Mar Tech Selection Boards

Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Andrew Childs, a Marine Systems Engineer onboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) FREDERICTON, machines new parts on the metal lathe during Exercise SPARTAN WARRIOR.
Photo : Cpl Tony Chand, FIS Halifax

2018 Marine Technician Selection Boards reflect balanced representation

By Cdr Luc Tremblay,
D Nav P & T

To prepare the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for the future fleet, and based on the results of a comprehensive Occupational Analysis, the Marine Technician (Mar Tech) occupation was stood up on July 1, 2017. Mar Tech is composed of sailors from four legacy trades: Marine Engineer (Mar Eng), Electrical Technician (E Tech), Hull Technician (H Tech) and the Naval Reserve’s Marine Engineering Systems Operator (MESO).

In order to address concerns regarding career progression within this newly established occupation, an in-depth review of Selection Board processes and Scoring Criteria (SCRIT) was conducted by both Director Military Career 2 and Director Naval Personnel and Training. The aim was to ensure that Selection Boards would be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, and to ensure that a balanced representation of competitive candidates from each of the legacy occupations was presented. The results of this review were briefed to Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander RCN, prior to the start of the 2018 Selection Boards.

The Regular Force Selection Boards for the newly formed Mar Tech occupation were held in October 2017. The membership for each ranked Selection Board included a member from the legacy occupations (Mar Eng, H Tech and E Tech); separately, Naval Reserve Mar Tech Selection Boards were conducted using MESO legacy criteria. Before each Selection Board, the Board membership – which was comprised of individuals with previous Selection Board experience – were briefed on a range of potential issues that could present as they conducted a single Mar Tech Board with files created from legacy occupations.

The Mar Tech SCRIT was devised simply to assess the Personnel Evaluation Report (PER) as presented. The Selection Board members were guided by the strength of the scores and comments in support of those values in determining the scores to assign in the file assessment. The direction to the Board was to score the PERs at face value in how the performance/potential related to the standard for the rank in each legacy occupation. If at any time there was uncertainty with regard to an individual’s file, the Selection Board members were prepared to err in favour of the member.

The SCRIT was “occupation blind” to ensure that promotions would not unfairly favour any one legacy occupation over the others. In addition, all fully qualified personnel in each rank level received the same points for said legacy qualifications, ensuring fairness across the legacy occupations.

VAdm Lloyd noted there has been, understandably, some apprehension and concern from those affected by the creation of this new occupation. “Following a detailed briefing of the results from the Director Naval Personnel and Training on 15 December, I am confident in stating that the 2018 Selection Boards were conducted in an absolutely unbiased manner and that the promotions for 2018 reflect representation from all four legacy occupations,” he said. “The Selection Board results, which will be briefed at the Career and Occupation Management visits in Halifax and Esquimalt, will show that there was fair and balanced representation of each legacy occupation at all rank levels for the 2018 promotion year.”

Fair and adequate representation for the sailors of the legacy occupations that now compose the newly-created Mar Tech occupation was required to maintain the health of this occupation and to allow the RCN’s technical trades to continue to function efficiently and maintain fleet output and readiness. Overall, the Mar Tech Selection Board results reflect a similar number of promotions (combined) to those of 2016 and 2017 in each of the legacy occupations, at each rank. Accordingly, no one has been privileged in their evaluations.

“I am pleased that the measures put in place ensured that no one was disadvantaged during the Selection Board process,” stated VAdm Lloyd.