New mandatory security certification for crews says IMSA

With January 2014 looming, it is time for superyacht captains to be proactive in arranging the new minimum requirements for security-related training and certification for their crew as set out in the Manila Amendments, according to IMSA.

These new requirements came into force for all seafarers in January 2012, but as with all amendments to STCW there is a grace period of time to become compliant, and the deadline for all seafarers to have met the security training and certification appropriate to their level of duties is 1st January 2014.

These new requirements are for all seafarers engaged or employed in any capacity on board a vessel to which the ISPS code applies, which means any vessel over 500grt engaged on international voyages.

There are two new levels of mandatory security training and certification required depending on the role of the crewmember.

Proficiency in Security Awareness – New Certification required

ALL seafarers who do not have specific security-related duties on board are required to hold a Proficiency in Security Awareness Certificate (PSA) and will need to take an approved course approx. four hours in length.

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties – New Certification required

ALL seafarers with designated security duties within the ship security plan will be required to hold a certificate of Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) and will need to take an approved course approximately 10 hours in length.

IMSA Ltd is a specialist maritime security company based in Poole, UK and is delivering the new MCA approved PDSD and PSA courses as well as CSO, SSO and PFSO courses worldwide.

Angela Farrell, general manager at IMSA said, “We looked at how best to provide this training to our clients and it became very apparent that they needed the flexibility of their crew being able to complete the training on-board.

“It can become costly both financially and in time away from the superyacht if crew members have to travel for their training. It is far better if we come to the vessel and train the crew in their own environment. This means that all crew receive consistent training and this can be further enhanced by conducting security exercises on board making the learning experience more realistic to their operating environment.”

Nick Williams, chief training officer explained, “We have received a big ‘thumbs up’ for providing this training on board.  For a vessel to be truly secure, all the crew must be vigilant and take responsibility for security ensuring that the vessel and its crew are safe and secure, either at sea or in port, and this new security training is a major step forward in making this a priority.

“Captains should already be putting plans in place to arrange the new mandatory security training. This will ensure the crew will be correctly certified by January 2014.  When the ISPS code was first introduced, many were caught out and not compliant on time.  We want to avoid a similar situation so we are advising that captains should contact us sooner rather than later to discuss their particular requirements.”

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