On Monday 9 February, 2014, the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) held an awareness day for its GUEST, or Guidelines in Unified Excellence for Service Training, programme, dedicated primarily to charter brokers. The Crew Report catches up with those in attendance about why the day was held and what it achieved for interior crew.

“The whole basis of the day was to direct the energies towards brokers, for them to understand who and what they’re representing and what they’re putting their clients into without realising,” Joey Meen, director of training and certification at the PYA, tells The Crew Report. “The brokers all said that they had great experiences on boats, but when they saw the technicalities of what was not happening on board they suddenly realised there was this huge great gap in knowledge. The crew are doing a great job – it’s fantastic what they’re doing. But the technical issues are often missing.”


“I’m going to be asking different questions when I step on board now. I will certainly be trying to understand the way the crew unpack and pack guests’ suitcase, the way they turn down the beds and the way they deal with laundry, and things like that.”



At the end of the day the PYA asked attendees to provide feedback. Out of the 18 feedback forms received, the session on table setting was voted the most interesting. And, pleasing for the PYA, every single person said they would spread the word about the GUEST programme and implementing continuous professional development (CPD) on board. Unfortunately, one did add that it would be difficult to persuade owners to pay for the training.

In a different type of training day, the top training providers for today’s crew were put in the same room as the top charter brokers. Something that was a push at first, but well worthwile in the end. “One of the charter brokers in attendance, someone who everyone in the industry knows, in the weeks before the event called me four times and said, ‘Do I really need to come? Seriously?’ And then she rolls out of it going, ‘This was awesome. I have learned so much today’.”



The Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA) sponsored the event – another example of how the association has been working more closely with the PYA recently. MYBA president and charter director at Northrop & Johnson, adds, “I’m going to be asking different questions when I step on board now. I will certainly be trying to understand the way the crew unpack and pack guests’ suitcase, the way they turn down the beds and the way they deal with laundry, and things like that.”

“I think many of the charter brokers felt that they didn’t know if interior crew had the training, and many of them wanted to ask the question to find out if they did,” concludes Meen. “If this goes to plan, it will be the industry that takes charge of the level of knowledge that interior crew have on board.”

Look out for our profile on the PYA in issue 72 of The Crew Report – download here.



Images: Alison Rentoul, The Crew Coach