Of Skill Development (JPK in Malay) under the Ministry of Human Resources had brought about a workshop to review the NOSS (National Occupational Skill Standards) for Scuba Diving in Malaysia in a stressful 5-full day (20 – 24th February 2011) meetings held in a hotel in Tanjung Kling, Melaka. This is for the working manual for any individuals looking to pursue a career in diving in Malaysia with JPK (Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran) but lack the skillset required to lead effectively & conduct dives for divers. In a fixed set of guidelines to how the ”˜Duties’ are to be listed & described, the few of us who were an integral part of the team during the formation of the standards back in 1998, had to be present to revise the entire set of Duties, Tasks & Steps & Knowledge. And we scratched our heads too. Who on earth came up with such a difficult standard to follow??? 😛

Though the meeting room was spacious, we felt terribly confined to the preset verbs & adjectives that we were allowed to use in each of the description that we dished out. Not only were our experiences as instructors, trainers, resort owners/directors & dive agencies were harnessed, our minds were pitched against the varied knowledge of each individual who contributed to the revision. According to the invigilator, shouts & tempers flares were quite common in all the other NOSS’ workshops. Some throw a tantrum, walk out & never come back too, so our banter & lobbing of verbal cannon balls were considered quite mild, owing to the fact that each one of the professionals present had known each other in excess of a decade, save a few new faces to the industry.

I was given the task of correcting grammar & my grey matter was working overtime to the point where another cup of tea & a snack wouldn’t do the job of firing the synapses needed to churn out another skill description. What with the launching of fireballs across the tables & constant jibing at each other in the most provocative manner, the meeting was lively & stimulating. Even then, it had a mentally exhausting effect that left all of us deflated at the end of the day. I never thought writing a manual for the industry was this draining.

I must say, I learnt a lot from the workshop & how great minds put aside competition to come together & contribute to the good of the dive industry. To this, I say to all present, “Well done!”

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Standing from left: , Manap (Tioman Marine Park), Michael Tong (Regional Director of NAUI Pacific RIm), Johnny Chew (Regional Manager of PADI Asia), Lawrence Lee (NAUI Course Director, Layang Layang Resort),
Sitting from left: Khairullah (JPK officer), Pamela Lim (ISO Stds TC228/WG1 Tech Committee), Bahrinah Baharim (Associate Director of Marine Parks Malaysia), Ivin Mercy (Ministry of Tourism), Liza (Tourist Guide Association), Ummi Haslinda (Reef Check Malaysia), Mohd Asri (JPK Invigilator)