Figures from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reveal a pleasing rise in yachting exam pass rates from 2014 to 2015, particularly in the deck department.

The movements in pass rates from the previous two years weren’t as pleasing as the latest year’s results, with the pass rate for Master < 500gt dropping six per cent from 2013 to 2014, and no change in the same time period for the OOW < 3,000gt exam.

From 2014 to 2015, however, pass rates increased significantly; OOW < 3,000gt by 12 per cent and Master < 500gt and < 3,000gt by eight per cent respectively. Over all three exams, the pass rate for 2014 averaged out at 70 per cent, but in 2015 this figure jumped to 79 per cent.

The engineering department also saw a rise overall, but only of two per cent. However, this small jump could be explained for, in part, by an impressive 18 per cent jump in the pass rate figure in the previous year. When we separate the figures by exam, however, there is an evident variation in 2015 between those exams students struggled with more and less, from three per cent drops (MEOL) to eight per cent rises (Y3).

Interestingly, while for the engineering department the year-on-year pass rate rises (or, in some cases, drops) are minimal compared to the deck department, the pass rates themselves for the engineering department tends to be higher than for deck.

When presented with the figures, however, the popularity of the deck department over the engineering department certainly becomes evident.

The figures from the MCA offered the number of exams taken and the number of exams and the number of exams passed, from which we ascertained the respective pass rates. What was, perhaps, most astonishing was the sheer number of yachting exams taken. In 2015, some 287 OOW < 3,000gt exams were taken (of which 221 resulted in a pass – a pass rate of 77 per cent). On the engineering side, figures for exams taken didn’t rise above 81, the figure for those taking the Y3 exam.

So often the industry talks about “too many captains” (a topic looked at in issue 80 of The Crew Report – out in November and available at the Global Superyacht Forum) or the shortage of engineers. When presented with the figures, however, the popularity of the deck department over the engineering department certainly becomes evident. Yet, the overall increase in pass rates for both departments should be pleasing news for anyone interested in the education of the superyacht industry’s crew.

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