The role of the operational meteorologist has evolved significantly in recent years, with individuals required to be multi-skilled, customer aware professionals, able to provide mission critical advice to supervisory levels. Ahead of the 2017/2018 academic year, the Met Office College extensively reviewed and revised its Forecaster Foundation Training Programme to reflect the changing requirements of the role. The result, the Operational Meteorologist Foundation Training Programme (OMFTP), uses best practice methodologies from the fields of adult and vocational learning to ensure a blended approach to training.
The Operational Meteorologist Foundation Course (OMFC) comprises the first 4 blocks of the overall Operational Meteorologist Foundation Training Programme (OMFTP).
The OMFC course aim is to equip the learner with the skills and knowledge required to take up a post as an operational meteorologist under supervision.
OMFC block 1 is designed for trainee operational meteorologists joining the Met Office. It consists of an introduction to the organisation and the Aeronautical Meteorological Observers Course (AMO).
OMFC blocks 2 and 4 cover the fundamental skills required to forecast the weather in mid-latitude regions of responsibility and meets many of the learning outcomes of the WMO Basic Instruction Package for Meteorologists (BIP-M). More details can be made available about which WMO BIP-M learning outcomes are not covered by the OMFC so that learners can make arrangements to achieve these outcomes via alternative programmes of study.
OMFC block 3 consists of 5 weeks of on-the-job training in order to consolidate and contextualise the skills learnt so far on the course.
The University of Reading has reviewed the OMFC structure, delivery, content and assessment and considers the learning outcomes of the course to be consistent with level 6 (i.e. university degree level) and equivalent to 120 credits.
Delegates from other national meteorological services and meteorological service providers are invited to attend blocks 2 and 4 of the OMFC. Arrangements can also be made for delegates to attend the AMO course, either by joining the AMO course during OMFC block 1 or by attending one of the other scheduled AMO courses running at the Met Office. Details of the AMO can be provided if required.
OMFC block 4 is followed by a period of on-the-job training (approximately 20 weeks) and an assessment of competence. In the Met Office, assessment of competence is made against occupational standards recognised by the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF). Trainees must successfully complete the Level 5 Diploma in Meteorological Forecasting and the Level 5 Award in Meteorological Briefing in order to become qualified operational meteorologists and work without supervision.
It is recommended that delegates from national meteorological services and other meteorological service providers also complete a period of on-the-job training following completion of the OMFC.
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