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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Plan passage
  2. Conduct a pre-departure check
  3. Conduct passage
  4. Fix vessel position

Required Skills

Required Skills

Complete required records relevant to planning and navigating a passage

Determine dipping and rising distances of lights

Estimate position using dead reckoning

Interpret tidal stream data

Lay off a safe course on a chart

Observe and interpret weather and oceanographic conditions

Read and interpret

charts and other published information relevant to planning and navigating a passage

instrument and equipment readings relevant to planning and navigating a passage

weather information and oceanographic reports

Read aneroid barometer and interpret information obtained

Recognise and correctly respond to crosstrack error resulting from effects of tide and wind

Recognise faulty equipment and take appropriate action according to operating instructions

Recognise problems that may be experienced when planning and navigating a passage

Select and use relevant equipment required for planning and navigating a passage

Use meteorological information available

Required Knowledge

Australian or local tide tables and sailing directions

Basic meteorological terms

Characteristics of various weather systems affecting Australian coast

Charted information including that in the Title Block Zones of Confidence Diagrams and Datums

Compass error from transit bearings or by bearings taken from a known position

Determining times and heights of

high and low water from Australian or local tide tables for any port and the relevance of chart datum

tides at standard and secondary ports for any state of tide

Differences between rhumb and great circle sailings

Effects of current and of leeway on course and speed of vessel without calculationsand recognising the presence of either or both factors

Finding variation from chart

Fixing vessel position by

simultaneous bearings transits of coastal features and by running fix

radar ranges and bearings

Information given on a chart or plan particularly buoyage hazards to navigation depth and nature of bottom lights tides and tidal streams

Interpreting set and drift of current from information available on chart

Measuring distance on a chart

Meteorological instruments and their use

Obtaining bearings on small vessels

Recognition of coastal features

Relating coastal features to a chart

Relationship between

latitude and longitude

compass magnetic true and gyro courses and bearings

Relative bearings

Selection of suitable

anchorage or shelter

points for bearings

Sound signals such as

appropriate signals for alteration of course to port or starboard

danger warnings

moving astern

Sources of weather forecasts and interpretation of that information in simple terms

Tropical revolving storms and the weather associated with such storms

Use and limitations on use of electronic position fixing equipment found on small vessels

Use of a deviation card without mathematical interpolation

Using a single position line

Using modern electronic navigational aids to determine vessel position

Using rhumb line navigation

Using soundings in determining position

Using terrestrial observations to determine vessel position individually or in combination with other methods

Weather conditions affecting Australian coast and liable to endanger vessel

Work health and safety WHSoccupational health and safety OHS requirements and work practices

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria the required skills and knowledge the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy all of the requirements of the Elements Performance Criteria Required Skills Required Knowledge and include

developing effective planning documents

producing accurate and reliable documentation

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Performance is demonstrated consistently over time and in a suitable range of contexts

Resources for assessment include access to

marine operations site or an approved marine simulator where planning and navigating a passage for a vessel up to metres can be conducted

tools equipment and personal protective equipment currently used in industry

relevant regulatory and equipment documentation that impacts on work activities

range of relevant exercises case studies andor other simulated practical and knowledge assessments

appropriate range of relevant operational situations in the workplace

In both real and simulated environments access is required to

relevant and appropriate materials and equipment

applicable documentation including workplace procedures regulations codes of practice and operation manuals

Method of assessment

Practical assessment must occur in an

appropriately simulated workplace environment andor

appropriate range of situations in the workplace

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge The following examples are appropriate to this unit

direct observation of the candidate planning and navigating a passage for a vessel up to metres

direct observation of candidate applying relevant WHSOHS requirements and work practices

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector workplace and job role is recommended

In all cases where practical assessment is used it should be combined with targeted questioning to assess Required Knowledge

Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language and literacy requirements of the work being performed and the capacity of the candidate

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below.

Navigational charts, nautical publications and related documentation may include:

Electronic chart display systems

Notice to Mariners

Paper charts

Temporary warning notices

Tide tables

Weather reports and warnings

Navigational hazards may include:

Restricted visibility

Shallow ground


Unlit beacons

Weather must include:

Air masses and fronts

Cloud classifications

Cyclones, storms and gales

Effects of weather on predicted tidal information

Heat exchange process

Ocean currents

Pressure systems, cold and warm fronts

Sea state

Synoptic chart analysis

Tropical meteorology

Vertical division of atmosphere

Weather data provided by shipboard instruments

Propulsion steering equipment and alarms may include:

Bilge alarms

Depth alarms

Engine alarms

Inboard engines, petrol and diesel

Jet propulsion

Off-course alarms

Outboard engines, petrol and diesel

Radar range alarms

Wheelhouse equipment may include:

Alarm devices including off-course and watch alarms

Automatic pilot

Azimuth mirrors

Bottom logs

Coverage areas


Echo sounder

Electronic charts


Hyperbolic systems

Magnetic and gyro compasses



Satellite technology

Safety equipment must include:

Distress flares/pyrotechnics

Electronic position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB)

Firefighting equipment

Life jackets

Life rafts and hydrostatic release systems

Search and rescue transponder (SART)

Communications equipment may include:

HF radio

VHF radio

Anchoring and mooring equipment may include:


Mooring lines

Sea anchors

Passage plan must include:

Anticipated weather conditions

Completed AUSREP reports as applicable

Courses to steer or knowledge of navigation markers during passage

Depths of water throughout passage

Estimated time of arrival (ETA) at destination

Tidal information

Mode of steering may include:

Automatic pilot.

Electric systems

Hydraulic systems

Conditions may include:


Overall passage plan requirements

Prevailing weather and sea conditions

Proximity and course of other vessels

Relevant navigational hazards


Primary position fixing method may include:

Radar ranges or bearings

Running fix

Simultaneous bearings or transits of coastal features

Soundings to determine position