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Home > Crew Matters > Changes to MCA Sea Service Verification Procedure are now active

Changes to MCA Sea Service Verification Procedure are now active

Notes from the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) 

MIN 543 and its effect on your sea service

24th May 2017 marked the coming into effect of the MCA notice MIN 543, which implements new arrangements for the verification of Sea Service Testimonials (SSTs) in the yachting sector.

Whilst prior to this M notice, the MCA were happy for seafarers to submit their sea service directly to them, they have now transferred the task of verifying sea service testimonials from their own staff to an approved ‘verifying organisation’, which the PYA has been since 1994, when it was first approved to verify sea service by the MCA on its behalf.

What does this mean for yacht crew?

From now on, all seafarers in the yachting sector who wish to apply for an NoE or for the renewal of a CoC will be expected to have their SSTs verified by an approved organisation, such as the PYA, PRIOR TO SUBMISSION to the MCA.

The MCA has stated in the MIN that failure to submit pre-verified sea service under these revised arrangements “will cause severe processing delays of around 160 days.” They have strongly recommended that seafarers in this industry use a Service Record Book such as that issued by the PYA, as this is the “preferred method of sea service verification of the MCA”.

How can the PYA help both members and non-members with sea service verification? 

The PYA has been verifying sea service on behalf of the MCA as part of the service for its members since 1994. There will be no change in the procedures for members of the association who are already using a PYA Service Record Book and who, as at present, will need to submit only a correctly entered SRB to the MCA. 

However, the PYA is now approved by the MCA to verify sea service for non-members, for which there will be a charge of €50 per testimonial.

Both members and non-members can upload their sea service testimonials directly to a secure online area, where they can log in to see the status of verification for each piece of sea service.

Why choose the PYA as your verifying organisation?

MIN 543 requires compliance with quality management protocols which make the processes undertaken on its behalf now subject to strict audit and control measures by the MCA. The PYA has been authorised and audited by the MCA to verify sea service on its behalf for 23 years – no other verifying organisation has this track record. If there are problems with your sea service, our highly experienced team are able to assist you and solve any problems, ensuring that everything is perfect for your application.

Benefits of PYA membership

Although the PYA can verify sea service for non-members, there are many reasons in addition to getting a Service Record Book why it is worth becoming a member. The PYA is the ONLY association committed to looking after the interests of professional yacht crew. In addition to providing members with a professional, long-established, highly-regarded sea service verification service, members also benefit from impartial and accurate advice, support and information on careers, regulations, certification, welfare issues, non-payment/contractual problems and much more.

The PYA hosts a range of events throughout the year which educate yacht crew on topical issues or provide them with Continuing Professional Development opportunities. These are always extremely popular and the information disseminated at PYA events is often being reported for the first time thanks to our tireless efforts to work with administrations and experts to provide accurate and impartial advice to crew. PYA members will always have either free or reduced entry to all PYA events.

PYA members have access to a secure online area where they can upload their documents and check on the status of their sea service verification.

All new PYA members are entitled to a Yacht Rating Certificate and Training Record Book free of charge if required.

THE voice of international yacht crew since 1991 – be part of it!

For more information see www.pya.org