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