Setting standards and striving for excellence

With the diligence and hard work of John Wyborn, MYBA’s Competency Standard will set the benchmark for professionalism in superyacht transactions and operation

Striving for excellence has always been at the core of MYBA The Worldwide Yachting Association’s existence and it certainly is the driving force behind the MYBA Competency Standard. The Standard is a consultation document designed to provide those beginning to work for a MYBA Member company with a clearly defined pathway of the areas in which they need to improve their skills in order to ensure success. Whether they are crew moving to a shore based career or just out of school/university, they will all have access to a structured learning plan.

How did it come about? In 2014 Cora Tracey, MYBA’s Executive Officer, presented a proposal to the MYBA Board concerning the creation of a competency standard to act as a guide for the continuing professional development of the Membership. The initiative received enthusiastic support and Ian Biles, who runs the successful annual MYBA Superyacht Brokers’ Seminar, undertook the ground work. After four years of careful consideration and planning, the Standard was announced at the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show and was warmly welcomed by the superyacht industry. When it is fully implemented next year, clients and industry professionals alike will have clear and objective confirmation of what many already understand: that MYBA sets the benchmark for professionalism in superyacht transactions and operations. The MYBA Competency Standard is set to be a game-changer, a living document that reflects the needs of our industry.

Why do we call it a living document? Because it will never be “finished” as it will always need to be updated in order to reflect changes in the industry, law or regulations.

Why do we consider it a game changer? Because this has never been done before in any sector of our industry. At this point it is important to clarify that this is not a qualification; it is a standard. You may ask what the difference is. A qualification certifies that something has been learned; a standard defines an expectation.

The MYBA Competency Standard is divided into three columns, just like an apprenticeship standard. These are knowledge, skills and behaviours. There are two main sections. The first is a core section common to all candidates, wherever they may wish to work; the idea is to provide a common base level for all MYBA Members. The second contains more advanced and detailed competencies in the specialist area of Sales Broker, Retail Charter Broker & Charter Fleet Manager (these two are combined) and Operational Manager. The idea here is that once a candidate has completed the core and specialist parts of the standard they should be able to function effectively and independently within a Member company.

How will it be used? That shall be decided over the coming months and will be discussed in depth first by the MYBA Membership. The logical development is that the knowledge section will be verified by some type of written or oral examination. This could be organised in¬house, like the current Membership exams, or outsourced to another organisation. The skills and behaviour section will need to be attested by senior MYBA Members. For example, once a junior broker has organised sea trials a specific number of times (to be decided) to the satisfaction of their employer, this can be recorded in a “training record”. The training record could be a digital one, to be accessed on a smartphone or tablet.

The standard could form a part of the MYBA Membership application process, or a qualifying condition for access to YACHTFOLIO or E-Contracts. Clearly it will apply at some point to new Members however, precise criteria may need to be developed for people with plenty of qualifying experience who have just never applied for MYBA Membership.

It has taken years to nurture this idea, it will take a few more months for it to come into use but it is expected to live long and serve as an inspiration for yachting professionals to move onwards and upwards.