Slideshow and Curriculum

Chapter 4 - Inspection

For this module you will need:

  • PowerPoint presentation on Inspection
  • Flipchart and markers
  • WID Logs or Data Collectors
  • Seals and seal receipt books for demonstration
  • Equipment: flashlight, magnifier, mirror, wire cutters, digital camera
  • Specimen collection kit
  • Boat(s) ready for outdoor inspection session
  • Quality Assurance Form – Entrance Inspection

The purpose of this module is to teach students how to inspect watercraft for AIS and the standard procedures that they must follow as inspectors and/or decontaminators.  This is the most important section of the entire training.  Students must understand, retain and practice the details of this module. 


Ideal Inspector Activity

This module begins with a group activity “The Ideal Inspector”.  Engage the class in a brief facilitated session in which students tell instructors one quality that an ideal inspector or employee or co-worker should have.  Creative trainers can draw a person and label it on a flip chart.  Others may just make a list and write down the answers and post them on the wall for the duration of the class.  Every inspector should strive to be the ideal inspector. 


Examples of qualities include: professional, timely, sober, reliable, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, thorough, detailed, awake, clean, hygienic, in proper uniform, passionate, etc.


PowerPoint Presentation – Inspection

The presentation begins with a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of an inspector and then goes into an overview of inspections including the goals for every boat, inspector’s priorities, and equipment.


The slide on the Activity Log is meant to be a placeholder.  Trainers should pause on this slide and give every student a log form.  Then the trainer should walk the students through the form from left to right and tell them how to fill it out.  Not only are you teaching the form, you are really teaching the inspection procedure.  Trainers can also have students download the mobile app and teach them using their smart phones if the students will use those on the job.  The procedures will be reinforced later.


The next section is on the wire seal and receipt.  This is key for students to understand, and it is the future basis for reciprocity across jurisdictions.  We want WID stations across the nation using seals and receipts according to these procedures wherever possible! 


Most inspections start with a seal removal and all exits end with a seal application.  We want as many boats sealed as possible.  Be sure students know how to fill out the receipt.  Practice reading receipts with them.  Bring old receipts if you have any to show – point out what’s good and what’s not.


Outdoor Session – Inspection Practice, Quality Assurance and Seal Application

Break from the PowerPoint after the seal slides and go outside and allow to minutes for students to practice using the log to guide inspections at the boats in pairs of three (boater, inspector, observer). 

  • The boater will need to have a WID Log, pen and clipboard (or smart phone or tablet). 
  • The observer will need to have the Quality Assurance Form for Entrance Inspection, pen and clipboard. 
  • The boater should have a pre-defined scenario or script.

Concurrently, cycle students through the seal application one by one and be sure they know how to attach a seal and remove a seal.


The Step By Step Inspection Procedures are probably the single most important thing in the training for students to get down and practice.  Students are asked to memorize the steps overnight.  The curriculum has the procedures and the slideshow goes through it in detail.

  • Entrance Inspection
  • High Risk Inspection
  • Exit Inspection  – Prevention (Negative) Reservoirs
  • Exit Inspection  – Containment (Positive or Suspect) Reservoirs

students doing inspections

Students practicing inspections using the log form.








The rules for standing water and corresponding procedures are detailed in both the presentation and curriculum.  It is important that the inspectors understand the triggers for decontamination and the reasons why. 


An overview of live aquatic bait rules are included in the inspection presentation.  The take home message is that they have to know the rules for their site because bait rules vary greatly among states, federal properties and local governments.  Students must know the triggers for decontamination or rejection.  Bait decontaminations are covered in the decontamination module. 


A brief discussion of reporting requirements and what inspectors should do when they find a mussel boat is included.  They need to remain calm and either follows the procedure in the decontamination module or call a supervisor.


Students should learn the following in the inspection module:

  • The expectations of them in their new job in terms of roles and responsibilities
  • Clean, Drain, Dry – No Mud, No Plants, No Water, No Mussels/Animals
  • Priorities for Inspectors
  • Required equipment
  • Data collection methods
  • Seal removal and application procedures
    • How to apply and remove a seal
    • How to write a seal receipt
    • How to read a seal receipt
  • The Step-By-Step Procedures
    • Entrance Inspection
    • High Risk Inspection
    • Exit Inspection  – Prevention (Negative) Reservoirs
    • Exit Inspection  – Containment (Positive or Suspect) Reservoirs
  • Know the standing water rules and triggers for decontamination
  • Understand what bait is legal at their site and triggers for decontamination
  • Their obligations for reporting AIS
  • What to do if they intercept a mussel boat

Most important – students learn the step by step inspection procedure and seal protocols!


On Day 2 – trainers will demonstrate an exit inspection and students will get to practice exits, seal applications and receipt writing in groups of three again.  Quality control forms will be used the same as on day 1.