MCA Seal of Approval for Videotel Shipboard Security Course

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Videotel Marine International has received official approval from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for its Shipboard Security training course for ship security officers. Under the ISPS code, which comes into force in July 2004, all ships have to appoint a Shipboard Security Officer. Approval from the MCA means Videotel's distance-learning course is the first of this type to be approved for crews sailing under the UK flag and represents a significant milestone in the provision of learning to seafarers. The Shipboard Security course consists of an interactive CD-ROM based training package or a video and printed course book. It covers all aspects of the role of Ship Security Officer, including threat and vulnerability assessment, communications, defensive and preventive measures and contingency planning. The candidate's course work is returned to Videotel for assessment by independent third-party assessors. The course is fully certified by the Isle of Man Administration, and full approval from other flag states is pending. In the two months since the package was launched, more than 230 people from 17 countries have signed up for the course. The first candidate to successfully complete the training, Captain Nigel Vause of The Maersk Company (Isle of Man) Ltd, was presented with his certificate by Videotel chairman Len Holder at a reception on board HQS Wellington on 3 September 2003. "The training course and assignments took me about 15 hours to complete," said Capt. Vause. "I fitted it in around my other duties and found it interesting and challenging to complete." Chris Haughton, deputy managing director of Videotel, says "Today's seafarers operate in an increasingly pressurised environment and finding the time to take on additional security responsibilities is going to be difficult. But ship security is a major issue. The Shipboard Security course allows shipowners to demonstrate that ISPS requirements are being met whilst ensuring seafarers are provided with a realistic and flexible approach to training. The high enrolment numbers prove that there is a real need for this kind of training."

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