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MCA Approved STCW ISPS Ship Security Officer (SSO) Course and Certification Online for Seafarers in Commercial Cargo, Ferry, Offshore, Yacht and Cruise Sectors

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The Ship Security Officer (SSO) is a specific individual onboard the ship who is designated by the Company and reports to the Master for the overall management and controls to regulate and maintain all the safety and security protocols of the vessel. The duties of the SSO include but not limited to - supervise the implementation and maintenance of a Ship Security Plan (SSP); manage, monitor and optimize the ship’s security systems and processes; and train, direct and motivate shipboard personnel in the performance of security related duties.

The SSO training is in accordance with the ISPS Code and requirements of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) Knowledge, Understanding & Proficiency, STCW 2010 Regulation VI/5 and Section A-VI/5, Chapter XI-2 of the annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Ship & Port Security (ISPS) Code 2004 as amended (STCW Table A-VI/5).

The SSO training course covers all the administration requirements for the Ship Security Plan (SSP) as laid down in the ISPS Code, searching, stowaways, staffing and the legal requirements. You will learn of current threats, security levels and staffing requirements to counter terrorism, piracy and common criminality.

Separate online SSO courses are offered for the crew and staff of commercial cargo vessels, ferries, superyachts, cruise ships and related industries

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Online SSO Training

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SSO Certificattion

  • Course: This fully-online IMO Model Course 3.19 and MCA Approved Proficiency as Ship Security Officer course is specifically designed for any knowledgeable and able crew member who will carry out the official duties of a Ship Security Officer.
  • Mode of Study & Assessments: Fully online including the tests / assessments
  • Course Access: 6 months
  • Course Approval: MCA UK
  • Acceptance: MCA UK and any country that is signed up to the ISPS Code and STCW Convention should accept the certification.
  • Duration: Approximately 21 hours
  • Online Assessment: There is an Assessment on completion of the six learning outcomes. You must achieve a minimum score of 70% to successfully complete the assessment. If you fail an assessment, you may retake it again straight away, or whenever you wish within 6 months.
  • Invigilation During Online Assessment: There is a requirement for an invigilator to be present during your assessment only. This can be the Master, Ship Security officer or other Officer ranked member of the crew. They will be required to complete the Online Invigilator Verification Form (linked from the course). They must complete this form and be present at your assessment. If you do not have access to an Invigilator, you must inform VIRSEC, and VIRSEC will arrange for you to attend an online remote invigilation session.
  • Documentation: You are required to submit an official form of ID such as a scan of your passport, driving licence, or other official photo ID.
  • Certification: Upon successful completion of the course, verification of Learner ID, and associated official assessment, learners will receive an electronic version of the official course certificate in secure PDF format by email. A hard copy can also be requested.
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Ship Security Officer Course Content

  • The Development of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of relevant bodies and organizations
  • The roles and responsibilities of Contracting Governments, Designated Authorities, and Recognized Security Organizations
  • The Security Roles & Responsibilities of Crew and Port Security Personnel
  • Measures and Procedures for Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels
  • Recognition of weapons, dangerous substances, and devices
  • Recognition of persons who may pose a threat to the security of the ship
  • Identifying techniques used to circumvent security measures
  • The handling of Sensitive Security-Related Information (SSRI) and Communications
  • Identifying security threats including Maritime Piracy & Armed Robbery against Shipping
  • Plus more

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commercial 75

Ship Security Officer (Cargo, Ferry & Offshore - Commercial Shipping Sector) Course Online join now virsec - This course is tailored for crew or staff appointed as Ship Security Officer from the commercial cargo, ferry and related sectors.


superyacht 75Ship Security Officer (Superyachts) Course Online join now virsec - This course is tailored for crew or staff appointed as Ship Security Officer from the superyacht, megayacht and related sectors. Yacht sector specific course.


cruise 75

Ship Security Officer (Cruise Ship) Course Online join now virsec - This course is tailored for crew or staff appointed as Ship Security Officer from the cruise ship and related sectors. Cruise sector specific course.


LAST UPDATED ON Jul 26, 2022