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Home > Crew Matters > PYA – Hospitality Training In The Large Commercial Yacht Sector

PYA – Hospitality Training In The Large Commercial Yacht Sector

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By Captain Andy Crawford, CEO of the PYA



The Professional Yachting Association (PYA) identified several years ago that the large commercial yachts sector did not have an adequate training programme for interior hospitality crew.

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The GUEST program was therefore developed by a large group of industry professionals, after consultation with the yachting sector to establish a career path for interior crew, and creates an industry standard of Guidelines for Unified Excellence in Service Training (GUEST©). This has now unified training provisions and approaches while ensuring a comprehensive and bespoke career structure for those working in Superyacht interior departments.


The GUEST interior training programme has grown over the last 8 years into a recognised and established standard of training for interior crews employed on large commercial yachts.  This training programme has received support from across the industry and is now attracting attention from other maritime sectors delivering hospitality services


Setting and maintaining standards in training


GUEST courses are modular in structure and the training objectives for each individual module on the syllabus are defined in the GUEST Program Guidelines.


These standards allow each training provider to adapt their own courses to include the agreed minimum requirements of training expected by the yachting industry. This ensures a unified, comprehensive and bespoke training for each student no matter which organisation is used.


Approved training providers design and deliver their own style and brand of courses that include these set minimum standards and then apply to the PYA for accreditation to issue PYA GUEST Program endorsed certificates. The PYA conducts surveillance audits and monitors the training standards being delivered by each provider to ensure that what is being taught follows the GUEST guidelines and standards.


Future proposals


The PYA is a non-profit association, which was founded in 1991, and exists primarily to represent the interests of professional yacht crew around the world. The PYA set out to establish and encourage the development of an interior crew-training programme (GUEST) and this initial objective has now been successfully achieved.


The PYA has finite resources so its Board of Directors has agreed in principle to the setting up of a separate legal entity as a ‘not for profit organisation’ to act as a proposed ‘governing body of luxury hospitality standards’ in the maritime sector. To note that there is a strong likelihood of such standards being adopted by other hospitality sectors and the new Authority would actively seek to establish affiliations.


PYA is in discussion with other recognised representative trade and educational Associations in the large yacht sector who pursue their members’ interests and responsibilities on a non-commercial basis. The aim of these discussions is to form an independent Standards Authority with clearly defined goals and objectives for setting and maintaining competence standards in hospitality training.


The PYA GUEST training programme will be transferred by PYA to this new organsiation as soon as practicable (target date January 2018). The PYA will be part of the new Authority.


The managers of this Authority will need to possess appropriate industry management competence and experience and able to liaise with and between Flag States, Regulators and the employing market. The Authority will be keen to attract industry stakeholders with strategic and tactical expertise such as training institutes, management organisations, ship owners, insurance companies etc. Such participation would be utilised by the setting up of working groups with experts on curriculum level subjects.


The Authority will take responsibility to enforce the correct implementation of its standards by means of competent auditing.