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
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."