SSO - Ships Security Officer 
ISPS Ships Security Officer (SSO) Course (STCW 95 A-VI/5) 
The International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code and other maritime security measures were developed by the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and its Maritime Security Working Group before being adopted by a Conference in Maritime Security in December 2002. It was brought into force on the 1st July 2004. 
Part of this Code says that all vessels MUST have a Ship’s Security Officer (SSO) answerable to the Master/Captain of the vessel on which he or she serves. From an industry perspective it is mandatory that a dedicated SSO MUST have 12 Months recorded sea going time under their belt before being considered as a Ship’s Security Officer. 
With the rise in Piracy, currently across the Middle East, many companies supplying Security Personnel employed to transit with the ship as it sails through High Risk Areas require those Security Teams to have some form of Training that will help prepare them for the task. 
Please be aware that companies can carry out whatever training they feel fit for the job in hand, and many of them do! However, the courses they run are not normally accredited or recognised by industry, but only by the company that developed it; which more importantly could be a complete waste of money! The SSO course however, is accredited by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and therefore has to meet stringent standards of delivery and administration. Because of this the SSO course is quickly becoming the recognised standard for those employed in High Value Asset protection and Ship Security roles, and in some cases has now become a pre-requisite before employment is even considered! 
Unlike a dedicated Ship Security Officer employed by a shipping company, who will have been appointed the position by its Company Security Officer (CSO); a Security Consultant employed by a Security Company, (for example a short term security transiteer), does not need to have 12 months recorded sea going experience to be employed for such a position. However, during their time spent aboard ship, that consultant could easily accrue the necessary 12 months sea time to be able to apply for a full SSO certificate. This is a very easy process to follow; you simply need to provide evidence of 12 months sea time and once it has been witnessed we can then issue a full SSO certificate. The best bit is the full SSO certificate is free of charge! 
Please Note: The SSO course is NOT an anti piracy course! What it does is provide individuals with a clear knowledge of how Ship Security is conducted, in particular an understanding of current security systems, procedures and terminology used throughout the industry. Another major benefit of attending the SSO course is it will give an individual credibility when he or she is employed aboard a vessel or High Value Asset. 
In addition to the recommended SSO course we also suggest you take advantage of our free of charge one-day Anti Piracy course. This course highlights the problems ships and HVA’s currently face in the Gulf of Aden and the adjacent sea-lanes. It mainly centre’s around the Best Management Practice (BMP) 4, and looks at the threat and what happens if a vessel or HVA is pirated. The course also covers kidnap and ransom, which of course is always a possibility in these high risk areas! Therefore this course is ideal for ship crews, HVA crews as well as security personnel. 
Frequently asked Questions on the SSO Course 
CALL 02392 346075 / 07985 089973 (up to 10:30pm) 
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