Significant shift in large yacht training

The three main elements causing this shift are: the Manila Amendments to the STCW Code (also known as STCW 2010) - the biggest change to the international regulatory framework that governs maritime training since 1995; an increase in demand for officers with unlimited, due to growing numbers of yachts larger than 3,000GT and capable of carrying up to 36 guests; and an increase in yacht crew enrolling on non-mandatory courses as part of continued professional development.

Commenting at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show, Lars Lippuner, business development manager at Warsash Superyacht Academy, says:

“The new training requirements caused by the Manila Amendments to the STCW Code put a lot of additional strain on yacht crew, but completion is necessary.

“At the same time the gap between the simplified yacht route and the route leading to full unlimited certification has further decreased and many junior crews would be well advised to explore their options accordingly,” He added.

The Manila Amendments to the SCTW Code, demand additional courses for crew progressing to deck or engineering officers. These include: an Efficient Deck Hand course; the Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM); Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) courses; and the introduction of a set of new security courses for all crew working on ISPS compliant yachts.

The next important change will come into effect in January 2017 when all crew will need to update their STCW fire-fighting, rescue craft and sea survival courses every five years.

“We were the first yacht training provider to roll out these courses during 2014 and while updating training won’t be required for another two and a bit years, yacht crew are well advised to start planning ahead as mariners worldwide will be wanting to complete their updating training by that date,” advises Lippuner.

Reflecting the rise in trend of yachts built above 3,000GT, a key training achievement for the academy has been the first cohort of yacht students successfully completing the Officer of the Watch (Unlimited) certificate in May this year. The 27-week intensive programme is a career milestone for yacht personnel, and gives them the ability to progress to Master Mariner (Unlimited).

Andrew Hair, Director of Warsash Superyacht Academy says, “Deck officers with unlimited certification and yacht experience are in very high demand and the course has been immensely successful with candidates achieving outstanding results. They are now back at work with an unlimited certificate of competency in their pocket.”

The academy has also seen an increase in yacht officers on non-mandatory courses, such as ISM familiarisation and ISM internal auditor – a clear indication of yacht crew wanting to further their professional knowledge.  

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