The International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI) has released its yacht deck exam pass rates for 2015.

“One can read into data whatever one wants, but it’s obvious that the overall pass rates at OOW level is lower than at Master level,” explains Lars Lippuner, director at Warsash Superyacht Academy and member of IAMI. In fact, the difference is significant. The average pass rate at OOW level, across the 10 training schools that offer the relevant courses, is 63 per cent, compared to a 74 per cent average pass rate for those at Master level.

At OOW level, superyacht crew struggle more with Navigation, Radar and Simulator (NARAS, 56 per cent pass rate) than General Ship Knowledge (GSK, 68 per cent pass rate). At Master level, the biggest struggle is Celestial Navigation (Cel Nav, 61 per cent pass rate), while the exam with the highest pass rate (93 per cent) is SeaMet.

You can go from a training school with an average pass rate of 79 per cent, to one with an average pass rate of 43 per cent.

What the figures also highlight is the number of candidates per exam, highlighting an issue The Crew Report has raised in the past, that of exam centres being stretched. Across all training schools, the average number of candidates per exam is 4.3. However, there is a training school (excluding the training school that just had one candidate) where the average number of candidates per exam drops to 2.8, and at other schools does not rise higher than 6.8. IAMI’s figures also show that that 346 exams took place in 2016, a number that isn’t pleasing to the authorities. “The MCA thinks that 346 exams per year is unsustainable,” admits Lippuner.

What is most evident, and most concerning, however, is the variations between training schools. You can go from a training school with an average pass rate of 79 per cent, to one with an average pass rate of 43 per cent. Only three of the 10 training schools have an average pass rate of 70 per cent or above (excluding one training school from which only one student sat an exam).

Average pass rates for OOW and Master exams:

GSK (O) – 68 per cent

NARAS (O) – 56 per cent

B&L (M) – 71 per cent

NARAS (M) – 80 per cent

SeaMet (M) – 93 per cent

Stability (M) – 64 per cent

Cel Nav (M) – 61 per cent

Average overall pass rate – 67 per cent


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