Competence Assessment

In this section:

1.           Introduction

2.           Expectations of a competent skipper

3.           The assessment

4.           Duration and costs

5.           Validity period


1. Introduction

We always ensure the assessment process in line with your experience and training. Here we describe what we expect and how we assess competence.

You do not need to be practically assessed on every boat, rather competence is assessed generally and at the end of session, we’ll agree a suitable range of boats for you to have access to. For guidance purposes, please see the table below to understand how we normally categorise boats together to streamline the assessment requirements.


Boat Type Included Type
Sail small (Up to 34ft)
Sail medium (34-37ft) Sail small
Sail large (Over 37ft) Sail medium, Sail small
Motor single engine Riverboat (by agreement)
Motor twin engine
Powerboat small
Powerboat medium Powerboat small


2. What we expect of a competent skipper

Pure Latitude Procedures – you will need to demonstrate knowledge covered in the self-induction for the boat you are being assessed on.

Theory – all areas of the RYA day skipper syllabus should be understood including reading charts, almanac and tidal data. You should be able to demonstrate clear passage planning, pilotage and risk assessment with appropriate contingency plans.

Boat Handling – demonstrate clear boat management and communication with crew to enable all handling requirements. e.g. confident close quarters manoeuvring and docking, strategies for adverse conditions and, where relevant, sail handling including reefing.

3. The assessment

The process is relaxed and includes plenty of guidance, but the necessary skills must be demonstrated by the end of the session. The competence assessment will result in one of the following three outcomes:

Competent – approved to take a defined list of boat(s).

Conditionally Competent – approved with some conditions on usage. Typical areas of shortfall are general experience, navigation competence, docking competence. If you are given the status of conditionally competent, we require that you check in with us before you go to discuss your plan. This is a temporary state and we expect you to build experience and move to “competent” status within a couple of months.

Training required – in the event that competence is not demonstrated at the necessary level, we’ll work out a training plan. This will be arranged as a separate activity charged at standard training rates.

Although you can only be assessed on one boat at a time, when you are assessed as competent we will apply the status to all the Pure Latitude boats for which we deem you competent i.e. you don’t have to complete an assessment on every boat.

4. How long does it take and what does it cost?

New members have a day of instructor time and weekday access to boats at no extra charge. Weekend access to boats is chargeable at standard boat rates in points.

If you have pre-read the guides then it generally takes (for a mid-sized boat) around 1 hour for you to complete a self-induction and an hour for us to gauge your knowledge of procedures and navigation, plus a further 2 hours for an on the water assessment.

Further instructor time and boat time for additional training and competence assessments (re-assessment or new boats) are charged at standard rates. The training days on our event calendar are a popular route for many members but they can also be arranged on a 1:1 basis. Check our event pricing, or contact the office for 1:1 rates.

5. Validity period

The best way to keep your skills current is to ensure you are regularly boating. If you don’t use a boat type for over a year then we reserve the right to ask you to complete a competence assessment again.

Learn more about our competence process

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