Camper and Nicholsons

The Ships Cook Certificate deadline

5th Feb 2015

There has been much debate over the Ships' Cook Certificate, but like it or not, February 15th is almost here and it is time to comply with this new regulation. Following is an update from Camper & Nicholsons on who needs it, when by, and where to get it.

When is the deadline? 15th of February, 2015.

Who needs it? A Ship’s Cook qualification is required on MLC compliant yachts with over 10 crew that operates more than 60 miles offshore. (A3.2 |B3.2.2)

How do I get it? Each administration (flag) has a different interpretation of what constitutes as a Ships Cook qualification. The UK Administration has set the bench mark and requires a Ships' Cook Certificate.  In order to apply for a Ship’s Cook Certificate, yacht chefs need to sit an approved Ships' Cook assessment, which tests their prep and cooking skills and knowledge of dietary requirements. Once the assessment has been passed, chefs can apply online for MSF 4395 REV 07/14 at

How long does the assessment take? 2.5 days. There has always been a cook’s course for mariners available as a one year course (amended now to reflect the changes in MLC). The UK administration originally indicated that the yacht cooks would have to complete this course in order to obtain the Ships' Cook Certificate.  The PYA has successfully negotiated this 2.5day assessment process for those who already hold qualification or have relevant experience; much to the relief of the entire yachting industry.

Can anyone sit the assessment? No. You have to hold your STCW, ENG1, and a combination of sea time and cooking qualifications and experience of working as a cook.

Are there any exemptions? Yes. Some flag states, such as the Marshall Islands and Cayman Islands have said that they will accept proof of former qualifications, while some red ensign registries are also making allowances for trained chefs. Others may follow, as there is some leeway in the MLC for countries to implement the international law at national level.

Where can I sit the 2.5 day assessment course? Many yacht training schools around the world are waiting to be approved as an official provider of the assessment. Get in touch with your local training school to find out more. At this time, the Secrets de Cuisine school in Antibes, France is the only training establishment currently running the course.

Whether you have to sit the assessment or your current yacht’s flag state recognises your qualifications, there is no doubt that the Ship’s Cook Certificate will become extremely common in the yachting industry in the very near future.

by Camper Nicholsons

More Crew

Like it or not, February 15th is almost here and it is time to comply with this new regulation.