by Jake Fish
The US Sailing Oversight and Management Committees for the Development of National On-Water Instruction Standards for Recreational Boat Operators is establishing a national team of subject matter experts who currently or recently have on-water instruction experience in the disciplines of sail, power or paddle watercraft.
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US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport and a US Coast Guard Grantee, in partnership with the Spirit of America Foundation, are providing direction to the team with the objective of developing a minimum level National On-Water Instruction Standards for Recreational Boat Operators through an open consensus-based agreement.
The consensus-based procedures that conform to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) essential requirements for due process will be applied. The Subject Expert Team is to begin work immediately in October 2011.Applications will only be accepted until September 23, 2011 here. The application process is open to all who are directly and materially affected by the Standards. Participation is not conditional upon membership in US Sailing or any other organization.
The seated Subject Expert Team will develop, for the first time, a set of National On-Water Instruction Standards for recreational boat operators that require a minimum level of instruction. The primary approach of delivery is experiential, hands-on and on-water instruction. This new set of standards will represent a consensus of opinions from a wide representation of people and organizations that have vast expertise in boating education, and training and skills development using hands-on and on-water instructional approaches.
These national standards will enable individuals, groups and organizations to design and deliver their own unique experientially-based approaches to on-water instruction for recreational boat operators. Individual approaches will be designed in a way that allows for a consistent, appropriate and safe minimum level of hands-on instruction to the public.
The Subject Expert Team will be formulated to represent government, non-profit association, industry, professional, community and public stakeholder interests. The team will be named by the Oversight Committee, from a pool of eligible candidates identified through the application process.
To ensure an effective transition into this mode of standards development work, the Subject Expert Team will be trained on ANSI-based procedures that involve, among other requirements; the Teams prompt consideration of different views and objections, consensus balloting, a public review of standards drafts, and the opportunity for procedural appeals.
Once the Standards are developed, an initial call for proposed revisions to the Standards will be announced. After the Team organizes its work, with instructions for submissions to the call, the Standards document will be up for review and other resource items will be made available here.
'We believe that the open application process will result in a Team membership with diverse experiences and backgrounds, not dominated by any single interest that will be reflected in the development of the Standards,' said Jim Muldoon, US Sailing Government Relations Committee Chair.
US Sailing is an implementing partner of the United States Coast Guard’s National Recreational Boating Safety Strategic Plan. To learn more about the Development of National On-Water Instruction Standards, the application process for the Subject Expert Team and its mission, please visit http://training.ussailing.org/nationalonwaterstandards.htm.
About US Sailing: The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3)non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.