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CBE Training Manager - STEVE CROCKETT

An Update from CBE Training Manager Steve Crockett

It has been a very busy year here at CBE with a number of procedural changes, some additions and alterations to Boatmaster assessments and reworking of some other course materials and syllabi.


We have had our NZQA external evaluation review and our commercial area has also undergone a consistency review. Both of these reviews require us as a private training establishment to constantly and consistently monitor our methods of self-assessment, and to provide evidence of students achieving the various graduate profile outcomes. Yes … I know it all sounds like gobbledy-gook … and it is incredibly frustrating at times, however, I believe we are moving steadily in the right direction and we are achieving what is considered to be industry best practice.


Those of you who were able to attend the Tutor Forum will understand just how far we have progressed with the number and variety of courses we have on offer. We have come a very long way since the beginnings of the old Coastguard Boating Education Service.

Assessment marking


One of the changes we are implementing as a result of our EER is the establishment of independent markers for our various courses. No longer will the course tutor be required to mark any of the assessments (with the exception of the Day Skipper Modular assessments).

Course packs for all courses, not just Day Skipper and Boatmaster, will now contain a pre-addressed envelope in which the completed assessments should be placed for sending to the nominated marker.

Boatmaster assessments

The last Boatmaster Assessment 161 has gone through a couple of versions with minor changes being made to make it more appealing to students and assessors alike.


The latest version is BM 161 v3.

Changes to this include:

· Replacing Q11 with the echo sounder image and GPS image.

· Lightening the contrast on Q’s 19-22

· Removing the “underway or making way” part of the questions.

We also now have a Boatmaster Resit paper, BM 171.

This resit paper has additional images and the weather section has been moved to the beginning of the paper.

All assessments with chart work will now have the chart stapled as the last page, so that students do not have to try to work over a lump of paper beneath their chart.

There is still a great deal of work to do with these Boatmaster Assessments, particularly with regard to meeting the evidential requirements of the learning outcomes as stated in the Unit Standard.

For example, explanation of the Maritime Rules is insufficient in the existing assessment, as is purpose, limitations and servicing requirements of different types of fire extinguisher.

Compass variation and deviation also need to be better explained in the assessment.

Responsibilities of a master need to be explained in greater detail within the assessment.

There is a prodigious amount of work yet to be discussed with the Course Development Committee.

I recently received Marking Moderation reports which have indicated that there has been a little confusion regarding the number of marks in the papers. Previously, Boatmaster Assessments had a total of 100 available marks for the paper. This meant that the “percentage” mark was easy to calculate.

The increased complexity of questioning required within the Boatmaster Assessment has meant that the total marks will be in excess of the old 100 mark limit. You may have already seen that BM161v3 has a total of 110 marks. We currently require a student to achieve correct answers for 70% of the paper in order to pass the assessment. This means that, in the case of BM161 v 3, they must achieve 77 marks out of 110.

Accordingly, I have now stated on the paper and in the marking schedule that the student must achieve 77 out of 110 marks to attain a passing grade for this paper.

Prepare for future changes to this current form of assessment. As the Boatmaster course and assessment are linked to an NZQA Unit Standard, there can only be an award of “achieved” or “not achieved” for this qualification. As I was asked by a representative of Competenz, the ITO for Maritime, “Which 30% of the learning outcomes does the student NOT have to achieve?!!!”

Watch this space.



The Course Development Committee has approved the extension of the classroom learning component of the radar course from 6 hours to 8 hours, not including homework and assessment time.

The Classroom learning now includes an introduction to radar plotting using Plotting Sheets. This is to help the student understand relative motion, and is a very good precursor to the section on MARPA.

The tutor should now be able to use the presentation, the exercises, plotting sheets and simulator in a way which will really benefit the student and better prepare them for the Assessment (the completion time for which has also been increased to 60 minutes). There must be a minimum break of 1 hour from the end of instruction until the commencement of an Assessment.

It is strongly recommended, on our website, that persons wishing to undertake this course should already hold a Boatmaster certificate, or have some prior knowledge of Chartwork.

In Water Survival


New course development is a very complex process; more so when you wish to create a Unit standard for the course.

In 2016 we approached Competenz with the idea of creating a Unit Standard around a redesigned basic sea survival course to be called In Water Survival. We had been approached by schools who were interested in their students being able to achieve more credits alongside those already available within the Day Skipper course.

The new Unit was approved by NZQA in August of 2016. Unfortunately, although we created the course and the Unit Standard, we were not given Consent to Assess. That is an entirely different process.

Since then, we have been working to achieve this.

Earlier this year we received a “Support for Consent to Assess” document from Competenz and the Application is now with NZQA awaiting approval. The hoops we have to jump through are many!

I anticipate we will receive notification prior to the end of the year (at least I hope so!)



Two weeks ago I received a telephone call from a Senior Technical Advisor at MNZ requesting that I ask our radio tutors and in fact all of Coastguard SAR or communications personnel to promote the importance of maintaining a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 and to make any primary Distress Call also on VHF Channel 16. Apparently an undisclosed source has been promoting the use of a channel other than Channel 16 as the primary distress frequency. I was unable to elicit any further information.

I explained that all of our Radio tutors are careful to promote the use of Channel 16 as it is the International Distress frequency.

Please direct any issues with this directly to Maritime NZ; I’m only the messenger.

Position available at CBE

You will have received notification of a position having become available at CBE. This is a 12 month contract assisting the Training Manager (Commercial) with some mentoring duties and the Training Manager (CBE Courses) in the review and development of teaching and learning materials. Applications should be received by 30 November. See the below link for details and how to apply.


Meanwhile, thank you all for the great work you have done this year in helping to make boating a safer and more enjoyable experience for all New Zealanders.

I wish you all a very safe and enjoyable Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Steve Crockett


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