The course is an overhaul of the MTA’s existing Diploma in Boat Retail and Brokerage, but will now have a much greater superyacht focus. It will be offered to those looking to enter superyacht brokerage, as well as existing brokers who are looking to enhance their technical knowledge.
Gemma Humphreys of the Maritime Training Academy said: “We’re very pleased here at MTA to introduce these exciting new developments, to an already excellent course. As the yachting industry continues to grow, it’s important that we also evolve with it, to ensure that we continue to fulfill the needs of our students. The changes which we’ve implemented will provide students with a more thorough understanding of all essential elements of yacht brokerage and will be applicable to any yacht charter or sales broker working within this vibrant industry”.
It will be offered as a distance-learning programme and comprises 12 modules: Introduction to the industry; Vessel types and technical descriptions; Registration, title rules and regulations insurance; Boat brokers and law finance; Business management yacht sales; Yacht and small craft surveyor in practice; Sea trials; Valuation; Insurance; Finance; Yacht sales; and Yacht charter.
With the sales market in a fragile state, a generation of brokers with substantial technical knowledge can provide a much needed adjustment, or reality check, to asking prices, which are currently still suffering from artificial inflation. And for this reason alone, educational programmes that equip brokers with technical expertise should be applauded. This is a view that Camper & Nicholsons’ chief operating officer, Laurent Perignon adheres to. “In principle – as long as the courses are relevant and well put together – any training programme that provides theoretical and practical knowledge of the industry is worth taking, especially for newcomers; even if it doesn't replace experience”, he explained. For Perignon, it is actually the regulatory and fiscal elements of the course that will prove the most valuable among the current landscape.
But while Perignon approves of training courses, he feels it is still not enough, and that the logical endpoint for further professionalisation is the certification of brokers. “[Currently] there's no need for any ‘broker license’ in Europe to establish oneself as a yacht broker — unlike in the US” he told SuperyachtNews.com. “It would seem to me the most logical step forward to combine any degree with requirements for professional licenses and the responsibilities that come with such licenses, like in many regulated professions.” This, he added, could “provide some framework to separate ‘proper’ brokers from clowns, even if, in the long run, it's the quality of their work that differentiates them.”