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USCG MMC Requirements for STCW Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) & Security Awareness (SA)

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As per the USCG STCW requirements, All mariners serving on vessels engaged on voyages to which the STCW applies must have training in and an endorsement for Security Awareness (SA). If any of their assigned duties on ship will include security of the vessel, they must also hold the Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) endorsement. The STCW regulation VI/6 covers both capacities. Depending on what you qualify for, you will have VPDSD and/or SA listed under the capacity section of your credential.

Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) training include - Security Threats and Patterns; Dangerous Weapons, Substances and Devices; Security Measures; Crowd Control; Communications; Security Equipment and Systems; and Physical Searches. The credential also meets the requirements for Security Awareness (SA).


The Maritime Security Awareness (SA) is a requirement for all personnel onboard a vessel and provide the knowledge required to enable personnel without designated security duties in connection with a Ship Security Plan (SSP) to enhance ship security in accordance with the requirements. The training includes -Security Levels, Regulations, Emergency Procedures, Security Threats and Security Measures. Security Awareness is in compliance with Regulations 13.4 (Part B) of the ISPS Code, Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, and STCW Section A-VI/6, Table A-VI/6.

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You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for Security-Related Endorsements for All Seafarers 

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USCG VPDSD / SA General Requirements

  • Age: 18
  • U.S. Citizenship, OR
  • Holds a valid MMC (except OUPV limited to non-documented vessels)
  • Medical Certificate

USCG VPDSD Requirements

  • Satisfactory documentary evidence such as a certificate or letter signed by a company official or certificate of completion from a Coast Guard-accepted or Coast Guard-approved course that meet the requirements in Title 33 CFR 104.220
  • Mariner who qualifies for VPDSD will also be endorsed with Security Awareness (SA)

SA (Security Awareness) Requirements

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Optional Requirement

  • Basic Training or Continued Competency not required (if provided endorse with Regulation VI/1 and list as a separate endorsement - if not provided do not endorse) National Endorsement is required if BT endorsed.

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with USCG for the latest requirements and accurate info