This week, OnboardOnline was invited to attend a lunch for the Crew Academy PYA accredited GUEST Level 2 Interior Training course. Rather than outdated and unrealistic theory training, The Crew Academy uses a villa with a realistic table set-up for their service assessments. By inviting real guests with a knowledge of the industry they provide a more constructive learning environment, with a critical eye.
“Over the course of 5 days, delegates will continue to expand on communication skills and understanding cultural differences. Further variations in food and beverage service styles are taught, as are service planning and sequences, which are practiced during live lunch services. With real guests and food prepared by a real yacht chef, lunch practical sessions include Silver Service, Plated Service and Butler Service. Housekeeping and laundry skills are honed as are valet service and wardrobe management. The course also includes a half day floristry workshop held in conjunction with our partners at Roni Fleurs. Delegates also build upon time management and prioritization skills which incorporates professional administration and working guidelines.”
PYA Guiidelines are strict for eligibility for the GUEST certificate to be awarded and a minimum level of fluency in English is required. The real-guest environment is conducive to this, giving a better chance for the trainer to see the communication skills at work. The villa, we learned, is used 8 months of the year, giving a place for housekeeping and service training as well as a place for their Purser Course candidates to stay during their courses. It’s conveniently situated in Juan-les-Pins and has ample space for guests, trainers, and trainees without being crowded.
The day before our visit, which hosted the first service lunch of the course, was all plated, whereas ours gave them their first taste of silver service and the third day was to be ‘Russian style’, giving the students the full spectrum of service styles, time to practice and the confidence to carry them out when employed on board. Other important modules taught on level 2 include cigars and HR, which are surprisingly rare (but necessary) skills for stewardesses to have formal training in. The Crew Academy also run the Level 3 course which is accredited with the GUEST management certification - which includes modules on:The Role of the Chief Steward/ess, Interior Administration, Food & Beverage, Service Management, Event & Destination Management, Valet Services & Wardrobe Management, Laundry Management, Human Resources, Cigars and Floristry.
A further Purser course (the only one of its kind at present) includes:The Role of the Purser, Maritime Organisation, Accounting, IDEA Accounting and Database Software, Crew, Port Clearances, Charter, Destination Management and Muster Duties and Yacht Operations
These courses intend to regulate the level of training and professionalism in interior teams, and are recommended by the PYA. See our feature on the GUEST courses here.