This extract is taken from reach.gov.sg website (posted some time in Sept’2011) & attached below reply from MPA.
I just went for my PPCDL Handling Assessment (Powered Pleasure Craft Driving Licence) this morning and I failed.
I would like to bring to the attention of relevant personnel in Singapore Maritime Academy some of my experience and grievances and hopefully the shortcomings can be rectified for the benefits of all the future learners.
The demerit points that failed me.
1) I didnt go astern when retreiving the lifebuoy. My lookout successfully retrieve in my 1st attempt and without even have to stretch his hand far.
2) The Tester commented that my handling of the helm was not steady. He said I went zigzag. I just wonder how the boat could go straight when the current kept sweeping the boat out of course. I naturally have to turn to Port (left side) and Starboard side (Right) in order to keep the head of the boat pointing to the “target” the Tester wanted me to go.
3) I didn’t place the HART ( a transponder) in the correct direction. (This was not taught by my Instructor during my 3 lessons). Those lucky chaps who took the test behind me would not get the DEMERIT POINT as I already placed the transponder in the correct direction for them). The Tester gave me DEMERIT POINT for this.
The above are all not important. Since I was already failed. What I wish to point out are that:
1) All INSTRUCTORS should undergo a formal training and all should be STANDARDIZED in their teaching using the same set of procedures and according to a CHECKLIST.
Take for instance, I was not taught that I needed to make the engine go astern before my lookout retrieve the buoy. 1 who passed told me that it was not necessary and he didn’t do it and the Tester didn’t give him demerit point. The boat was so slow and close to the lifebuoy and there was no necessity to go astern. There was no risk to the MOB (Man over board)
During the interview after the Practical Test. The Tester wiped out a CheckList. I understand that this Check List is a secret list. I think it is FAIR that this CHECK LIST is MADE KNOWN to all Instructors and Learners, so that everybody KNOWS exactly what is EXPECTED by the Testers.
To summarize, All the instructors should know exactly what the Testers are testing and the ALL Testers should be following a common set of procedures.
I would suggest that SMA gets all the INSTRUCTORS and TESTERS together and EDUCATE the INSTRUCTORS. ALL instructors must teach the learner according to the CHECKLIST so that he wont leave out some important points.
I met one who failed 3 times at the test centre.
(The Future Boatman)
Reply from MPA appended here for your information, please:
We refer to your feedback on 19 Sep 2011. Professional assessment of candidate’s competence in handling a PPCDL is conducted by SMA examiners (appointed by MPA). MPA has checked with SMA on your feedback. After carefully considering the concerns raised by yourself, MPA found that the assessment was reasonable.
We wish to inform you that MPA conducts annual audits on both the teaching as well as the assessment processes for PPCDL to ensure that consistent standards are maintained.
Should you need further clarification on the PPCDL assessment process, please contact Captain Andy Chew at 6325 2472.