As part of their safe manning requirements, some yachts (usually over 200 GT) require certain crew to have a minimum certification level of Yacht Rating Certificate (YRC).
Even if you don’t need a Yacht Rating Certificate for your current yacht, it is worth your while getting one. Often yachts ask for it when recruiting, so if you don’t have one, you could miss out on a future job opportunity.
For crew who are relatively new to the industry, the process of applying for the YRC can be complicated. This article provides all the information you need to apply for the certificate.
In order to qualify for the YRC, you must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Have completed the Yacht Rating Training Record Book (see our tips for completing this). You can download this from the PYA or MCA website.
- Hold valid certificates for all 4 elements of approved STCW Basic training, to include:
- STCW Personal Survival Techniques (OR RYA Basic Sea Survival)
- STCW Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
- STCW Elementary First Aid
- STCW Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
- Be able to demonstrate at least 6 months yacht service including 2 months sea service, all of which must be on vessels of 15 metres or above in load line length.
If you have one of the following qualifications, you do NOT need to complete a Yacht Rating Training Record Book, and the required 6 months of yacht service may be reduced to 2 months of days at sea on vessels of 15 metres or above in load line length.
- Watch Leader Certificate with an RYA Competent Crew Certificate
- Day Skipper certificate with an RYA Competent Crew Certificate and/or higher RYA certificate
- Yacht Rating Course Completion Certificate
- Yacht Master Offshore / Ocean
Sea service declaration
You will need to show evidence of 6 months yacht service (time signed on the vessel), including 60 days at sea (any day that the boat leaves the port, is underway or at anchor). Note that all sea time must be from yachts and not from commercial vessels.
If you have a completed PYA Service Record Book, this will suffice as your sole proof of sea time.
If not, you need to submit 2 forms of evidence:
- PYA Crew Work Book OR MCA approved log book OR Discharge Book OR Certificates of Discharge
- Original sea service testimonials which are signed either by the Captain or the management company, showing clearly the sign on and sign off dates, and the actual days at sea. Your testimonials should include the contact details of the person signing them. Testimonial templates can be downloaded from the PYA website.
Tips for completing the Yacht Rating Training Record Book
The Yacht Rating Training Record Book includes a list of deck tasks and skills which you must demonstrate that you can successfully complete. You can download it from the PYA or MCA website. Each element needs to be signed off by a senior in command. In order to avoid your TRB being rejected with your application, ensure that the tasks are signed off in real time and NOT all on the same date. Every box should have a signature. The TRB must be submitted in a presentable manner.
Guidelines for completing the Yacht Rating Application form (MSF4340 Rev 0118)
- DO complete the form in FULL, using BLACK ink and BLOCK CAPITALS
- DO send originals of your application form, certificates, sea service and Yacht Rating Training Record Book, however….
- DO NOT send your original passport. Instead, you should provide an attested copy, stamped, signed and cited as an original copy either by the PYA, the master of your vessel (with CoC number), an MCA approved Nautical college or a public notary.
- DO ensure that the name you write on the form is exactly the same as that on your passport
- DO write your date of birth in the format DD/MM/YYYY (not the American format)
- DO ensure that the person countersigning your application is either a British citizen, citizen of a Commonwealth country or an MCA approved signatory AND that the SAME person countersigns your passport photos.
- DO ensure that the sea service declaration is filled out in full and that original copies of the supporting documents are provided.
Checklist for Yacht Rating Certificate Application
- ORIGINAL completed application form. You can download the MSF4340 Rev 0118 from the MCA or PYA website.
- Attested COPY of your passport (Do NOT send the original)
- 2 x passport photographs. Put your name and date of birth on the back of both, and on the back of one, get whomever is countersigning your application to write “I certify that this is a true likeness of Mr/Mrs/Miss/ etc…” and add their signature.
- Proof of the required sea service
- ORIGINAL ENG 1 or MCA-approved equivalent medical certificate
- ORIGINAL STCW Basic Training Certificates
- ORIGINAL Yacht Rating Training Record Book (unless you hold one of the certificates listed in the ‘exemptions’ section above)
- Only if you qualify for an exemption, the ORIGINAL of the relevant certificate to prove you are exempt from the Yacht Rating Training Record Book and the additional sea time.
Did you know?
For new PYA members, the Yacht Rating Certificate can be provided free of charge as part of their first year’s membership fee. The usual fee for this service for non PYA members is € 80.