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Latest developments regarding the Ship’s Cook Certificate

1st Jul 2014

Clarity on the requirements and application process for the new Ship’s Cook Certificate has been provided by the Professional Yachting Association.

There has been a great deal of confusion in the yachting industry regarding the new ruling by the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, regarding the compulsory Ship’s Cook Certificate that will be required onboard applicable yachts as of August 2014. While it is true that this is soon to become a requirement for any chefs working aboard MCA commercially registered (i.e. charter) vessels with 10 or more crew to which the MLC code applies, thankfully now not all chefs will need to undergo the new assessment course in order to obtain their certificate.

The PYA has been in close discussions with the MCA to agree on some concessions for chefs with formal qualifications and relevant work experience and it has been agreed that chefs who hold formal culinary qualifications do not need to attend a course to verify their cooking expertise. Instead chefs meeting the right criteria will be able apply for the certificate by completing an application form. The formal qualification criteria are currently being decided and will be published within the coming weeks.

As a further result of discussions between the PYA and MCA, it is hoped that crew who hold no formal culinary qualifications but do have relevant experience as a ship’s cook, will be able to gain the Ship’s Cook Certificate following a 2.5 day assessment. This is much better than the existing 1 year course for commercial ship’s cooks, or the proposed two week assessment course that was originally suggested by the MCA for luxury yacht chefs. The PYA has already identified training providers who, subject to approval by MCA, will be able to implement these assessments to support the certification process.

For crew who do not have formal culinary qualifications or sufficient relevant experience as a ship’s cook, the certification can currently only be obtained after completing a one year course. The only alternative route to getting the certification without the course is to gain experience on a smaller yacht cooking for less than 10 people, or on a privately owned yacht. Once you have sufficient experience you could then apply for the 2.5 day assessment in order to obtain the Ships Cook Certification. 

As this process is still currently under review the PYA welcomes input from the yachting industry and chefs so that the certification process can be successfully implemented to the benefit of all charter yacht chefs in the industry. For further information please contact info@pya.org.

Different rules may apply to non MCA registered commercial yachts: for example the Isle of Man have said they will require a ship's cook certificate for yachts with 6 or more crew, but only onboard yachts that go to sea for more than 3 days at a time. For further information about this please don't hesitate to contact our Yacht Management Division.

by Camper Nicholsons

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The PYA has been in close discussions with the MCA to agree on some concessions for chefs with formal qualifications and relevant work experience and it has been agreed that chefs who hold formal culinary qualifications do not need to attend a course to verify their cooking expertise.