Do I Need a Ships Cook Certificate to work on Superyachts?

Candidates often ask me if they need a Ships Cook Certificate to work as a chef on super-yachts. The simple answer is yes IF it is a UK-registered commercial vessel, which operates more than 60 miles offshore, with 10 or more crew on board OR the yacht is under a different flag state but chooses to follow the above guidelines.
Of course this should mean that for private yachts, or yachts with less than 10 crew it is not necessary, however we are starting to see more and more clients asking for this qualifications as standard, so it may be something that is worth looking in to either now or in the future.

What is a Ships Cook Certificate?
The Ships Cook Certificate qualification replaces the previous Merchant Shipping (Certificate of Ship’s Cooks) Regulations 1981.

Ship’s cooks may qualify from the age of 18 and minimum sea time has now been reduced from 5 years to one month. Additionally, to be eligible, applicants will also need to have completed Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) basic safety courses and hold a current Medical Fitness Certificate (ENG 1). Therefore this qualification is part of the overall certification process.

The Ships Cook Certificate will additionally encompass cultural, religious and shift worker catering and dietary requirements, and Food Safety in catering.

ALL crew who handle food will also require the minimum of Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering. (Supervisors and Head Chefs are strongly recommended to hold a Level 3 Certificate in Supervising Food Safety).

Please note that the MCA will now NOT accept on-line or ‘in-house’ Food Safety Certification. These qualifications must be attained through an accredited provider, with a physical supervised examination.

What if I already hold professional chefs qualifications?
If you already hold a valid UK Ship’s Cook Certificate under the Merchant Shipping (Certificate of Ship’s Cooks) Regulations 1981 or hold professional chef qualifications, the MCA may accept these as evidence of Accredited Prior Learning and you may only need to complete certain elements in order to apply for your SCC.

Tante Marie in the UK are now offering the ships cook certificate, take a look at their website which gives an example of which course would be suitable for you depending on your existing experience and qualifications, and the fee structure of the courses they are offering.

Whether you are looking for your next yacht job, a great chef to join your crew or simply want to discuss the SCC in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.