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Landmark Review of UK Cadet Syllabus Could Transform Global Yacht Crew Training

13 December 2023

The UK’s cadet syllabus has undergone a landmark review which could set future standards for yacht crew training worldwide. Completed by the Cadet Training & Modernisation (CT&M) Programme, the updated UK cadet syllabus is an integral part of training for seafarers.


It has been many years since we’ve seen the seafarer officer qualifications syllabus undergo a significant overhaul and initial results have already been met with encouragement from across the yachting industry. The updated syllabus was completed by the CT&M Programme - led and coordinated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). It was one of the recommendations of the Seafarer Cadet Review bringing together key stakeholders, including the Merchant Navy Training Board, in order to improve cadet training.


It is believed to be the first time a maritime regulator has teamed up with industry experts in this format to help improve cadet training. Following the important overhaul with industry participation, this will now be presented to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with the aim of achieving positive change for seafarers on an international scale.


Syllabus modules have been delivered to nautical colleges since the start of December and are set to be introduced by September 2025 for future training. MCA Chief Examiner, Ajit Jacob, who recently spoke at the PYA Sea Changes Forum in Monaco said:


“We were very clear from the outset that we wanted this syllabus review to be industry-led and for it not to be the MCA dictating what is needed.
“No other maritime nation has performed a review like this in conjunction with industry and what we have produced is a new collaborative model that delivers the training requirements of every sector within the industry. We will present it to the IMO next year as we are proud of what we have produced and know that other nations will benefit from this too. Well-educated and well-prepared seafarers benefit everyone, and we are happy to share our knowledge globally.
“The pace of technological change shows no signs of slowing and a new, continuous review approach will help us to stay ahead and ensure that our cadets are offered the most modern training we can give.”

The comprehensive review, which included all relevant modules across Nautical, Engineering and Electro-Technical disciplines, was undertaken throughout 2022 by a working group of representatives from nautical colleges and shipping companies, including seafarers in their fleets.


The content of the syllabuses has been updated and improved to reflect the current practices and technology used on board vessels to ensure cadets have the very latest industry knowledge and the skills they need to operate safely at sea.


Part of the review has also implemented crucial ’Human element’ skills, embedded throughout the syllabus to improve their practical application on board, boost the wellbeing of seafarers, and help them to understand how their lives could be impacted on a day-to-day basis if they are implemented effectively.


The PYA is authorised by the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency to issue Yacht Rating Certificates which are needed by some vessels to comply with their safe manning requirements. We also verify yacht sea service testimonials for all yacht crew worldwide. If you are looking to get a Yacht Rating Certificate or Sea Service testimonial verified, explore our services, or as a full member, you can access these for free.

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