This page contains answers to common
questions about Qualification Examiners (QEs), along with other information that we have found useful and presented here as questions.
This F.A.Q. is based on D1NR policy and practice; other districts may
The Director of Auxiliary Operations and Training Officer (OTO) is
responsible for certifying that a BCQP candidate is ready to be assigned
to duty and function safely and effectively as part of (or leader of) a team on an
Auxiliary surface vessel.
It is humanly impossible for the OTO to do
this personally for each and every individual, yet it is the OTO who
effectively "signs off" on the final checks.
The OTO has appointed
Auxiliary Qualification Examiners (QEs) to perform the necessary local checks, and to
then provide a certification recommendation about a candidate.
Auxiliary Qualification Examiners "work" for the USCG OTO, not as part of
Auxiliary staff chains.
A QE has to be currently-certified coxswain,
and maintain that basic certification. D1NR requires that a QE-to-be
have had at least 100 hours underway as a coxswain prior to appointment,
be Instructor qualified (and maintain that qualification), have achieved
AUXOP level in training, have taken some form of Auxiliary leadership
training, be recommended by the Auxiliary leadership chain, and be
filling a geographic need for a QE in a 50 mile radius of the QE-to-be's
home. The idea is that a QE is skilled in Adult Education techniques,
has had a high level of Auxiliary training (including formal leadership
training), and is, of course, highly skilled as an Auxiliary coxswain.
Annually, in addition to maintaining Instructor qualification and
Coxswain certification, a QE must have 20 hours or more underway each
year. For a QE, this includes both "regular" Coxswain underway time and
time spent underway as a QE doing underway check rides or currency
maintenance rides. The goal is that a QE maintains their high level of
Potential QEs, having fulfilled all other qualification requirements,
perform a series of underway check rides for real candidates under the
supervision of current QEs. This provides the final set of
recommendations from the current QE Corps to the OTO as to whether the
potential QE is ready to be appointed as a QE.
Appointments are at the sole discretion of the OTO. However, Auxiliary
leadership and the QEs themselves provide much input to appointment
decisions. The primary goal
is to have active QEs who maintain skills. QEs may themselves request to
cancel their appointment, or levels of activity may suggest to the OTO that
an appointment should be cancelled.
QEs that become elected to the District Bridge (RCO, VCO, DCO level) may
choose to suspend their QE appointment without penalty for the duration
of their office status. This gives the choice to the officer to provide
more time to their office (or family or employer), or to remove
potential conflicts. (For many, underway QE or coxswain activity is
actually an office stress relief!). Suspending a QE appointment means
that the minimum 20 hours/year underway requirement for QEs is also
Part of the commitment in accepting appointment as a QE is a willingness
to assist members in getting required tasks completed. QEs are expected
to travel up to 50 miles from their home, without reimbursement, to
perform QE missions. (Travel farther than 50 miles and/or lodging can be
reimbursed when necessary.)
In addition to the annual activity hours requirement, there is an annual
required workshop held for QEs.
In this district, QEs can be scheduled at many levels (e.g. there is no
"chain" to be followed rigorously). The District Directory lists all the
current QEs with contact information (the Auxiliary
online directory can
provide their e-mail addresses). Depending upon local division and
flotilla choice, QEs can be scheduled by coxswains-of-record for
underway check rides, by Member Training or Operations Staff, or by
Auxiliary leadership. Ask a nearby QE well in advance of the needed
date. This website has a map of QE home locations;
use this in conjunction with the District Directory. Remember that QEs
are volunteers like all of us, and have personal and professional lives
along with their Auxiliary activities, so the farther in advance
scheduling can be done the better. Last minute (within the last week)
scheduling requests will not be received well by any QE.
In all scheduling paths, the Flotilla Commander of the home flotilla of
each BCQP candidate needing the QE attention should be notified. The FC
is ultimately responsible for the preparedness of the candidate prior to
all resources for a QE check ride (vessels, crews, QEs) getting
If there is trouble getting a nearby QE for a mutually convenient time,
or multiple QEs are needed for a special training day or weekend,
contact the for
A candidate for crew and coxswain must have fulfilled all required tasks
in their qualification guide prior to scheduling a QE (or QEs)
for either the dockside oral examination or the underway check ride. The
Mentor Corner page on this website has
useful checklists for crew and coxswains to assist in getting all this
done prior to scheduling. Items such as Incident Command System
training, current Team Coordination Training, NavRules (coxswain), 28 Hours Underway (coxswain),
and prior Boating Safety Class completion (crew) are often overlooked.
For 3-year currency check rides or recertification check rides, the
candidate must truly be ready. The emphasis is on practice, practice,
practice. The candidate should be experienced and confident,
knowledgeable about the area where the check ride will take place, and
fully capable on the operational facility to be used.
The goal is to have the entire QE Corps operating at a consistent high
level of professionalism. Peer interaction amongst the QEs helps
tremendously, but all QEs are human and therefore different. If any
individual in D1NR believes that a QE is "easy" compared to the rest of
the QEs, the wants
to confidentially hear of that.
QEs are among the "best" or most-skilled coxswains in the district. They
can be highly effective in training new BCQP candidates.
The only professional ethics issue to keep in mind is that if a QE has
been more than casually involved in a member's training, the QE probably
should not be the one evaluating the candidate in an underway check
ride. QEs are aware of this issue and can make a decision to recuse
themselves when appropriate.
Simply, no. When a QE is on a scheduled QE mission for a check ride or
for a 3-year currency ride, the QE must focus on the mission of
evaluating a candidate and overseeing safety during evolutions. This
attention cannot be split with simultaneous duties and responsibilities
required of the coxswain-of-record.
The QE can offer his/her own vessel for this type of mission, but some
other authorized coxswain must be coxswain-of-record (and there must be
total delegation of the coxswain responsibility from the owner/QE to the
coxswain-of-record, as there must be anytime a vessel owner is aboard
but is not coxswain-of-record themselves.)
It depends upon the mission. Crew check rides, any 3-year currency ride
(coxswain or crew), any recertification check rides (coxswain or crew)
all require only a single QE.
Initial qualification Coxswain check rides require a two-QE "board".
This is to insure the best and most impartial evaluation of this most
critical phase in a members qualification. Coxswain responsibilities
directly involve safety of life, and deserve this level of attention.
This requirement is a D1NR-specific requirement.
Generally, no. For missions that require only one QE, the QE must be on
the same vessel as the candidate being evaluated. (This is made obvious
after-the-fact by patrol orders and AUXDATA paperwork regarding who was
aboard what vessel).
For Coxswain initial qualification check rides (where two QEs are
needed), it is up to the QEs onsite to make a safety judgment based on
local conditions and boat sizes during towing evolutions about where the
QEs need to be located to properly evaluate a coxswain candidate.
Contact the if
there are gray area questions.