If you aspire to work on a superyacht, this article is important. As you are aware, all seagoing workers must complete the basic STCW safety training. However, for the yacht crew, there is a minor difference in taking the STCW course: The Proficiency in Designated Security Duties module. In this article, let us understand the Proficiency in Designated Security Duties course and how to get PDSD certified in Cape Town.

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties and STCW

Generally, when it comes to taking the STCW Safety Course, all candidates learn the following five modules.

  • Personal Survival Techniques (A-VI/1-1)
  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention (A-VI/1-2)
  • Elementary First Aid (A-VI/1-3)
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (A-VI/1-4)
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness (A-VI/6-1)

However, when it comes to STCW Safety Training for yachts, you will require Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD, Reg A-VI/6-2). You can take this module instead of Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA).

Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) is for the crew involved in a vessel’s security. Since all of the yacht crew plays a greater or lesser role in ship security, the PDSD qualification comes in handy when applying for positions on a yacht/superyacht.

The PDSD Training in Cape Town (A-VI/6-2)

The Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) training module is a 1-day course in Cape Town. You may complete it online or in class. The course focuses on four major aspects of security practices on a ship. Let’s see them one by one.

Maintain the Conditions as per a Ship Security Plan

Each ship has a security plan. As a part of a yacht’s security team, your primary job is to understand and maintain the security standards as per the plan. As a responsible officer, you are required to be well-versed in identifying, preventing, or responding to threats.

This includes being knowledgeable about maritime security terms and definitions, maritime security policies and responsibilities, maritime security levels, reporting procedures, drills and exercises as per relevant Conventions, Codes, and IMO circulars, security inspections and surveys, contingency plans and threat response, and the ISPS Code.

Recognition of Security Risks and Threats

As a security component on a yacht, your primary task would be to identify a potential security threat and eliminate it before it turns into a disaster. However, not all security threats are preventable. This is why knowing various sea threats is important.

In the Recognition module, you will strongly focus on identifying key security threats and the prevention or elimination of the said threats. You will learn about different approaches to resolving a security threat. This section will also educate you regarding understanding security threat patterns, tools of terrorism, crowd control, handling security-related information and communication, and frisking.

Related: Maritime Safety Training

Regular Inspections of the Ship and the Surroundings

When it comes to security, watchkeeping, surveying, and inspection are three key elements to identifying a potential security risk. This section will educate about monitoring restricted zones, maintaining levels of clearance in restricted areas on the ship, monitoring deck areas and surroundings, cargo inspection methods, and overall security of the ship during docking, embarkation/disembarkation, and when the ship is docked.

Understanding and Using Security Equipment and Other Systems

Technology and tools can greatly improve a ship’s security. However, without a compatible security crew, it may just fall flat. This section will educate about the general knowledge regarding various security systems and equipment.

This further includes familiarisation with self-protection equipment such as vests, firearms, or close-quarter combat equipment.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to understanding security, Proficiency in Designated Security Duties is the perfect introductory course. This introductory course will heighten your knowledge as a crew responsible for security on a yacht. The knowledge regarding security and situational actions must always be in accordance with the principles established by the ISPS Code. The PDSD course, along with your future practical experiences, will enhance your understanding of the ISPS Code.

If you are looking for a PDSD Certificate or other STCW certificates, Sail and Power SA can help you out in Cape Town. Please contact us if you have any questions.