IALA World-Wide Academy

Education & Training

Aids to Navigation Manager

This training is intended for those responsible for the operational management and implementation of AtoN services. Candidates may be employed by competent authorities charged with the provision of AtoN services as well as port authorities AtoN manufacturers and consultants.

Training is available through a global network of Accredited Training Organisations and by means of distance learning.

Course structure

The course consists of three modules:

  • Module One – Nautical Aspects
    Introduces the marine environment and AtoN as well as maritime knowledge required by an AtoN manager.
  • Module Two – Technical aspects
    Focuses on the technical and operational knowledge of visual, radio and audible AtoN and Vessel Traffic Services required by an AtoN manager.
  • Module Three – AtoN Management
    Focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of AtoN provision, design and management.

The following topics are covered within the three modules:

  • IALA and other International Organisations
  • Basic nautical knowledge
  • Introduction to marine aids to navigation
  • The view from the bridge
  • Visual and audible short-range AtoN
  • Short-range radio AtoN and differential GNSS
  • Vessel Traffic Services
  • Structures, materials and historic lighthouses
  • Power supplies
  • AtoN provision; design and management
  • Maintenance, contracts, funding, human resources
  • Protection of the marine environment
  • Major planning task

Entry requirements

Participants are expected to be in possession of at least one of the following proven competencies or qualifications:

  • A degree in engineering or related sciences;
  • A degree from an accredited maritime college;
  • A seagoing Master’s Certificate or equivalent military naval qualification;
  • A diploma in an engineering or related science and at least 3 years’ fieldwork experience;
  • A recognised qualification in a marine-related discipline (e.g. FIG-IHO hydrographic certificate);
  • Be in possession of IALA AtoN Level 2 Certificates and at least 3 years’ fieldwork experience;
  • At least 2 years’ work experience with a recognised AtoN service provider in a junior management capacity.

Participants who do not meet the proven competencies listed above may still be considered for entry to the course. In such cases, a comprehensive analysis of the proposed participants previous experience and qualifications should be undertaken to enable an assessment to be made as to whether they have the professional and personal attributes necessary to give a reasonable likelihood of successfully completing the course.


Participants will need to fully complete a range of practical in-course activities along with a written examination for each module. Module three will also include an assessed group task involving the preparation of an operational plan for AtoN provision within a specified area.

The minimum pass mark for each assessed element of the course is 50%.

Modes of delivery

All three modules are being delivered as both residential courses and distance learning.

Fees and registration

Course fees for distance learning start from €2,000 and fees for the residential course may vary dependent on the venue. Sponsorship may be available for coastal States in need of assistance to develop their AtoN capacity.

Residential courses last for a period of four weeks and distance learning courses should be complete within a period of less than 12 months if sufficient time is made available for study each week.

Course dates and further information

For further information or to register interest in any of these courses please e-mail academy@iala-aism.org

Language skills requirements

IALA courses are delivered in English, French and Spanish with Arabic and Portuguese programmes under longer-term development. The range of languages is continuously under review and other languages may be available upon request drawing on the expertise of the global network of accredited training organisations.

For courses delivered in English, it is expected that participants should have attained the International English Language Testing System (IELTS Band 5 or equivalent) prior to commencing the course to maximise the learning experience and to facilitate full participation:

“You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field”.

Further information

For further information or to register interest in any of these courses please e-mail academy@iala-aism.org