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I'm so skilled I dont need STCW
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 5:17 PM
Joined: 26/06/2013
Posts: 15

Interesting call today from a very experienced and qualified Masseuse with hospitality experience. As a yacht agent our role is to present the most qualified and suitable candidates for the recruitment projects we work on, occasionally we come across exceptional crew with no qualifications but should this exclude them from consideration ? 

From an agents point of view I say yes, do the courses, show your professionalism and commitment to the industry - then we shall represent you. Our candidate today who had a background in recruitment said yes but what if you find a great candidate without the qualifications !

Quite a predicament, on one hand we demand a prerequisite for qualifications but if the right person comes across our table without any training but years of relevant experience then what then ?

The conversation did not end well, ' why should should we represent somebody with no qualifications' when dozens of crew have made the effort to commit to a career in yachting. 

We value your opinion and hope to resolve this challenging situation. 

Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:17 PM

That is an interesting question. As you put it, 'demanding a certificate' as a recruiter are you really in a position to be demanding anything?

Also, if they are that exceptional? 

Now, let's review, does one actually need the very lowly basic training certificates for safety and personal health? On a private vessel with no minimum safe manning document, the answer, I believe is no. So why demand it? Are you affiliated with a training provider? Do you get a kick back? Hmmmmm? I wonder?

On a commercial or MLC compliant vessel then yes, the 4 hour 1st aid course and basic portable extinguisher use module are mandatory as well as a bit of other padding. But, at least they learn to close the door and shout for help! Wow, I feel so much safer already!

If they are extras, such as security or nannies or masseuse, to sign on as crew not passengers, they need the extinguisher use license, but if the yacht is big enough to have these roles, then they can probably can just get signed on as another passenger? Like the bosses lawyer, accountant or other hired hand who comes as part of the entourage.  Not fully experienced and qualified seafarers.


Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 9:42 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

It depends on the position and past experience. For an experienced masseus that has been working at the same service caliber, I would not disclude them or their application because they lacked STCW. I look for attitude more than anything else, I can send a good candidate off for a week and STCW is taken care of.

Can they do the job? Can they fit in with the crew at a low level of drama? If they can do those two things, I can put any training and certification on them I need.

Bob Terrell
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:36 PM
Joined: 26/08/2013
Posts: 8

If they are applying for a position on a charter boat then yes, STCW mandatory. If a private boat, decision is up to the Captain or owner as to safety requirements. Certificates can be acquired while employed, if this crew member is leaning toward a maritime career.
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 3:47 AM
Joined: 09/09/2008
Posts: 78

I see you using words like very experienced, exceptional crew, but then you say no training. Its real simple, they need to have the proper training for the job, otherwise there is nothing that makes them exceptional. Letting people skip the proper steps, lowers the standards of the industry, and honestly does not do a long term favor to them as well.
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 11:39 PM
The question should be more on the lines of these yachtie factories making people take these STCW classes over and over. I have advanced firefighting, advanced first aid, advanced sea survival, but they want me to take another STCW class!! It is just a waste of time and money!! Great for the schools who are raking in the money!sad
Posted: Friday, February 19, 2016 5:42 PM
You are only required to have STCW basic safety training if you are fulfilling a spot on the Safe Manning Document.  I know there are jobs out there on the larger yachts now that are solely looking for a masseuse/spa manager. They are very likely not required to be onboard for the yacht to meet its minimum manning.  If I was looking to hire a masseuse my concern would be with their ability to perform that job at a high level. If my yacht was large enough that it had a complete spa etc. I would imagine there are plenty of people to fill the roles required to safely operate the vessel under emergency and normal operating conditions. It has been my experience that some crew agents grossly over step their boundaries in placing crew. As a Captain I don't generally look to crew agents to make hiring decisions for me, just to do the leg work and send me people with qualifications I requested. (which is hit or miss) The majority of agents I know have very little if any real experience in the industry and yet some try to take on the role of gatekeepers to the industry. I say this with all due respect but I find it pretty insulting when someone who was a stewardess for 1/4 of a season is trying to tell me how things are. It is unjustified arrogance in my opinion. I have had reasonable successful career over 10 years in the industry yet, I still occasionally come across an agent who for some reason thinks I am there for career advice. Fortunately I have found the good ones by now when I am in a hiring position and generally don't have to deal with the others often.
Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2016 4:58 PM
Joined: 25/12/2013
Posts: 2

On any vessel I work on I want to set a high standards and develop a strong ethos of safety. If you exclude select members of your crew from the bare minimum required for safe operation of 99% of the worlds tonnage, then what sort of example is this setting the rest of your crew? Commitment to safe practises and proper training of seafarers is the only way to reduce the accidents we are seeing every two weeks or so!! 


How many yacht fires have there been in the last 6-12 months?


The statistics show time and time again human error is to blame for the biggest majority of accidents, and as training goes up, fatalities and accidents go down. 


Propagating this cynical attitude towards STCW training is helping no one.


If I had a masseuse onboard I would like her to know at least a little about how to put on a lifejacket, that the life rafts are going to float free if we go down, how to put on an EEBD. While I would think that this sort of thing would also be covered in weekly/monthly drills, on a vessel that did not invest in training its crew properly in the BARE MINIMUM of safety courses, then sadly I would not expect them to invest any time in carrying out proper drills. If she was to expect to get a job without appreciating the dangers of working at sea then I would not want her on my vessel. 


In an industry where you can go out and splash thousands on a crew meal, is it too much to ask to invest the time and money in people to make sure everyone goes home safely?

Posted: Monday, April 1, 2019 7:20 PM
Joined: 08/02/2019
Posts: 4

So, referring to post on Friday, February 19, 2016 5:42 PM:

 I've been crewing for 5 years and a few deliveries, and none wanted my USCG MMC, TWIC, or STCW, just a passport. 

 I'm actively looking for work now and it seems that many recruiters insist on STCW basic.  They are also the ones associated with training schools.  They are acting as the "gatekeepers" mentioned in the referred post, and they are doing a disservice to me and the captain that doesn't get my CV.  If I have the qualifications the captain should make the decision after seeing my CV.

 And all the associated schools insist on my taking a full course without reduction in fee for the CPR/First Aid part although I'm a registered critical care nurse and a STCW-approved CPR/AED/First Aid instructor.  Same for firefighting where I'm a trained professional.  (I stay busy!).

I also state that I am fully willing to go through the STCW course for an opportunity where it is required by the captain and safe manning (not just to beef-up the recruiter's revenue).

So what agencies would you recommend that are honest, knowledgeable recruiters and not "gatekeepers"?

Fair winds,


 Average 3 out of 5