Introducing the TRECVET Project

The TRECVET project has been funded by the EU in order highlight a problem and develop a solution
The Problem: Currently within the SCV (Small Commercial Vessel) maritime sector of the EU, qualifications are not mutually recognised between the authorities of Member States. Therefore nationally qualified professionals are excluded from commanding identical vessels, operating under different national flags.
Why Do We Have the Problem?: Currently, the authorities of one member state do not trust authorities of other member states to offer the same standards of training or assessment criteria with regard to their qualifications. Furthermore, up to now, the authorities have had no rational and objective way or method to actually compare their own qualification against a qualification of another country.
The Solution: The project has developed the TRECVET Comparison Tool to provide transparency and simplicity when comparing similar qualifications from different countries. As an example of how the TRECVET Comparison Tool works, the project compared three similar country qualifications:
  • Germany SportSeeSchifferschein-SSS;
  • Spain Patrón Profesional de Embarcación de Recreo –PPER;
  • U.K. Yachtmaster Offshore Commercial.
Click ‘Comparison Tool’ above and have a look.


The follow-up project to TRECVET is called “TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels”, in short TCC-SCV, and has been awarded funding in the new Erasmus+ program as a Strategic Partnership. For more Information, please also see

The TRECVET project has dealt with this question and presented its solution at the TRECVET Project conference.

Held in Palma de Mallorca on the 20 September 2013, the main aim of the TRECVET Conference was to present the work and results of the project to its attendees and thereby begin a dialogue between stakeholders that would go on to make the necessary changes regarding qualification recognition between different EU member states.

The conference attendance included many professional skippers, National Authorities, nautical associations, charter companies, crew agencies, sea and diving schools. This shows that the problem the project addresses has a very wide impact on the industry. The conference offered a platform for the attendees to make comments through an open forum discussion. The general consensus of those attendees who were professional skippers was summed up by one comment, "as holders of professional qualifications, why should we have to re-qualify to do the same job on identical boats, where the only difference was the flag?"

The high point of the conference were the presentations by the National Authorities and hearing their views and comments with regard to the work of the project and the TRECVET Comparison Tool

The National Authorities each confirmed and agreed the need for change with regards to recognition of qualifications and were open to a continued dialog to move things forward The UK National Authority made some constructive observations and criticisms of the Comparison Tool which will be used to improved the current version.

It is planned to organise a follow-up conference in a years time to assess the advances made in the industry and to evaluate what further needs to be done to push this initiative forward.

The legacy of this project and the conference will be to stimulate cooperation between authorities, generate pressure group activity and create greater worker mobility and opportunities for professional maritime personnel and vocational workers in many other sectors.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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