Are you qualified .... or competent?

The expectation for someone paying for a navigation course is that after 16 hours, or whatever, they receive their bit of paper telling the world that they are now “qualified”. But are they?


Photograph by Alexander Rhind

Are you really competent? Or do you hide behind a “national” qualification? I can’t remember how many times I’ve been amazed at the incompetence of “qualified people”, particularly when it comes to navigation (or medical training).


Whenever I start a navigation course, I always ask people to score themselves from 1 to 10 on their proficiency and on one occasion I had two military chaps (one navy and one army) who scored themselves 9 and 10 respectively. For their final assessment, I put them both in the same team. Yes, you’ve guessed it! It was they, not the 10 others (some of whom were complete novices) who became hopelessly lost on a cold, wet, dark Dartmoor night and had to be picked up 4.5 hours after all the rest had returned successfully.


Oh and it was apparently “GPS failure” not their competence at setting it up properly! You may have gathered I’m not a fan of paper qualifications, per se. They really mean nothing.


Photograph by Alexander Rhind

That is why we train people on the basis of competence and we test their ability at the end of each course; so if we give you a bit of paper it means you were competent at that time. Furthermore, if you aren’t deemed truly competent by our staff at the end of training then we invite you back, at cost, to reach competence. That’s how confident I am in the quality of our training.


- Jim McNeill


We have a range of navigation courses and tester days/nights scheduled for the coming months. Visit our Events page for dates and further details.


Do you agree with Jim? Tell us about your experience of paper qualifications and certificates.


#navigation #Dartmoor #GPS #nav


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ICE WARRIOR EXPEDITIONS LTD. trains ordinary people from all walks of life to become competent, safe modern-day explorers, undertaking ground-breaking, purposeful and worthwhile expeditions. We also supply a wide range of high quality, professional, kit and other expedition equipment including clothing, boots, jacketssleeping bags, tents, backpacks, crampons, mountain headweargloves.

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