ESSENTIAL YACHT QUALIFICATIONS
Qualifications required to work on board a yacht
There are two essential certificates all yacht crew need to have to be able to work on board a yacht, regardless of their role.
All crew, regardless of their position on board, need to have completed the STCW Basic Safety Training along with obtaining a recognised Seafarers medical certificate, the most popular being the ENG1 which is issued by an MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) professional medic.
Without these two certificates, a yacht crew recruitment agent cannot assist you in finding work onboard a yacht.
STCW Basic Safety Training
STCW is a one week long course that provides students with an important introduction to working at sea and the necessary safety knowledge.
STCW stands for ‘Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping’ and is required for all crew who are working onboard commercial ships or superyachts.
The course teaches the basics of staying safe at sea and it comprises of 5 modules:
Personal Survival Techniques
Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
Elementary First Aid
Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
Proficiency in Security Awareness
The STCW certification is valid for 5 years from completion of the course, and after that you are required to take an STCW Refresher Course in Fire Fighting and Sea Survival. So, prior to looking for work onboard a yacht, you must make sure all your certification is up to date.
The good news is that there are training centres all around the world where you can complete the STCW course and obtain your certification. Research online to find the nearest centre to you and get started. The course takes 5 days to complete so make sure you have accommodation nearby.
It's also important to ensure that your certificates are issued in English and that the course is certified either by MCA or the national maritime organisation of the country where you take your course.
Seafarers Medical Certificate
Seafarers Medical Certificate is a medical test performed to establish whether your health and your level of fitness allow you to work at sea. The most popular Seafarers Medical Certificate is ENG1 which is issued by an MCA approved doctor but you can also get an equivalent counterpart test in your country.
ENG1 is valid for two years so you will have to make sure to renew it regularly before it expires. Always keep an eye on your expiry dates because, as yacht crew, you might find yourself in the middle of the season with no way of renewing it instantly.
Without a valid Seafarers medical certificate, it is illegal for you to stay and work on board, so always make sure your certificates are up to date.
You can research online to find a medical professional certified to issue a Seafarers Medical Certificate near you.
See the list of MCA approved doctors based in the UK.
See the list of MCA approved doctors outside of the UK.
See the list of Countries whose seafarer medical fitness certificates are accepted as equivalent to the UK ENG 1.
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