Maritime Educational Foundation

I believe the Outward Bound course was instrumental in preparing these cadets for college and instilling values such as resourcefulness, respect and responsibility Kate Gillespie, MEF Strategy Manager

Officer Cadet Induction

Business need

Maritime Educational Foundation (MEF) wanted to maximise the number of officer cadets completing their training. Statistics highlighted that retention rates of cadets across the maritime industry was low due to the mismatch of expectations of preparations for life at sea.


MEF report the following improvement in retention rates for their officer cadets since beginning their programme with Outward Bound in 2013.

2002-2013 - 68% retention rate
2013-2016 - 97% retention rate


In partnership with Outward Bound, MEF have developed a pre-college induction course for their officer cadets. Our four-day programme is purposely positioned at the start of their three year training programme to instil a sense of MEF identity and instil a MEF support network. We introduce the trainees to each other and the MEF core values so that the transition from home and school to independence at college and later to life at sea is easier.

Every element of the programme is designed to allow the cadets to explore and develop their understanding of MEF's values and behaviours required at sea.

  • Respect - for self and others develops throughout the week as they live, eat and work together
  • Responsibility - awareness that their future success and failure rests with themselves
  • Resourcefulness - increasing levels of ingenuity and inventiveness are required to solve problems


Kate Gillespie, MEF Strategy Manager shares one example of how the learning from the programme was immediately demonstrated by the officer cadets: 

“They had missed two days of college to be able to attend the course, which is absolutely fine, and when I emailed the college to find out if they had caught up – helped the cadets out with what they’d missed – they came back and said the cadets themselves had already done it, they’re the most proactive group of cadets they’d ever had.”

About MEF