Topic outline

  • Instructor Overview

    Welcome to this template course site. Here you will find a suggested curriculum for offering a course on current WMO Marine Meteorological Services guidelines and regulations. The purpose of this course is to help WMO Members improve marine meteorological service delivery by:

      • increasing their understanding of the needs of clients (e.g.  at sea, at coasts or on lakes) who use marine weather information for protection of property and safety of life at sea; 
      • guiding the use and implementation of the WMO regulations and service delivery framework outlined in WMO documents relevant to marine and coastal service, especially WMO-No. 471: Guide to Marine Meteorological Services;  and 
      • raising awareness and understanding of the regulations outlined in WMO documents relevant to marine and coastal service, especially WMO-No. 558: Manual on Marine Meteorological Services to effect successful implementation of WMO requirements for marine meteorological services. 

    The course is designed as a facilitated offering adaptable to online or blended delivery over 10-12 weeks. Course organizers may adapt the activities to address their organizational or regional needs. Please contact the WMO's Marine Services Division,, to request a copy of the site.

    WMO-No. 471WMO-No. 558

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  • Course Overview and Introductions

    Freighter at sunset

    Welcome! You are about to begin a course that will help you improve your marine services. During this course, you will be taking a close look at how your organization currently delivers marine services. You will be asked to compare aspects of your services with WMO guidelines and to learn more about the users of your services, your customers. Through these activities, you will be collecting information for developing a Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis. This analysis can then be used to help improve your marine service offerings in order to provide timely, customer-centric information that conforms to international standards and helps protect property and safety of life at sea.



    Improving services should be a focus of everyone involved in delivering marine or any other weather related services where life and property are at risk. Whether you are a forecaster, a manager, or an administrator within your organization, this course will raise your level of awareness of international standards set by the WMO and allow you to take a critical look at how your services match those standards.

    Before taking a look at specific marine service delivery elements, you'll first take a broader look at your organization in the context of the WMO Strategy on Service Delivery. The 16th WMO Congress approved this strategy to support NMHSs in their efforts to improve services and move towards a more service-oriented culture, a culture where the priorities of the customer, the end-user of forecast information, comes first. 

    Much of the course then revolves around understanding and applying the WMO regulations and service delivery framework outlined in WMO-No. 471: Guide to Marine Meteorological Services and WMO-No. 558: Manual on Marine Meteorological Services. You will be asked to read sections of these documents and compare your organization's service delivery to those outlined in the documents. Your work will be captured in a series of documents that will make up a portfolio for your Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis. This analysis, the capstone outcome of the course, provides opportunity to identify areas for improvement in the delivery of your marine services. 

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  • Lesson 1: The WMO Strategy for Service Delivery

    This lesson introduces the WMO Strategy on Service Delivery:

    “This Strategy, which is both broad and flexible, seeks to do two things: (i) to serve as a tool for evaluating current service delivery practices, and (ii) to provide high-level guidance for developing more detailed methods and tools to better integrate users into the service delivery process.”

    WMO 1129 cover

    WMO-No. 1129, outlines the WMO's strategy to help NMHSs improve their standard of service delivery. There are six strategy elements, each detailing best practice for an NMHS to develop a service-oriented culture with a customer-centric approach to service delivery:

    Strategy element 1: Evaluate user needs and decisions
    Strategy element 2: Link service development and delivery to user needs
    Strategy element 3: Evaluate and monitor service performance and outcomes
    Strategy element 4: Sustain improved service delivery
    Strategy element 5: Develop skills needed to sustain service delivery
    Strategy element 6: Share best practices and knowledge

    While the entire document will be of interest to administrators and change agents, here we will focus on an overview of the six strategy elements and use one of the document's primary evaluation tools, the Service Delivery Progress Model, to assess your organization's current practice. You will begin developing and assembling documents that will make up your Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis.

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  • Lesson 2: General Functions and Organization of Marine Met Services

    The next four lessons center around the guidelines outlined for WMO Marine Meteorological Services. The two primary references are WMO-No. 471: Guide to Marine Meteorological Services and WMO-No. 558: Manual on Marine Meteorological Services

    WMO 471 cover WMO 558 cover

    In this lesson, Lesson 2: General Functions and Organization of Marine Met Services, you will take a broad overview of your marine meteorological service and its primary functions to serve international shipping, fishing and other marine activities on the high seas, offshore, and coastal areas. You will evaluate several aspects of your services in the context of the WMO marine services guidelines and delivery framework. 

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  • Lesson 3: Service Design Considerations

    NAVTEXThis lesson focuses on three key elements to consider in service design as outlined in WMO-No. 471: information formats; dissemination options; and consideration of time and area requirements. It also introduces the integration of impact-based forecasting and warning as an integral part of modern services (as referenced in WMO-No. 1150: Guidelines on Multi-hazard Impact-based Forecast and Warning Services) and CAP, the Common Alerting Protocol.

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  • Lesson 4: Requirements for Service Elements, Users and Applications

    marine forecast chart

    In this lesson, you will compare the WMO's guidelines for marine forecast products (e.g., wind, waves, visibility) and user requirements (e.g., SOLAS vessels, fishery operations, recreational boating) with your organization's offerings. Knowing your specific users' requirements is fundamental to offering effective products and services. It is a key tenet to the WMO's Service Delivery Strategy and should be at the center of your organization's thinking when considering improvements to services. Over the course of this lesson, you will be asked to define your customers, develop a customer needs survey, and interview several customers directly. You will also create an inventory of your current marine forecast products to see how those compare to your customer's needs. 

    The outcomes of this lesson will be important components of the portfolio of documents that will make up your Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis

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  • Lesson 5: International Coordination and Worldwide Met-Ocean Information and Warning Service

    global iconIt is important that shipping operators are able to obtain the same services from different countries in the same way, whether the ship is sailing on the high seas or navigating in port. In this lesson, you will focus on international coordination agreements and the role of METAREA and NAVAREA coordinators. They play a primary role in ensuring that marine services are provided in a consistent and reliable manner, as detailed in various WMO publications.

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  • Capstone Project: Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis

    Capstone project iconOver the duration of this course, you have collected information about your organization's marine services and its users. The capstone project is to compile, revise and expand these assignments and produce a Marine Service Delivery Context Analysis to summarize that information as it relates to specific marine service sectors (i.e., high seas, coastal, search and rescue).

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  • Resources and Reference Materials

    The following topic area is for instructor use and hidden from participants. Instructors can use the forum for discussions among themselves. There are several listings of resources related to marine services training and guidelines.

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