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Vessel Security Training

Global Vessel Security Training Deadline approaching!

The global deadline for all seafarers to have met the level of training appropriate to their duties onboard for security training is 1 January 2014.

It has always been known that for a vessel to truly have security, everyone in the crew must be vigilant. Over a decade ago now, formal training requirements were put into place globally for Vessel/Ship Security Officer, Company Security Officers and Port/Facility Security Officers based on the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS) and in the United States we also had to meet the additional domestic regulations known as MTSA or the Maritime Transportation and Security Act.

So what is new? Regulation VI/6 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, as amended, (STCW) now sets forth minimum requirements for security related training and certification. Specifically, these new security related training requirements are for all persons employed or engaged onboard a vessel. They were due to be entered into force for all ratifying countries on 1 January 2012. As with all amendments to STCW, there is a period of time once ratified for all mariners to become compliant.

The new requirements are set forth as follows:

Security Familiarization: (non seafarer level) 
Who:              All PERSONS (except passengers) employed or engaged onboard a
                        vessel must have familiarization training. Note: this is designed for
                       non-seafarers, such as a nanny or masseuse or performer.

What:                      Take familiarization training from SSO onboard or equally qualified
                      person or take awareness level from approved school and be able to:
                      Report a security incident, including a piracy or armed robbery threat
                      or attack; know procedures to follow when they recognize  a security
                      threat; and take part in security related emergency and contingency
                      procedures.

Maritime Security Awareness (MSA)
Who:              All seafarers employed or engaged onboard a vessel who do not have
                        specific security related duties onboard.
What:                        take an approved course of approx. 4 hours in length (like MPT #561)

Where:          approved school that is accepted by the country that issued your
certificate of competency. If you do not have a CoC, you will want to take a course accepted by your flag state or your nationality.

Maritime Security for Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
Who:              All persons employed or engaged onboard a vessel who HAVE
                        specific security related duties but are NOT ship security officers.
What:                        take an approved course of approx. 8 hours in length (like MPT #567) or
                      take the VSO/SSO course to comply with future career advancement.

Where:          approved school that is accepted by the country that issued your
certificate of competency. If you do not have a CoC, you will want to take a course accepted by your flag state or your nationality.

Vessel/Ship Security Officer (VSO/SSO)
Who:              Anyone who is in charge of the vessel security plan onboard
What:                        take an approved course of approx. 3 days in length (like MPT #171)

Where:          approved school that is accepted by the country that issued your
certificate of competency. If you do not have a CoC, you will want to take a course accepted by your flag state or your nationality.

Company and Vessel Operator Procedures:
Ensure all seafarers on board without designated security duties hold an STCW

endorsement or certificate evidencing completion of the security-awareness training

in accordance with STCW A-VI/6.4-5. Ensure all persons onboard (except passengers) have received familiarization training.

Ensure all mariners with designated security duties have training for VPDSD as outlined in STCW A-VI/6.6-9.

 

Ensure mariners with Security Officer duties hold a valid certificate for SSO/VSO.

 

The global deadline for all seafarers to have met the level of training appropriate to their duties onboard for security training is 1 January 2014.