Recruitment Policy
The Patrol is keen to have as wide a membership as possible, and has a range of occupations represented ranging from retired big-ship Masters to purely leisure sailors.  The two things all have in common is a good measure of experience on the water, and the desire to support the Patrol’s objective of improving the safety of all leisure users of the dockyard port.  Anyone may join, but clearly some basic skills are required.  New members are invariably recruited as crew, for which the essential qualification is that of the level of competence expected of holders of the RYA Powerboat Day Skipper or Level II certificate. 


The Patrol is classified as a commercial (as opposed to leisure) undertaking and is thus covered by The Merchant Shipping (Boatmasters’ Qualifications, Crew and Hours of Work) Regulations 2015.  However, in accordance with Annex 2 of those Regulations, as a low-risk operation, it has been given exemption from some of these provisions.  The exemption is conditional on the Patrol having levels of competence broadly equivalent to those required by the Regulations, and to have systems of assurance approved by the harbour authority governing the Patrol’s operations (i.e. KHM).  The Patrol Directors and KHM approved the use of the Portsmouth International Port’s Boatmans’ syllabus as the basis of our assessments supported by various assurance processes.  The level of knowledge required is very similar to that for the full syllabus of the RYA Level II (Power) course.

Training Policy

Although not a training organisation, the Patrol will ensure that all members are suitably proficient for the tasks to which they are rostered.  The Patrol’s training team are all experienced members of the Patrol, and will apply consistent standards to their judgements of our members’ competence.

The training objective of the Patrol is one of continuous improvement; each member has an individual crew training record in which is recorded completion of the various elements.  The Principal Instructor, together with his team, is responsible for conducting or arranging the training of individuals in boat-handling skills and may engage the assistance of the more experienced members of the Patrol to assist with the general on-patrol education for new entrants.  For those members who wish to be appointed as coxswains or senior coxswains, there is a practical and knowledge assessment process for approval to act as coxswain of specific craft.  In the case of any disagreement, the Principal Instructor or one of the Independent Assessors will be invited to make a final judgement. All coxswains are expected to contribute to developing the skills of crew members whilst on patrol, and similarly either the training team or assessors may accompany coxswains or senior coxswains on patrol from time to time in order to provide a measure of assurance to QHM that appropriate standards of boat handling and advice and guidance to the public are being maintained.  Should an instructor or assessor consider that these standards are not being maintained, and the individual concerned is not receptive to advice, the directors will be invited to consider appropriate action.  It is of utmost importance that the Patrol is perceived by the Public as a thoroughly professional and supportive service.


Recruitment Procedure
The first step is to complete an application form, available from the Patrol’s Secretary at  The Patrol is not a training organisation;  it is therefore not able to consider applications from people who do not have RYA powerboat qualification or similar level of competence.  However, on some occasions, for example in the case of applicants with particularly broad experience such as Master Mariners, this entry requirement may be waived.


This is followed by an interview, usually by one or two directors of the Patrol, the aim of which is not only to learn a little more about an applicant’s practical experience but also to judge their suitability for his or her representational role.  For successful candidates, the next stage is a practical assessment of their skills. Success at this stage results in a mixture of shore and water based training aimed at giving a new recruit a good insight into what is expected of them.


Following completion of the selection and induction training programme, new members are able to volunteer for a rostered duty.  All members are expected to undertake at least two sessions a month (either from 10.00 to 14.00 or 14.00 to 18.00) at the week-ends, but this is a flexible regime and most patterns of availability can be fitted in, and the most popular is for a full day on the water.  All new members are first assigned as “crew” for patrol, but this does not mean that they do not drive the boats; indeed coxswain and crew work very much as a team and coxswains are expected to support their crew in developing their expertise.  Given suitable experience and the further qualifications or competence, progression is to coxswain of VOLUNTEER II (the dory).  Appointment as senior coxswain for the larger catamaran is also open to all with suitable expertise.