A commonly uttered phrase among those in the know, is that the yachting industry is growing up and becoming ‘increasingly professionalised.’ Consequently, the days when newbies could simply smile in the right direction and hop on board a boat without any qualifications, training or experience, are long gone.
As a minimum, all crew must comply with international maritime regulations and safety standards (meaning that all crew must at least have STCW Basic Safety Training under their belts), and over the past two decades we’ve seen the emergence of numerous training providers. However, many courses do not meet professional standards, so it’s little wonder that crew sometimes feel confused or even mislead.
As the market for superyacht crew training becoming increasingly crowded, how can you be sure that the courses you sign up for meet professional standards and are worth the paper they are written on?
Meeting industry standards in crew training
Whether you’re new to the industry or you want to upskill and progress in your career, it’s important to be sure that any training you undertake is fit for purpose. For example, when you sign up with Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) accredited training providers, you can be assured that the training meets required standards and your qualifications will be recognised and welcomed by prospective employers.
For non-mandatory training too, a number of courses are now widely recognised and highly regarded, and the (GUEST) Program launched in 2013 is a prime example. The International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI) is the governing body for the (GUEST) Program, and formally accredits training providers who meet the IAMI GUEST Qualifications Standards. Course content is constantly reviewed, updated and redesigned to ensure that it equips crew to perform to a professional standard, meeting - or exceeding - the expectations of owners and guests.
Upskilling to progress your seafaring career
In a busy job market too, demonstrating that you have the right qualifications from an accredited training provider gives employers the confidence to trust that you have the required knowledge and technical skills to perform the role.
For those keen to stand out from the crowd and ward off competition, additional non-mandatory training and/or relevant work experience can also increase your chances of employment, particularly on vessels with a particular focus, such as diving, water sports, wellness, or those catering to families with young children.
As in most sectors, training does require an initial financial outlay, but undertaking professional training is a worthwhile investment for the long term, suggesting to employers that you are committed and that you take your career seriously.
Building the confidence to excel on board
Even among accredited training schools, the experience for students can vary, with a number of providers taking pride in going beyond minimum required standards. One such example is Seascope France which delivers MCA approved STCW safety training courses.
Voted ‘Best Superyacht Crew Training’ at the Superyacht Business Awards in 2022, Director Sophie Sevier says: “Whether it’s onboard safety, jet ski courses or engineering, it’s about understanding why you are undertaking this training, taking it seriously, and not just ticking the boxes. In turn, we take our training extremely seriously and make a point of making our training as true to life as possible with real-life scenarios. We also personalise our courses to fit the needs of our students.
Our instructors are highly skilled at adapting the training to suit their needs, which is why we benefit from such high success rates and glowing reviews from our previous students.”
As the superyacht industry continues to professionalise and raise standards across the board, it’s more important than ever to know which courses are worth your time and hard-earned cash, and Academy by Ephemeris is a good place to start.
Developed by industry veterans, Academy by Ephemeris is a careers platform which only lists professional and accredited training providers, helping you to find the right training courses at every stage of your career.
You can discover more about Academy by Ephemeris and explore the platform for yourself here.