NauticEd uses the educational standard of Rubrics for conducting the on-the-water assessments performed by instructors (whose role is really an assessor). That is, an assessor is there to assess competency not to instruct.

Rubrics are used to objectively make a decision about the competence of a student. They are micro tasks of a greater task. The performance of each micro task is given a grade. For example, the greater task is "Be a competence skipper" whereas a micro task is "tack the boat". Throughout the micro task the assessor will watch for competence associated to that task - check for traffic - issue proper instructions to crew - finish the tack on a proper heading - proper sail trim etc.

At the end of the full assessment of all the micro tasks, the assessor now has an objective view into the student's competence and can issue an overall practical competence grade to the student.

For relevancy, our grades are Fail, Crew competent, Skipper Small Keelboat competent, Skipper Large Keelboat competent, Bareboat Charter Master competent, Offshore Captain competent.

In this manner, assessors will issue the student with the true competence which is not tied to the payment received for the service. In other sailing education associations, instructors are not assessors. They teach and award to the training. This methodology has been proven to fail since the instructors are pressured to pass the student because they paid for a specific certification.

With Rubrics based assessments, the distinction is made between an instructor and an assessor. The assessor can give proper feedback to the student and develop a remediation plan to achieve the desired goal if the student is awarded a different competence than hoped. This is proven to be valuable to the student truly seeking competence.

To view the Rubrics for any competence grade see this article.