What crew training do I need to work on a superyacht?

Written by Yachting Pages | With thanks to IMSA and PYT

Last updated: 06/02/2018

The superyacht industry is an exciting and rewarding choice of employment, and quality crew-training courses are essential, and often required for life at sea.

male and female in lifejackets sailing a yacht

Click here to search crew training

Whether it’s your first job in the maritime industry, or you’re looking to progress in your yachting career, the right training ensures new recruits hold the essential skills that may be needed in an emergency at sea.

Understanding the different yachting qualifications that are required for any given role on board a superyacht can be a daunting task. To help you to meet the requirements for the different roles, or to progress in your current role, you may wish to enrol on a specialist yachting course, a list of which can be seen below.

Required crew training and certificates

If you plan to work as crew on a superyacht there are two mandatory certificates needed to get on board:

1. STCW Basic Safety Training

A mandatory qualification required by all crew hoping to work on a commercial or charter yacht. Although not currently required for crew jobs on private, non-chartered yachts, or for day workers and delivery crew, STCW Basic Safety Training is highly desirable and will certainly improve your chances of getting work on board.

Learn more about the STCW here, or find an STCW crew-training provider here.

2. ENG1 Seafarer Medical Certificate

A UK medical examination to prove you are fit to work at sea, an MCA-approved doctor must issue all applicants with an ENG1 Medical Certificate or equivalent.

Learn more about the ENG1 here, or find an MCA-approved doctor in your area.

List of crew training courses and qualifications

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200GT
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Navigation and Radar
  • Stability
  • Medical Care On Board Certificate
  • Business and Law, Seamanship
  • Oral Preparation (500T)
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert
  • Ships Cook Assessment
  • Food Hygiene (HABC Level 2 and 3)

Superyacht job roles: What am I qualified for?

Yacht deckhands

A deckhand is an entry-level role for employment aboard a superyacht. A sailing qualification is not essential, but will always be preferred, helping you to stand out among the competition.

The minimum requirements for a job as a deckhand are the STCW Basic Safety Training and ENG1, however a solid deckhand will also be armed with the following skills and certificates: 

  • MCA Efficient Deckhand (EDH)
  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • VHF Radio
  • RYA Radar
  • RYA Competent Crew
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Tender Operator
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • General GRP and carpentry repairs

Yacht stewards / stewardesses

A steward or stewardesses’ priority is looking after the interior of the boat. In most cases, there will be a chief stew who will lead a number of assistant stews, including junior stews – an entry-level pathway into the industry/department. 

The minimum requirement for a job as a stew is again the STCW Basic Safety Training qualification, however a good stew will be keen to progress and could therefore potentially be trained with the following certificates: 

  • An interior crew-training course or courses, such as the PYA GUEST Program
  • STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats
  • VHF Radio Short Range Certificate (GMDSS/DSC)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • MCA Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) at Operational Level

Learn more about yacht stewardess training courses and progression.

yacht chefs piping icing on dessertsstudents looking at books in class

Yacht chefs

The chef’s role on board will be to prepare food for the crew and the guests. In terms of qualification, experience will be the deciding factor here, and a good history of creating wonderful dishes will be essential. 

Alongside STCW Basic Safety Training and ENG1, yacht chefs are required to have completed the Ships Cook Assessment if cooking for 10 or more crewmembers. Chefs will also be required to have the relevant health and hygiene certificates, such as the HABC Level Two and Three. 

First mates /chief officers

The first mate/chief officer is the captain's right-hand man or woman, in charge of the deckhands and other exterior crewmembers. Mandatory qualifications are the STCW II/2 and Medical Care On Board Certificate.

An extensive background crewing will be necessary, and a number of qualifications would be beneficial for this role, including:

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200gt
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert Comp

Yacht engineers

A reliable engineer is a highly sought-after and well-rewarded job aboard a yacht. The engineer will manage the inner workings of the boat, and ensure all mechanics are running smoothly. 

Junior engineers would need the MCA STCW III/1 Officer of the Watch Certification to start life as a cadet. Further experience could then be gained or taught while on the job. Other qualifications which would be beneficial include:

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • AEC Approved Engine Course
  • MEOL Marine Engine Operator License
  • Y4 Yacht 4
  • Skills Test
  • Marine Diesel Engineering
  • Operational Procedures & Basic Hotel Services
  • Auxiliary Equipment & Basic Ship Construction
  • MCA Sea Survival for Yachtsman
  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • Chief Engineer Statutory & Operational Requirements
  • Marine Engine Theory
  • Applied Marine Engineering

Find out more about training and progression for yacht engineers.

Captains or masters

The captain of the ship is the leader; everyone aboard a superyacht answers to him or her. To become a captain, you must possess extensive experience working on board boats, considerable training and a number of qualifications. Mandatory qualifications include the STCW II/2 and the Medical Care On board Certificate.

However, it’s not uncommon for a captain to have the majority of the following:

  • All STCW Certificate levels
  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200gt
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Navigation and Radar
  • Stability
  • Medical Care
  • Business and Law
  • Seamanship
  • Oral Preparation (500T)
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert

Substantial time as a first mate/chief officer (three to five years) would be expected, along with experience with budgeting, navigation, insurance and some engineering knowledge.

The captain must also be very skilled with leading a team and should be very personable, as he or she will have to deal with the crew and the guests of the boat on a daily basis, who, in the majority of cases, will be very influential people who are used to exceptional levels of service. It's also important to have a basic understanding of the legal aspects of working on a yacht.

crew training candidates fighting fire flamesFire fighters tackling training blaze

What to look for in your crew-training provider

IMSA, a specialist in worldwide ISPS Code maritime training explained that all crew trainers should be approved as an accredited trainer by the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) to ensure they abide by the strict guidelines expected in the industry.

Your crew-training centre should be able to demonstrate to the MCA that training will be delivered under the supervision of personnel who have, either individually or collectively as part of a team, gained:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the practical application of modern methods, systems and procedures for safeguarding maritime security in accordance with the ISPS Code and SOLAS as amended.
  2. Practical and relevant experience of the operation of merchant ships.

From IMSA's perspective, “The most important aspect of the trainer is that he/she must be able to demonstrate total knowledge of the subject matter and have the relevant practical and commercial experience in the subject and operations of vessels to impart that experience to the delegates so that they benefit from both the theory and the experience.”

PYT also agrees that MCA Accreditation is as important as having IYT (International Yacht Training) accredited trainers, because IYT offers the most internationally recognised and trusted standard of excellence in yacht training.

Yacht crew members in water © Beyond Limits Trainingyacht crew members on STCW training © Beyond Limits Training

It's essential that trainers are able to tailor the courses they deliver, so that they're relevant to the audience and the vessel that the recruits will be working on. It’s also important that there is close communication between yacht captains, first officers and ship security officers to ensure that the training being delivered is tailored to their ship’s security plans and any individual Standard Operating Procedures, as every yacht is different.

Search for certified crew training providers on Yachtingpages.com.

Click here to search crew training

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Required Crew Training and Qualifications for Yacht Jobs

Required Crew Training and Qualifications to Work on a Yacht | Yachting Pages
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What crew training do I need to work on a superyacht?

Written by Yachting Pages | With thanks to IMSA and PYT

Last updated: 06/02/2018

The superyacht industry is an exciting and rewarding choice of employment, and quality crew-training courses are essential, and often required for life at sea.

male and female in lifejackets sailing a yacht

Click here to search crew training

Whether it’s your first job in the maritime industry, or you’re looking to progress in your yachting career, the right training ensures new recruits hold the essential skills that may be needed in an emergency at sea.

Understanding the different yachting qualifications that are required for any given role on board a superyacht can be a daunting task. To help you to meet the requirements for the different roles, or to progress in your current role, you may wish to enrol on a specialist yachting course, a list of which can be seen below.

Required crew training and certificates

If you plan to work as crew on a superyacht there are two mandatory certificates needed to get on board:

1. STCW Basic Safety Training

A mandatory qualification required by all crew hoping to work on a commercial or charter yacht. Although not currently required for crew jobs on private, non-chartered yachts, or for day workers and delivery crew, STCW Basic Safety Training is highly desirable and will certainly improve your chances of getting work on board.

Learn more about the STCW here, or find an STCW crew-training provider here.

2. ENG1 Seafarer Medical Certificate

A UK medical examination to prove you are fit to work at sea, an MCA-approved doctor must issue all applicants with an ENG1 Medical Certificate or equivalent.

Learn more about the ENG1 here, or find an MCA-approved doctor in your area.

List of crew training courses and qualifications

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200GT
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Navigation and Radar
  • Stability
  • Medical Care On Board Certificate
  • Business and Law, Seamanship
  • Oral Preparation (500T)
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert
  • Ships Cook Assessment
  • Food Hygiene (HABC Level 2 and 3)

Superyacht job roles: What am I qualified for?

Yacht deckhands

A deckhand is an entry-level role for employment aboard a superyacht. A sailing qualification is not essential, but will always be preferred, helping you to stand out among the competition.

The minimum requirements for a job as a deckhand are the STCW Basic Safety Training and ENG1, however a solid deckhand will also be armed with the following skills and certificates: 

  • MCA Efficient Deckhand (EDH)
  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • VHF Radio
  • RYA Radar
  • RYA Competent Crew
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Tender Operator
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • General GRP and carpentry repairs

Yacht stewards / stewardesses

A steward or stewardesses’ priority is looking after the interior of the boat. In most cases, there will be a chief stew who will lead a number of assistant stews, including junior stews – an entry-level pathway into the industry/department. 

The minimum requirement for a job as a stew is again the STCW Basic Safety Training qualification, however a good stew will be keen to progress and could therefore potentially be trained with the following certificates: 

  • An interior crew-training course or courses, such as the PYA GUEST Program
  • STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats
  • VHF Radio Short Range Certificate (GMDSS/DSC)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • PWC Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • MCA Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) at Operational Level

Learn more about yacht stewardess training courses and progression.

yacht chefs piping icing on dessertsstudents looking at books in class

Yacht chefs

The chef’s role on board will be to prepare food for the crew and the guests. In terms of qualification, experience will be the deciding factor here, and a good history of creating wonderful dishes will be essential. 

Alongside STCW Basic Safety Training and ENG1, yacht chefs are required to have completed the Ships Cook Assessment if cooking for 10 or more crewmembers. Chefs will also be required to have the relevant health and hygiene certificates, such as the HABC Level Two and Three. 

First mates /chief officers

The first mate/chief officer is the captain's right-hand man or woman, in charge of the deckhands and other exterior crewmembers. Mandatory qualifications are the STCW II/2 and Medical Care On Board Certificate.

An extensive background crewing will be necessary, and a number of qualifications would be beneficial for this role, including:

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200gt
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert Comp

Yacht engineers

A reliable engineer is a highly sought-after and well-rewarded job aboard a yacht. The engineer will manage the inner workings of the boat, and ensure all mechanics are running smoothly. 

Junior engineers would need the MCA STCW III/1 Officer of the Watch Certification to start life as a cadet. Further experience could then be gained or taught while on the job. Other qualifications which would be beneficial include:

  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • AEC Approved Engine Course
  • MEOL Marine Engine Operator License
  • Y4 Yacht 4
  • Skills Test
  • Marine Diesel Engineering
  • Operational Procedures & Basic Hotel Services
  • Auxiliary Equipment & Basic Ship Construction
  • MCA Sea Survival for Yachtsman
  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid
  • Chief Engineer Statutory & Operational Requirements
  • Marine Engine Theory
  • Applied Marine Engineering

Find out more about training and progression for yacht engineers.

Captains or masters

The captain of the ship is the leader; everyone aboard a superyacht answers to him or her. To become a captain, you must possess extensive experience working on board boats, considerable training and a number of qualifications. Mandatory qualifications include the STCW II/2 and the Medical Care On board Certificate.

However, it’s not uncommon for a captain to have the majority of the following:

  • All STCW Certificate levels
  • Deck / Yacht Rating
  • Master 200gt
  • Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Practical
  • Sea Survival
  • GMDSS GOC
  • Navigation Radar
  • General Ships Knowledge
  • Oral Preparation
  • Navigation and Radar
  • Stability
  • Medical Care
  • Business and Law
  • Seamanship
  • Oral Preparation (500T)
  • Oceanmaster Theory
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Medical First Aid
  • Oceanmaster Cert

Substantial time as a first mate/chief officer (three to five years) would be expected, along with experience with budgeting, navigation, insurance and some engineering knowledge.

The captain must also be very skilled with leading a team and should be very personable, as he or she will have to deal with the crew and the guests of the boat on a daily basis, who, in the majority of cases, will be very influential people who are used to exceptional levels of service. It's also important to have a basic understanding of the legal aspects of working on a yacht.

crew training candidates fighting fire flamesFire fighters tackling training blaze

What to look for in your crew-training provider

IMSA, a specialist in worldwide ISPS Code maritime training explained that all crew trainers should be approved as an accredited trainer by the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) to ensure they abide by the strict guidelines expected in the industry.

Your crew-training centre should be able to demonstrate to the MCA that training will be delivered under the supervision of personnel who have, either individually or collectively as part of a team, gained:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the practical application of modern methods, systems and procedures for safeguarding maritime security in accordance with the ISPS Code and SOLAS as amended.
  2. Practical and relevant experience of the operation of merchant ships.

From IMSA's perspective, “The most important aspect of the trainer is that he/she must be able to demonstrate total knowledge of the subject matter and have the relevant practical and commercial experience in the subject and operations of vessels to impart that experience to the delegates so that they benefit from both the theory and the experience.”

PYT also agrees that MCA Accreditation is as important as having IYT (International Yacht Training) accredited trainers, because IYT offers the most internationally recognised and trusted standard of excellence in yacht training.

Yacht crew members in water © Beyond Limits Trainingyacht crew members on STCW training © Beyond Limits Training

It's essential that trainers are able to tailor the courses they deliver, so that they're relevant to the audience and the vessel that the recruits will be working on. It’s also important that there is close communication between yacht captains, first officers and ship security officers to ensure that the training being delivered is tailored to their ship’s security plans and any individual Standard Operating Procedures, as every yacht is different.

Search for certified crew training providers on Yachtingpages.com.

Click here to search crew training

YP Print Skyscraper