What New Superyacht Crew Need to Know About Security

The Superyacht Sector is a busy and growing one, with plenty of opportunities out there if you are looking to become a member of Superyacht crew. But these  roles are also very demanding, and taking the right training is crucial. This is especially apparent with the security of the Superyacht and its crew, guests, and the owners to consider.


Mandatory Security Requirements for All Seafarers

There are now mandatory security requirements you must meet if you are going to crew on a superyacht. These came into force in 2015 and include security awareness training. These requirements apply even if your crew role is not directly security-related. They come under the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers Code. All mariners under STCW must take basic training, but if your vessel is over 500 gross tonnes (GT) or 50 metres or more in length, then you must also sit a security awareness course.

The Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA) and Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) are the two course options for crew to take. The fundamentals are important for any superyacht, ensuring that relevant crew and staff, according to their roles and duties, are trained to the required security levels.


Security Awareness or Designated Security Duties?

In our experience of providing MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) training courses, more and more Superyachts and Crewing Agencies are demonstrating a preference, that both crew and staff should undertake the Designated Security Duties training rather than the basic Security Awareness that is the current mandatory, minimum requirement. Due to smaller number of crew on board most yachts, it is highly likely that crew and staff will encounter a situation whereby they will be required to act in accordance with the protocols and procedures outlined within the Ship Security Plan, and this usually requires the crew or member of staff to hold Designated Security Duties certification. If this certification is not held by the member of crew or staff, then under the International Ship & Port facility Security (ISPS) Code, and relevant Standards and legal considerations, they would be required to seek the assistance of a DSD certificate holder, and this is in many cases both impractical and inconvenient to the daily operations of the vessel.

For many fresh recruits into the world of superyacht crewing, the fundamentals of security awareness will ensure they meet SCTW requirements. The PSA course provides these fundamentals. It provides new crew with the necessary knowledge and understanding of security issues, and how to maintain a sense of awareness of the security and safety of a vessel. The course does not instruct people how to carry out security duties. PDSD, on the other hand, does. This type of training is designed for crew members who will be taking on designated security duties and reporting to the Ship Security Officer on board a vessel.

Beyond the basics, there are other considerations too. It may make sense to provide relevant crew members with additional training such as crowd management and passenger safety training. Under new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations, owners and managers of superyachts will have to comply with industry best practice in assessing the vulnerabilities of their IT systems alongside other security and safety issues. Therefore, for any potential superyacht recruit, it may also be worth them considering what awareness they have of cyber security issues.


Accessing the Right Training

There are now fully online, MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) courses for maritime security, including Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA), Designated Security Duties (PDSD) and Ship Security Officer (SSO) courses. These are officially Approved by the UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency and internationally recognised under STCW ISPS. This offers a flexible and easily accessible route to certification for anyone wishing to ensure they are properly compliant when they apply for work on a superyacht.

VIRSEC have partnered with wilsonhalligan to bring you an exclusive discount of 10% off our following courses:

  • All our MCA courses (PDSD for Superyachts, PDSD, PSA & SSO)
  • Crowd Control & Passenger Safety
  • Crisis Management & Human Behaviour
  • Cyber Security Awareness for Seafarers
  • Cyber Security Strategy for Vessels (Management/ Senior Officers level)

Discount code: WHMAR10