STCW Ship Security Officer

Ensuring the security of a vessel

What is a Ship Security Officer?

A Ship Security Officer (SSO) is the person on board the ship who is designated by the Company and the vessel’s Master. They are responsible for the overall management and oversight of all shipboard security policies, programs, and procedures and must report to the Master.

If you’re working or planning on working on vessels over 500Gt, it is important to remember that the vessel must be certified in the International Ship and Port Facility Security code (ISPS) and also have a qualified Ship Security Officer onboard.







What’s included in the STCW Ship Security Officer course?

The STCW Ship Security Officer certification incorporates both the Security Awareness and Designated Security Duties certification, it is a three-day course that covers the following topics:

  • Health and Safety
  • Equality and Diversity
  • International Codes and Conventions
  • Security Roles and Responsibilities
  • Ship Security Assessment, Declaration of Security and Ship Security Plan
  • On Scene Security Survey
  • Security Organisations and Administration
  • Weapons and IED’s
  • Threats to Shipping
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Port State Control
  • Contingency Planning
  • Security Levels
  • Security Equipment
  • Search Plans
  • Behavioral Recognition
  • Firearms on Board Vessels
  • Crowd Control
  • Piracy
  • Managing Sensitive and Classified Information

The course is important for those crew in the role of the Ship Security Officer onboard to fully understand their duties and responsibilities.

What do I need to take the STCW Ship Security Officer course?

Candidates who wish to take the Ships Security Officer (SSO) course should have completed at least 12 months of documented seagoing service (or a minimum of 3 months seagoing service, if the candidate has been signed on to a vessel in a security role) and knowledge of ships operations.

Who needs the Ship Security Officer certificate?

The following roles would benefit from holding an STCW Ship Security Officer certificate:

  • Deck Crew, Management and Operational
  • Engineers, Management and Operational
  • Personnel intending to become Ship Security Officers

The course can help Crew prepare for and potentially prevent security/safety issues during transit.


During the current COVID-19 Pandemic we want to ensure that students are still able to study, this is why we have developed Virtual interactive courses. You’ll learn in real-time with our experienced instructors.

To take part in a virtual interactive course you need to download the Zoom app to your PC/Mac/Tablet (we recommend using these rather than a phone for quality), full instructions on this can be found in the course dates below.

Please note that virtual courses will be recorded, both through video and audio, to verify your participation in the course; these recordings will not be given to third party companies with the exception of the accrediting body for the course if necessary. If you have any objections to this, please inform us immediately.

Upcoming Courses

Please contact the Nautical team with your dates and itinerary.
*Dates and timings may be subject to change at our discretion. We can arrange the dates to suit your schedule. We require a minimum of three students to run this course.

If a course appears as Fully Booked, please contact us to be put on the reserve list.

We do not have scheduled courses at this moment. Please check back later or contact us with your dates and itinerary.

Course Reviews
Share your experience with us

Have you completed a course with SOVREN Nautical Academy? We hope you had a great time. Please click on the button below to leave a review of your experience. Thank you!

September 2021

It’s challenging to run a good STCW course in the virtual world, or so I thought! The training with Nautical Academy was top notch! Professional, engaging, thorough and comfortable (as I was sitting in my own place) 🙂 Highly recommend Rich Streeter and his team, for running a really good course. Cheers!

August 2020

I went through the PDSD with them online and it was a great experience. From the first day, the attention was cordial and punctual. Excellent professionals.

July 2020

I fully recommend Sovren Nautical Academy. I’m very happy to have done my training with them!

Virtual PDSD Student
June 2020

All pros, super easy and fast! No cons at all! The instructor was professional, friendly, and funny. Excellent course.

June 2020

I went through the PDSD with Sovren Nautical Academy online and it was a great experience. From the first day, the attention was cordial and punctual. Excellent professionals.

Virtual PSSR Student
June 2020

The PSSR virtual course was very efficient and the coffee at my place tastes better! The course was straight to the point, which I like. The instructor was fantastic! He knows what he’s teaching. Lots of experience. Great people skills.

May 2020

I think the online course has this big advantage that provides flexibility to students, you can be learning anywhere and it brings the opportunity to students worldwide. In the online course you get the information in a practical and visual way that allows you to understand it in an easier way. The interaction with your…

May 2020

I enjoyed it entirely as the instructor Richard was very good in explaining all the subjects and he was also helpful in repeating the argument in case someone is left behind. Honestly, I don’t think there is a part of the course that I would like to improve. As it is perfect as like that.…

April 2020

I was a bit worried since it was the first time doing a course online but it turned out work great and I´m very happy with the way it went.

April 2020

The course was very well done for a virtual course, I thought you were very good rich, approachable, informative, knowledgeable and very helpful. The classroom behind you is great because i feel like I’m there. Connection was always good, videos were very clear. Honestly just keep what your doing rich, very enjoyable.

April 2020

Works very well online and with the screen sharing (videos). Rich is a great instructor and keeps you awake. Good taking breaks often. Have nothing negative to say about the course.

April 2020

Lively instructor, engaging, straightforward, and timely delivery of course. Platform worked perfectly. Thank you!

October 2019

From an instructor’s point of view, they offer unparalleled facilities but, more importantly, a very good support system which means we can offer great service to the students. When you couple that with their diligence and integrity you can be sure of being in safe hands.