Culinary Crew

There Are 8 Different Positions In Culinary Crew

Culinary Crew manage the onboard food provisioning, catering and galley maintenance. Positions range from galley hand, crew cook, sole chef, head chef, up to executive chef. Although it is possible to develop your culinary career onboard, you can also transition onboard with land-based qualifications and experience.

Culinary Education Overview

Training, Courses, and Certifications

  • STCW Personal Survival Techniques (STCW A-VI/1-1) Valid for five years, requires refresher training
  • STCW Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (STCW A-VI/1-2) Valid for five years, requires refresher training
  • STCW Elementary First Aid (STCW A-VI/1-3)
  • STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (STCW A-VI/1- 4)
  • STCW Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA) (STCW A-VI/6-1) or
  • STCW Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) (STCW A-VI/6-2) Either qualification is acceptable, however if you are expected to take a watch on board regardless of position, it is beneficial to take the more advanced qualification PDSD.
  • The International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI) provide Accredited Yacht Training through the IAMI GUEST Program (Guidelines for Excellence in Superyacht Training). The GUEST Programs are the internationally recognised large yacht industry qualifications and assessment standard, and include a number of specifically designed Programs, available in worldwide locations, that support the occupational duties, roles, and responsibilities of onboard yacht crew, from entry to management level.
  • The GUEST “Hospitality” Programs are designed to inspire and develop a wide range of practical, technical, and soft skills, as well as all aspects of knowledge required for the various onboard interior crew positions.
  • Please note that entry prerequisites of prior learning or evidenced experience are required before attending some of the more senior programs
  • Ship’s Cook Certificate of Competence (CoC): This is a mandatory requirement under MLC for cooks/chefs cooking for ten or more crew on commercially registered vessels.
  • Food Safety Training: Regardless of the number of crew or size of the vessel, any person who serves or handles food, whether for guests or crew, must hold a recognised and valid certificate.
  • GUEST Introduction to Yachting & Yachting Life
  • GUEST Yacht Galley Operations for Chefs
  • GUEST Accounting Budgeting & Book Keeping
  • Guest Advanced Leadership

To Read More About GUEST Training – Please See Our Interior Career Map or visit
  • The Ship’s Cook CoC is a requirement under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, where a qualified Ship’s Cook must be carried on all commercially registered vessels operating more than 60 miles from a safe haven, and when the total onboard crew consists of ten seafarers or more. This mandatory qualification is required to be held by the principal crew member who prepares & cooks the food for the onboard crew, usually the Yacht Chef or Crew Cook.
  • To obtain the Ship’s Cook Certificate, the Seafarer is required to follow the application to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) process and apply to Flag. Noting that the Ship’s Cook CoC requires revalidation every five years.
  • Requirements for applying for the Ships Cook Certificate:
    • Proof of at least one month sea time at sea or alongside
    • A recognised classroom-based Food Safety in Catering Level 2
      (MCA) or Level 3 (Cayman Islands)
    • Certificate of successful completion of the Assessment in Marine
      Cookery (aka Ship’s Cook Assessment)
    • Evidence of at least one year of employment as a chef or cook in a professional working environment ashore or UK Level 2 cookery qualification (e.g., City and Guilds) or one year of employment as the ship’s cook on a private or smaller yacht. * Please note: sea service testimonials are needed in all cases.
Further information can be found on the MCA website:
  • Qualified Chefs who have been employed in shore-based positions, such as restaurants, hotels, or private estates, and who want to work on- board a yacht are advised to be well prepared for the transition. 
  • Often a Yacht Chef will be in charge of the galley and frequently work alone in this onboard department. It is recommended that any galley crew member employed as a first-time yacht Cook or Chef has a good understanding of their department, including the galley environment, the expected responsibilities such as provisioning and stowing, the relevant maritime regulations, as well how to manage their personal life on-board as a seafarer and being part of the crew.
  • The GUEST Yacht Galley Operations and Introduction to Yachting & Yachting Life courses will assist in making the transition from kitchen to galley seamless, by providing the opportunity to prepare and gain the vital education prior to employment for any cook or chef looking to work onboard a yacht.