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The PYA would like to advise all seafarers that the MCA has published MIN 543 to implement new arrangements for the verification of Sea Service Testimonials (SSTs) in the yachting sector.


The MCA is transferring the task of verifying SSTs from their own staff to an approved ‘Verifying Organisation’, which the PYA has been since 1995 – when it was first approved by the MCA to verify sea service on its behalf.


As from the 24th May 2017, 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 PRIOR TO SUBMISSION to the MCA.


There will be no change in the procedures for PYA members 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.


MIN 543 also requires compliance with quality management protocols and makes the processes undertaken on its behalf now subject to strict audit and control measures by the MCA. The PYA currently remains the only Verifying Organisation which has met the stringent audit procedures regarding sea service verification required by the MCA under MIN 543. Other organisations wishing to replicate this service will have to meet the same high standards as the PYA in order to be able to verify sea service for submission and acceptance by 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 the services of the PYA, as the “preferred method of sea service verification of the MCA”.


There is more information about sea service verification on our website.


New PYA, New Look!


As the Professional Yachting Association embarks on a new chapter, with a brand new structure and set of internal rules being voted in by its members on 29th March, it is fitting that our website was modernised to reflect the future of the new and improved PYA.


We are thrilled to unveil the brand new site which went live at the end of March!


You’ll find the navigation and layout much easier to use, and there’s heaps of useful information to help you. The members’ area now allows yacht crew to upload sea service testimonials and other documents directly to their account, and they can log in to check the verification status of each one. We’ve included a comprehensive training search facility powered by Yotspot to make it really easy to find suitable courses wherever you are, and you can find details on all upcoming events.

The new site offers PYA partners (previously corporate members) far more promotional benefit, as they now have their own page complete with images, description, offers etc., and they can upload a banner which will display randomly throughout the site. They can also submit a number of news stories per year which will go into our industry news section.

PYA Crew Workshop Day, 8th April, Antibes


On Saturday 8th April, the PYA hosted a day of workshops for all departments of crew, all of which were free to attend. The day was a huge success, with over 150 crew joining us throughout the day.


We kicked off the day with Floristry tips for Superyacht stews, hosted by Sachiko Katsurada, a PYA GUEST approved trainer. Sachi showed the stews (who were of varying levels of experience) bouquet preparation, flower arrangement, orchid maintenance and little tips to make flowers last longer on-board.


We moved on to a session on Ballast Water Management, facilitated by Ballast Water Treatment experts, Cathelco. In September 2017, a new IMO regulation is coming into force regarding ballast water discharge. Some people are under the misapprehension that the regulations only apply to large commercial vessels. However, if the length of your yacht is greater than 50 metres and if it has a ballasting capacity of more the 8 cubic metres, then it will have to comply with the rules from September onwards. During the session, Sam Wand explained to captains and engineers what they would need to do to comply with the new legislation, the different types of technology available, solutions for installing BWT equipment within the space limitations of a yacht engine room and the importance of having a Ballast Water Management Plan on-board.


Our final session before we stopped for lunch was on Scuba Diving Safety for Superyacht Crew. Alex Diamond, from Diamond Diving in Golfe Juan, ran through a range of topics with the crew, including safe scuba equipment storage and maintenance, emergency assistance plans for diving, extra skills needed for SuperYacht diving, managing client expectations and demands and the importance of regularly maintaining crew dive and rescue skills. The key message for the crew was that are whilst there are certainly challenges and risks involved in organising diving for Superyachts, with proper training, planning and procedures these can be minimised, leaving the crew to be able to deliver life changing experiences to their guests, safely.

The PYA team laid on a buffet lunch for all the attendees and workshop facilitators, with wine kindly provided by Riviera Yacht Support. It was a beautiful sunny day, so the crew were able to spill outside onto the Esplanade du Pré aux Pêcheurs next to the port and get to know each other.

After lunch Joey Meen and Alison Houghton from the PYA hosted a session on preparing for the OOW qualification. There are many insider tips on Training Record Book dos and don’ts, sea service verification, exam expectations and more that Joey (Director of Training and Certification for the PYA) and Alison (Service Record Book Manager for the PYA for 11 years, and now Service Record Book Officer) were able to share with the deckhands looking to further their careers. This kind of information is offered to all our members, and if you are thinking about that next rung of the yachting ladder and have not yet joined the PYA, now would be a good time to do so and start having your sea service verified for submission to the MCA.

Next up was the most well-attended session of the day, called ‘French Social Security and what crew need to do’. Many of you are probably aware that the French government has recently enacted a decree that states a new requirement for social security payments for all non-French seafarers (crew) based in France unless they are already paying for social security (national insurance) in another EU member state, or in any other national state that has an existing bilateral social security treaty with France. This has raised many questions and concerns, and rest assured, the PYA has a team of people working with the authorities on this to relay accurate information to our members as soon as it is available. Speaking to a huge audience, Patrick Maflin from Marine Accounts, Peter Brooke from Horizons and Spectrum IFA Group and Rod Hatch from the PYA explained the implications, who was affected, and what the solutions were. There is too much information to summarise in this short article, but if crew have questions about their own status, they can come to us for information.

Throughout the afternoon, we also ran a series of one-on-one career clinics for engineers. Tim Moss, head of engineering at Bluewater Yachting, took the time to assist 7 engineers at different stages of their careers on the best routes for their own progression, gaining a certificate of equivalency, transferring skills and more.

Our final session of the day was run by Master of Wine, Louise Sydbeck, who gave 40 crew a crash-course in wine-tasting and food pairing. In the 90-minute workshop, the crew learnt a huge amount about pairing food and wine, a valuable skill to enhance their guests’ experience.

We finished the day by providing complimentary drinks for the crew who had attended at a nearby bar. It was a great opportunity for crew of all ages to network and to ask the PYA team questions about their careers and sea service.

Thank you to all those who attended, to our wonderful facilitators, and of course to our generous sponsors, Roaming Expert, Cathelco, Riviera Wine and Riviera Yacht Support, without whom the event would not have been possible.


Carey Secrett


Marketing and Development Manager

Professional Yachting Association

Tel : +33 (0) 4 93 34 91 16