MARAD Web Site for MTSA Course Certification

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has contracted with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-accepted Quality Standards System (QSS) organization, to evaluate and certify maritime security training courses for training course providers in the United States under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, P.L. 107-295 (MTSA). Section 109 of the MTSA specifically mandated “that the Secretary of Transportation shall develop standards and curriculum to allow for the training and certification of maritime security professionals.” The Secretary of Transportation delegated this function to MARAD; the Maritime Administrator charged the U.S. Merchant marine Academy (USMMA) with its execution. The goal of this voluntary certification program is to promote high quality, uniform training of maritime security professionals.

In order to be eligible, training providers - profit or non-profit - must be organized and authorized to conduct business under the federal laws of the United States, or under the laws of any state of the United States, and they must conduct the training in the United States or aboard a United States flag vessel. Training providers interested in this program should plan to submit their course proposals expeditiously. There will be no cost to training providers for course approval in the initial stage of this program. However, the program is subject to limited funding, and fees may be required when funding is exhausted. Details are as follows:

Requests for course approval shall be submitted in accordance with MARAD’s “Guidelines for Maritime Security Training Course Providers” and its “Appendix A - Elements of Request for Maritime Security Training Course Approval” contained in the electronic file below.

· · The request for approval and supporting material will be electronically mailed to a special email mailbox, maradmtsa@marad.dot.gov, for processing. Initially, only instructor-led maritime security officer training courses will be evaluated under this voluntary course approval program. Applications will be automatically receipted and numbered in order of receipt. The titles of these courses are as follows:

1.) Vessel Security Officer (VSO),

2.) Company Security Officer (CSO), and

3.) Facility Security Officer (FSO). International Maritime Organization (IMO) model courses for Ship Security Officer (Model Course 3.19), Company Security Officer (Model Course 3.20), and Port Facility Security Officer (Model Course 3.21), respectively, will be used for evaluation. These courses were developed by USMMA staff in collaboration with counterparts in India, in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, and are available for purchase in the U.S. through IMO designated distributors listed on the IMO website at http://www.imo.org/.

· · The MARAD coordinator will conduct a preliminary review of the application package to determine if the package contains the necessary documents to process the request for course approval. After MARAD processing, the proposals will be forwarded to DNV. DNV will determine the adequacy of the submitted course(s) against the guidelines.

· · The need for on-site verification for training providers that do not currently offer USCG-approved maritime training courses will be determined on a case by case basis.

· · Conforming courses will be issued an approval letter and a course approval certificate as follows:

Ø Ø VSO courses will be issued an approval letter and a course approval certificate on behalf of the USCG.

Ø Ø CSO and FSO courses will be issued an approval letter and a course approval certificate on behalf of MARAD.

Ø Ø A single course covering multiple categories (such as VSO, CSO and FSO) will be issued an approval letter and a course approval certificate jointly on behalf of MARAD and the USCG.

· · All course approval certificates will expire two years from the date of approval by DNV. Renewals will be valid for five years.

· · Electronic submissions to the email mailbox shall be in Word or PDF format.

Other maritime security training model courses under development by the USMMA are:

1.) Maritime Security for Vessel Personnel with Specific Security Duties (VPSSD),

2.) Maritime Security for Facility Personnel with Specific Security Duties (FPSSD),

3.) Maritime Security for Military, Security and Law Enforcement Personnel (MSLEP); and

4.) Maritime Security Awareness (MSA). Full model courses for VPSSD, FPSSD, MSLEP and MSA will be available at no cost on the MARAD website in the near future.

Applications for approval of courses using these models for guidance will be considered in subsequent stages of this program, contingent upon funding or based on the payment of fees.

Applications for approval of VPSSD, FPSSD, MSLEP & MSA courses--as well as for non-instructor-based VSO, CSO, & FSO courses--may be considered in subsequent stages of the program, contingent upon funding and/or on the payment of fees by training providers seeking approval for these types of courses. All terms and conditions of VPSSD, FPSSD, MSLEP, & MSA course approval--as well as for non-instructor-based VSO, CSO, & FSO course approval--will be posted on the MARAD web site (www://marad.dot.gov) if/when a determination is made to evaluate these types of courses under this program. Until then, no applications for approval of VPSSD, FPSSD, MSLEP, & MSA courses or for non-instructor-based VSO, CSO, & FSO courses will be accepted.

The original approval of these training courses will be valid for two-years unless sooner surrendered, suspended or withdrawn. Renewals will be valid for five years.

The MARAD Coordinator is Christopher E.Krusa, (202)366-2648, chris.krusa@marad.dot.gov.

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