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Who is This Course Suitable For?

Whether you are looking to move into the field of Port State Control, or already work within the industry, this diploma will provide a comprehensive knowledge-base for your future career.

12 – 18 months

10 in total

Diploma: £2,950
Certificate: £2,150

Recognised by:
University of Portsmouth

About the Course

Shipowners, masters and the flag states are responsible for ensuring that ships comply with the provisions of the relevant codes, practices and legislation. Therefore, ensuring these requirements are met and implemented effectively at sea is in the best interests of all maritime professionals – both on and offshore. Ships that fail to fulfil their commitments contained in agreed international legal instruments and subsequently sail in an unsafe condition, threaten lives as well as the marine environment. Therefore, it is in the interest of all to develop effective Port State interfaces for the sake of safe shipping.

This Port State Control Diploma, shaped by expert knowledge and first-hand experience, has been tailored to educate you on the fundamental components of Port State Control. From SOLAS to MARPOL, ISPS to ISM, this course will benefit the multitude of seafarers by educating you on the legal aspects of Port State Control and offering an insight into the work of a PSC Surveyor.

For shipowners, increasing your knowledge in this area can assist you in reducing the risk of detention, by highlighting the areas in which deficiencies are identified.

Course Structure

The course consists of 10 modules. All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students will also be required to sit and pass a final examination.

1. Introduction To Port State Control
  • History of Port State Control
  • Failure of historical enforcement of safety standards
  • Major accidents influencing the development of safety legislation
  • Convention on Port State Control
  • Development of the MOU regions
  • White, Grey and Blacklists
2. The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
  • Overview
  • Regulations
  • Does the MLC code apply to yachts?
  • Conclusion and possible way forward
3. Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping
  • Inspection of records and certificates
  • Basic qualifications
  • Competency qualifications
  • Medical records
  • False certification
  • Equivalent certification
  • IMO information note on fraudulent certificates
4. Legal Aspects
  • Introduction to the legal system and international law
  • Maritime Law
  • Admiralty law and jurisdiction
  • International Marine Law
  • The Flag State
  • Governmental control of shipping
  • Port State Control
  • Introduction
  • What is the ISPS code?
  • Who does the code apply to?
  • The aim of the ISPS code
  • Ship Security assessment & ship security plan
  • How to set up an ISPS system
  • Procedures for ISPS port entry
  • Company security officer
  • Ship Security officer
  • The on-scene ship security survey
  • Non-compliant facilities
6. ISM Code
  • Introduction
  • What is the ISM code?
  • Mini ISM (or ISM – LITE)
  • Legal and insurance implications
  • Practical aspects of a mini-ISM implementation
  • Risk assessment
  • Reporting and systematic failures
7. MARPOL Convention
  • Introduction
  • Oil
  • Noxious liquid substances carried in bulk
  • Harmful substances carried in packaged form
  • Sewage
  • Garbage
  • Air pollution
  • Summary of discharge standards
  • Introduction
  • Introduction to SOLAS CH II-1-FIRE
  • Life-saving appliances and arrangements an introduction
  • Precis of regulations for passenger and cargo ships
  • Collective life-saving equipment
  • Port state control inspections
9. Classification
  • Delegation by flag to Class
  • Definitions and procedures related to statutory surveys and inspections
  • Safety construction and condition of the ship
  • Typical defects and problems
  • Other Shipboard Technical Problems
10. The Work Of A PSC Surveyor
  • Levels of training
  • Use of checklists
  • Targeting by flag
  • IMO performance targets
  • PSC database and the sharing of information
  • Notification to Flag and Class
  • Influence on insurance
Career Pathway

Career path:
Coming mostly from a seafaring or fishing background moving ashore to work for government in the inspection of ships, pleasure craft and fishing vessels to ensure compliance with International Regulatory standards. An alternative route is coming ashore to work for shipping companies and ship management companies to ensure compliance of the vessel by way of audit and inspection.

£40-60K per annum depending upon previous experience and qualifications.

Inspection of, and advising on, the standards that ships, pleasure craft and fishing vessels practically achieve.

Meet the Course Director

Geoffrey Fawcett

BEng(Hons), CEng, CMarEng, CPEng (Aust), FIEAust, FIMarEST, LLM, MAWS, MRINA, MSNAME

Geoffrey started out as an engineer cadet in 1970 on various commercial vessels before coming ashore in 1989 to work as a 3rd party pressure vessel inspector in South Africa for 3 years. Gained a Class 1 Motor Ship Certificate of Competency at Glasgow in 1980.

He joined a classification society in 1992 and worked as a surveyor up to principal surveyor for the next 20 years during which time gained a BEng (Hons) Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at Glasgow University in 2002 and an LLM by distance learning through London Metropolitan University in 2011.

Geoffrey is currently engaged as a Marine and Technical Manager for a large international company in Sydney, Australia.


On passing the Diploma, you will receive the above icon. Please use it on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and website(s)!

You can also use these letters after your name: MTA Dip PCS


Online learning allows you to study in your own time, at your own pace from anywhere in the world. This saves on travel and classroom costs and allows you to fit your studies around your job and progress your career.


While the nature of distance learning is independent study, we recognise the importance of support. Students can contact us at any time during their course for assistance and our team of industry experts are always on hand for advice.


We have over 50 industry experts writing, developing and advising on our course material. We truly believe that allowing students to tap into their expertise and knowledge is of the utmost importance to fulfil your dream career.

If you would prefer to complete this as a classroom-based course, please contact us.


How long do the courses take to complete? What's the difference between a Diploma and a Certificate? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out the answer.

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