NauticEd Certification Competency Explained

Sailing Certificate Standards

NauticEd has been operating as a premier sailing training body since 2008 and is recognized by NASBLA and the United States Coast Guard as adhering to the American National Standards for sailing training. This carries a lot of responsibility and expectation on our instructors to properly follow the standards when training and assessing – and reporting back on the competence of their student.

Consequently the Sailing Certificate we issue reflects on the student’s achievements and instructor assessed competence of the student.

The certificate is broken into several sections.

(1) Type of Certificate: The Certificate states at the top that this is a certificate of one of the following:

  • Certificate of Nautical Achievement
  • Certificate of Nautical Competence
  • Certificate of Nautical Mastery

(2) The Rank and level of the Student which relates to the Theory Coursework completed by the student and their on-the-water logged time in their logbook.

(3) Indicates if the student has been assessed on the water by an instructor and to what degree that student is deemed competent.

In the animation below, tap on the red numbers to discover the significance of the associated area.

The three parts to the certificate work in unison giving the observer of the certificate a good understanding of the student’s knowledge and skills.

In Section 1, a Certificate of Nautical Achievement means that the student has passed theory courses. They may have been assessed on the water by an instructor, as denoted in section 3, but have not fully demonstrated enough competence to skipper a boat on their own.

A Certificate of Nautical Competence means that the student has passed an assessment to the Rank listed on the Certificate and the instructor deemed the student competent to that Rank

A Certificate of Nautical Mastery means that the student has passed an assessment to the Rank listed on the Certificate and the instructor deemed the student competent to that Rank AND the student has logged over 200 days of sailing experience.

In Section 3, we list the on-the-water verification of competence performed by the instructor/assessor on the student. The Assessor will grade the student as to the student’s skills and if deemed competent to the rank listed, will verify that they are competent. Or the case may be that the instructor/assessor may deem the student as competent for a particular Rank but NauticEd feels that the student has not yet logged enough sea time to truly be competent for typical situations that may arise. In that case, section 3 will state the student completed the on-the-water course but the certificate will not list in section 1 Certificate of Competence rather it will say Certificate of Achievement.

Section 2 describes the student’s Ranks which is a logical description of the Knowledge the student has attained.

Those Ranks are:

  • Basic Knowledge
  • Qualified Crew Member
  • Skipper Small Keelboat
  • Skipper (Large Keelboat)
  • Bareboat Charter Master
  • Offshore Captain

Levels describe the amount of logged on-the-water experience the student has logged into their electronic Logbook.

  • Level 1 – 10 Days
  • Level 2 – 25 Days
  • Level III – 50 Days
  • Level IV – 100 Days
  • Level V – 200 Days

At NauticEd we take the word Competence very seriously. We only award competence when it has been properly demonstrated.

Of course, we believe that the sailing resume trumps a sailing certification every time. The resume tells the whole story from knowledge courses, experience, and training and assessment. Read this article about a sailing resume and why Yacht Charter Companies only accept a sailing resume when wanting to rent a boat for charter.

But we also believe that a student has worked hard for their certificate and a properly scripted certificate listing their achievements, competence, and mastery is rightly earned.

Competence Philosophy

competence sailing

Our philosophy is simple: – to skipper a boat, you need to be competent and we will help you get there. See this infographic that explains how we believe knowledge + skills + experience leads to competence. 

Competence Infograph

NauticEd Ranks and Levels

The NauticEd Ranks and levels follow the above philosophy. To help understand the NauticEd Ranks and Levels, run this animation. 

BUT – here’s the cool part. Don’t worry about all this below too much. The NauticEd software calculates all this for you automatically and creates your personalized Sailing Resume and Certificate in real-time based on your online sailing coursework, on-the-water assessments, and logbook activity. i.e. learn as much as you can, go sailing as much as you can, and watch your Sailing Resume and Certificate grow. All along the way, we will send you emails letting you know each and every time you get upgraded due to your activity.

Tap on the (i) icons to learn about the associated area.

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on September 28th, 2022