The ground-breaking TRECVET project is drawing to a close

Yachtsmen across Europe should
soon be able to freely transfer their qualifications from country to

It comes as a ground-breaking European Union-funded project called Transnational
Recognition of European Certification in Vocational Education and Training (TRECVET) draws to a close.

Focussed on
Small Commercial Vessels (SCV) up to 24 metres, TRECVET has
been working towards mutual recognition of comparable qualifications across EU
member states.

Initially tackling
syllabi from the UK, Spain and Germany, the project now has interactive
software for interested parties to contrast the various curricula

The Mallorca-based RYA training centre Sea
Teach has been leading the project.

TRECVET project leader and Sea Teach principal Mike John said: ‘Currently, the main problem is that no European country
trusts another to have the same standard of training and qualifications as

‘If you hold Yachtmaster
Offshore from the UK RYA, neither Spain nor Germany will accept it to work on a
boat flagged to their country. Even if the boat is identical, they will ask you to re-qualify under
their rules.

‘However, the point
is, how do they know that Yachtmaster Offshore is ‘no good’ for them? They don’t.

‘This is where our TRECVET Project, breaking down each
country’s qualifications into component
parts for comparison
, makes sense of an unfortunate situation.” 

The TRECVET Project has been underway for
over a year and is operated by a consortium of maritime professionals
from across Europe including the UK, Poland, Germany and Spain – plus support
from the University of Barcelona.

Mike added: ‘The next step is to present the
results to the relevant maritime authorities and get them to sit together and
work things out – for the good of the yachting industry and all those who work
in it.’

Positive industry feedback

Phil Edwards, managing director of Palma-based crew agency, Dovaston, said: ‘As a former
yacht captain I can see many benefits of the TRECVET Project,
particularly for centres in the Mediterranean where many nationalities of crew
are employed.

‘In an ideal world,
yachtsmen should be able to use their qualifications on any suitable boat; not
allowing this liberty seems to go against the EU ethos of free movement of

qualifications would certainly make our work at Dovaston much easier and allow
us to give yachts a far greater choice of suitable candidates.’

John Wyborn, director of
Bluewater Crew Training, added: ‘Failure for EU countries to cross-recognize
the smaller maritime qualifications is a major block to the free movement of
labour supposedly guaranteed by the Union.

‘At the moment UK Yachtmaster 200gt Certificates of Competency are recognised only by
the French and Italians in a reciprocal arrangement.

‘Even worse is the problem of basic STCW crew training. Those who have paid for the four
courses that make up the STCW qualification in the UK
are required to attend them again if they wish to work under either a Spanish
or Italian flag.

‘It’s a mess and
the seafarer is paying for bureaucratic maladministration.’

Linda Revill,
Principal of Aigua Sea School, said: ‘We specialize in training and
examining candidates at RYA Yachtmaster level – a qualification that is known
and respected worldwide.

candidates are well aware that their Yachtmaster qualification will serve them
well outside of their own country and are frustrated that their own government
will not recognise their title.’

What’s next?

TRECVET’s End of Project
is scheduled for 20 September 2013 and will be held in Palma de
Mallorca – admission is free.

Maritime authorities and institutions, crew agencies, accrediting
bodies, shipping companies and journalists will be present at the End of Project Conference and
an open invitation applies to all interested parties.

For more
information about the project and conference visit or email