ISPS Model Security Training Courses Update

By Glen M. Paine, Executive Director

The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) was part of the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-STW-34 meeting held in London from February 24-28, 2003. At this meeting, the I MO established the basic framework and competencies for the Port Security Officer (PSO), Company Security Officer (CSO) and Ship Security Officer (SSO) training programs. This information has been forwarded to the U.S. Maritime Administration, who will complete the development of the model courses by August of 2003. All three programs will be developed concurrently, with more emphasis for security placed on the ports and companies and less on the ships. The information in the model courses will be rational and within the capabilities of the industry to perform.

Additionally, there will be no requirement for "certified training." Companies need only provide "documentary evidence" that the training occurred and included the information provided by the model courses. (Also note that IMO model courses are provided for guidance only. They are not part of the Code.) MITAGS will contin- ue to forward the "lessons learned" from our security courses to the Maritime Administration for use in the development of the IMO model courses.

MITAGS has also established an informal network with a number of maritime training centers around the world to share information on security training.

Further standardization will continue when the ship's security plan is submitted to the Flag State Regulatory Authority, e.g. U.S. Coast Guard, or Recognized Security Organization (RSO), e.g. American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) or Det Norske Veritas (DNV), for approval. It should be noted that training is a required element of the plan. Many Companies will also opt to include their security plans, training exercises and drills within the context of their safety management system (ISM).

IMO is urging companies not to wait for the model courses to get started.

The U.S. Coast Guard delegation at the IMO-STW-34 supported this position.

Copies of the training competencies, which were discussed at this meeting, are available on the MITAGS website at under "News and Events." For companies and mariners desiring formal training structures, MITAGS is offering a combined 4-day CSO/SSO course on monthly basis. A 3-day version has been created for offsite training and at MITAGS West Coast affiliate, Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle, Wash. PMI's website can be found at

The information contained in these programs is also valuable for individuals responsible for the port facility security. Further course information and registration details can be found on the websites noted above or by calling, toll-free, MITAGS' Admissions at (866) 656-5568 or PMI Admissions at (888) 893-7829.

Other stories from April 2003 issue


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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.