An Introduction to the S-5 Category B Programme

IIC Academy Hydrographic Surveying Education

Hydrography plays an important role in the economic and social development of nations. The proper mapping of the coastlines and bodies of water of a nation helps with the management of natural resources, preservation of marine species and habitats, marine trade, defence, safety for navigation through national and international waters, and more. 

Professional-level Training

IIC Academy’s S-5 Category B Hydrographic Surveying programme has been recognized by the FIG/IHO/ICA International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers (IBSC) and is designed to maximize the advantages of online delivery, especially considering the circumstances imposed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IIC Academy’s S-5 Category B programme provides candidates with the theoretical and practical competencies necessary to effectively conduct the planning and implementation of hydrographic surveys at a professional level.

Maximized Online Delivery

IIC Academy offers the S-5 Category B programme flexibly, in tune with the health and safety requirements of the world today. By utilizing online learning and communication tools that have become so familiar during the Covid-19 pandemic, students are trained without the normal expectation or expense of having to move to distant geographic locations for the full duration of the programme.

Theoretical and Practical Experience

IIC delivers this programme in an engaging manner, utilizing a learning framework that blends relevant theory and practice. The programme gradually guides students through the topics, from basic to advanced degrees of difficulty, both in the theoretical and practical knowledge areas. The practical tasks reinforce the theory of each topic and evolve students’ competencies from supervised sessions to autonomous work. 

Students benefit from having a team of instructors leading and monitoring them throughout the programme. This is continued and strengthened when students co-locate with their instructors for the practical and assessment portion of the programme. 

Is This Programme for Me?

IIC’s S-5 Category B Hydrographic Surveying programme is designed for both surveyors in the early phase of their career and new candidates with some relevant previous education who want professional-level training at the Category B level. The programme’s remote learning delivery allows employees and employers the flexibility to customize the timing of the learning process so that it best fits into their work schedules, potentially enhancing the training through practical synergies.

Hydrography continues to supports global development.


What Will I Learn?

The content of the programme has been carefully designed to align with the content and intended learning outcomes defined by the FIG/IHO/ICA guidelines. The learning outcomes have been organized into modules, units and lectures, with the following structure:

  • Introduction to hydrographic surveying
  • Computation tools 
  • Nautical science
  • Environmental science
  • Positioning
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Water levels
  • Quality control
  • Remote sensing
  • Hydrographic practice
  • Hydrographic data management
  • Comprehensive final field project

IIC Academy instructor Veronique Jegat and students prepare for surveying field exercises.

Programme Details and Timeline

IIC Academy’s Hydrographic Surveying programme – global delivery runs for a total of 20 weeks, divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1, Theory/remote learning. The programme delivers 13 weeks of remote learning to cover all of the required theory, in the comfort of the student’s home or office; this includes instructor-led webinars and e-learning modules.
  • Phase 2, Practicals. The remote learning phase is followed by three intensive (condensed) weeks of on-site practicals. These practicals review and consolidate the theoretical material delivered during the remote learning phase. The practicals are held in three scheduled regions of America, Australasia and Europe.
  • Phase 3, Final assessment. The programme completes with a four-week period in which the student completes a comprehensive final field project. This project is designed to confirm that students have all the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to plan, conduct, assess and submit a hydrographic survey.

Although the final field project is considered to be the central component for graduation, students are regularly tested throughout the programme using in-lecture quizzes, simple practical exercises, written exams and data processing tasks. This is designed to ensure that the students are obtaining the understanding and ability that they require throughout the course, and to identify where additional in-course training and assistance may be required.

An overall and tangible benefit of the structure of this programme is that it is designed to parallel how hydrographic surveying teams work in practice.

How do I Enrol?

Those interested in enrolling in the programme or requiring further information can visit: 

or contact [email protected]