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STCW Security Awareness Requirements

David Goldie AKULA YACHTS

Why am I still hearing about Superyacht crew attending the new STCW Security awareness course - Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA)? This course is NOT suitable for Superyacht crew and does not meet the formal STCW requirements.

I sent an email out to all the main Management companies in January clearly explaining the difference between the PSA and Proficiency in Dedicated Security Duties (PDSD) and the requirement for yacht crew with a function in the SSP to have the PDSD. This also includes all crew that keep a duty or stand a watch on the passerelle.

Some have listened, some have not as crew are still being booked on to the PSA course.

The 1st July deadline is approaching fast after which time they will be dealing with non-conformities. Yachts should also check the P&I insurance which will state that it is only valid subject to the crew being fully certified for the position that they hold onboard. As of 1st July those without PDSD will not be fully qualified as they will be missing a component of the mandatory STCW.

In simple terms: The PSA is for those seafarers WITHOUT a specific or dedicated security duty (Piano Players, Librarians and Spa Staff on Cruise Liners). The PDSD is for ALL Seafarers with a DEDICATED Security Duty. This means that if they stand a watch, issue security passes, carry out vessel searches or have ANY function in the SSP they need the PDSD.

I have a number of staff that can deliver the PDSD onboard the yacht in the crew mess so there is no requirement for the crew to travel to attend a land based course with associated accommodation costs and time away from the yacht.

The course is MCA certified and accepted by all main Flag States. (If you have any piano players they can deliver the PSA as well)...


A word from the PYA:

We contacted the PYA for their comments and council member John Wyborn kindly responded as follows:

"What David Goldie says is absolutely correct. PSA (Proficiency in Security Awareness) is a sub-set of PDSD (Proficiency in  Designated Security Duties), which, in turn, is a sub-set of SSO (Ship Security Officer). If you have a role in the Ship Security Plan, (which on many yachts will involve all of the crew) then you need PDSD. All crew (unless they have PDSD or SSO) must have PSA.

PSA is part of STCW basic training, there are now five courses instead of four. Most crew will therefore do PSA when they are first starting out. Unfortunately we are unable to offer PDSD as part of the basic training package because it just can’t be fitted in to the five day programme. David is right – a management company should send crew on PDSD if they have a role in the security plan, not PSA."

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*David Goldie is General Manager of the UK based Akula Yachts, the dedicated service provider of Armed Maritime Security Officers to Superyachts transiting through the internationally recognised ‘High Risk Areas’. Specialties: Providing an 'End to End' service to Captains planning a transit through 'High Risk Areas'. 'Extensive knowledge of ISM/ISPS/LY3/MLC – Conducting ISM/ISPS/MLC Audits – Carrying out Ships Security Assessments & production of Ships Security Plans to Flag State approval and endorsement.

*John Wyborn is Director of Training at Bluewater, a yacht brokerage, charter and management company and a provider of crew training and placement services. He is Bluewater’s representative at MYBA (the worldwide yachting association), is on the council of the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) and is Deputy Chairman of the International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI).


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