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Top tips on getting a valid Sea Service Testimonial

18 April 2020

Many crew might find themselves in a position where they have extra time on their hands as they wait for lockdown restrictions to be lifted. With this in mind, now is the perfect time to get your sea service testimonials up to date before the summer season.

What do I need to do to get my testimonials verified?

All members should upload copies of their documents (certified by the captain) and their testimonials into their PYA Profile. These will be processed, verified and digitally signed in your profile by SRB officers in the usual way.

As the office is currently closed, we are not updating SRBs. However, we will let you know as soon as our team is back in the office and it's possible to update your physical SRB.

Follow these top tips before requesting your testimonials

Kim Llorente, one of our PYA advisors and former crew member, has put together some top tips to requesting testimonials which will be valid for future employment:

Why ask for a testimonial?

  • If you’ve only been hired on a seasonal contract, or would like to leave your current vessel, it’s a good idea to get proof of your sea service before you leave. 

  • Employers can refuse to give you a reference, but they have to give you a Sea Service testimonial if you request it.

  • This will validate your sea time on that vessel and is a credible reference when looking for employment on other vessels in the future. 

Who can provide a testimonial?

  • Testimonials should be signed by the vessel’s Master, Owner or Manager. For Masters looking to get a testimonial, only the vessel’s Owner or Manager can sign - self-declarations aren’t valid.

Important details to remember 

  • It’s best to use the PYA’s testimonial template as this includes all the required information. 

  • Remember to always put down start and end dates. This is important as it determines the reference period of your sea time, even if you are still on board, or on a non-seasonal contract.

  • Make sure the dates on your testimonials don’t overlap. If your employment is continuous, the new testimonial should start after the last entry in your SRB or after your last testimonial. If the dates on your testimonials overlap in any way you will be asked to submit new correct testimonials.

  • We don’t need the original testimonials. Upload digital copies to your PYA profile.

  • Remember to check your calculations and add your numbers up. Your recorded sea service should never exceed your employment period.

To access the PYA on-line Testimonials for Deck & Engineers or if you have any doubts or questions about testimonials or sea service, please read our guidelines or contact us at

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