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Notice

Guidelines for Assessing Merchant Mariners' Proficiency Through Demonstrations of Skills for Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch

Action

Notice Of Availability And Request For Comments.

Summary

The Coast Guard announces the availability of, and seeks public comments on, the national performance measures proposed here for use as guidelines when mariners demonstrate their proficiency in skills for ratings forming part of a navigational watch. A working group of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) developed and recommended national performance measures for this proficiency. The Coast Guard has adapted the measures recommended by MERPAC.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before August 1, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Please identify your comments and related material by the docket number of this rulemaking [USCG 2000-7373]. Then, to make sure they enter the docket just once, submit them by just one of the following means:

(1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

(2) By delivery to room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

(3) By fax to the Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251.

(4) Electronically through the Web Site for the Docket Management System at http://dms.dot.gov.

The Docket Management Facility maintains the public docket for this Notice. Comments and related material received from the public, as well as documents mentioned in this Notice, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.

The measures proposed here are also available from Mr. Mark Gould, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division, Office of Operating and Environmental Standards, Commandant (G-MSO-1), U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, telephone 202-267-0229.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

For questions on this Notice or on the national performance measures proposed here, write or call Mr. Mark Gould where indicated under ADDRESSES. For questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Dorothy Walker, Chief, Dockets, Department of Transportation, telephone 202-366-9329.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

What Action Is the Coast Guard Taking? Back to Top

Table A-II/4 of the Code accompanying the treaty on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended in 1995, articulates qualifications for merchant mariners' attaining the minimum standard of competence for ratings forming part of a navigational watch. The Coast Guard tasked MERPAC with referring to the Table, modifying and specifying it as it deemed necessary, and recommending national performance measures. The Coast Guard has adapted the measures recommended by MERPAC and is proposing them now for use as guidelines when assessing mariners' proficiency in skills for ratings forming part of a navigational watch.

Here follow the five skills that a mariner must demonstrate respecting ratings forming part of a navigational watch, with an example of a Performance Condition, a Performance Behavior, and four Performance Standards for one of those five skills:

Five Skills: Use magnetic and gyro-compasses; Respond to standard rudder orders (hard right [starboard] or left [port]; ease the rudder; midships; shift your rudder; meet her; steady as she goes; and steer on the range); Change over from automatic pilot to hand steering; Discharge certain responsibilities of the lookout (reporting sounds, lights and objects); and Know watch procedures that contribute to a safe watch (relief, maintenance and handover).

The Performance Condition for the skill entitled, “Change over from automatic pilot to hand steering” is: At sea speed, when hearing the command, “Put the steering into hand steering, * * *.” This calls for, in the case of this skill, one Performance Behavior.

The Performance Behavior for the same skill is: The candidate will change the steering mode from automatic pilot to hand steering. This calls for, in the case of this skill, four Performance Standards.

The Performance Standards for the same skill are: Repeat order; Switch the steering mode from automatic pilot to hand steering; Test that the new steering mode is responding; and State, “She's in hand steering.”

If the mariner properly meets all of the Performance Standards, he or she passes the practical demonstration. If he or she fails to properly carry out any of the Performance Standards, he or she fails the demonstration.

Why Is the Coast Guard Taking This Action? Back to Top

The Coast Guard is taking this action to comply with STCW, as amended in 1995 and incorporated into domestic law at 46 CFR parts 10, 12, and 15 in 1997. Guidance from the International Maritime Organization on shipboard assessments of proficiency suggests that Parties develop standards and measures of performance for practical tests as part of their programs for training and assessing seafarers.

How May I Participate in This Action? Back to Top

You may participate in this action by submitting comments and related material on the national performance measures proposed here. (Although the Coast Guard does not seek public comment on the measures recommended by MERPAC, as distinct from the measures proposed here, those measures are available on the Internet at the Homepage of MERPAC, http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/advisory/merpac/merpac.htm.) These measures are available on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. They are also available from Mr. Mark Gould where indicated under ADDRESSES. If you submit written comments please include—

  • Your name and address;
  • The docket number for this Notice [USCG 2000-7373];
  • The specific section of the performance measures to which each comment applies; and
  • The reason for each comment.

You may mail, deliver, fax, or electronically submit your comments and related material to the Docket Management Facility, using an address or fax number listed in ADDRESSES. Please do not submit the same comment or material more than once. If you mail or deliver your comments and material, they must be on 81/2by 11-inch paper, and the quality of the copy should be clear enough for copying and scanning. If you mail your comments and material and would like to know whether the Docket Management Facility received them, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. The Coast Guard will consider all comments and material received during the 60-day comment period.

Once we have considered all comments and related material, we will publish a final version of the national performance measures for use as guidelines by the general public. Individuals and institutions assessing the competence of mariners may refine the final version of these measures and develop innovative alternatives. If you vary from the final version of these measures, however, you must submit your alternative to the National Maritime Center for approval by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR 10.303(e) before you use it as part of an approved course or training program.

Dated: May 16, 2000.

Howard L. Hime,

Acting, Director of Standards.

[FR Doc. 00-13869 Filed 6-1-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P

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