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Yachtsmen Across EU Now Able To Transfer Qualifications

As the EU-funded Trecvet Project draws to a close, yachtsmen across Europe should soon be able to freely transfer their qualifications from country to country.  Mallorca-based Sea Teach has been leading this ground-breaking exercise.

Mike John, Trevcet leader and principal of RYA training centre, Sea Teach, explained, “Currently, the main problem is that no European country trusts another to have the same standard of training and qualifications as itself.  If you hold Yachtmaster Offshore from the UK RYA, neither Spain nor Germany will accept it to work on a boat flagged to their country.  Even if the boat is identical, they will ask you to re-qualify under their rules. 

"However, the point is, how do they know that Yachtmaster Offshore is ‘no good’ for them?  They don’t.  This is where our Trecvet Project, breaking down each country’s qualifications into component parts for comparison makes sense of an unfortunate situation.”     

Focussed on Small Commercial Vessels, Trecvet has been working towards mutual recognition of comparable qualifications across EU member states.  Initially tackling syllabi from the UK, Spain and Germany, the project now has interactive software for interested parties to contrast the various curricula components.

Industry feedback has been positive with Phil Edwards, managing director of Palma-based crew agency, Dovaston, saying, “As a former yacht captain I can see many benefits of the Trecvet Project, particularly for centres in the Mediterranean where many nationalities of crew are employed.  In an ideal world, yachtsmen should be able to use their qualifications on any suitable boat; not allowing this liberty seems to go against the EU ethos of free movement of labour. We fully support the work that is being undertaken and will help in any way we can to move the Project forward.”

Linda Revill, principal of Aigua Sea School, commented, “We specialise in training and examining candidates at RYA Yachtmaster level – a qualification that is known and respected worldwide.  Spanish candidates are well aware that their Yachtmaster qualification will serve them well outside of their own country and are frustrated that their own government will not recognise their title.”   

The Trecvet Project has been underway for over a year and is operated by a consortium of maritime professionals from across Europe including the UK, Poland, Germany and Spain – plus support from the University of Barcelona. 

Trecvet’s End of Project Conference is scheduled for 20 September 2013 and will be held in Palma de Mallorca - admission is free.  Maritime authorities and institutions, crew agencies, accrediting bodies, shipping companies and journalists will be present at the Conference and an open invitation applies to all interested parties.

For more information about the Project and Conference visit www.trecvet.eu.

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