Practical ISPS exercises

Train your shipping company´s staff and crew in handling security incidents


The IMO has already responded to the increasing possibility of hazardous situations occurring by adopting the new ISPS Code with mandatory maritime security requirements applying to shipping companies, ships and port facilities. The aim is to establish an international framework to detect and assess security threats and ensure preventative measures are taken against security incidents.

ISPS Code Requirement

In order to ensure the effective co-ordination and implementation of ship security plans it is not only necessary to carry out onboard drills at appropriate intervals - as required by the ISPS Code PartA/13.4. According to ISPS Code A/13.5 taking into account the guidance given in Part B/13.7 the Company Security Officer (CSO) also has to participate in exercises once each calendar year in order to ensure the co-ordination and efficiency of the ship security plan onboard.

These exercises should test communications, co-ordination, resource availability and response. They may be:

  1. full-scale or live
  2. tabletop simulation or seminar; or
  3. combined with other exercises held, such as search and rescue or emergency response exercises.
Besides the Company Security Officer (CSO) it is also possible to involve the Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO), relevant authorities of contracting governments as well as the Ship Security Officers (SSO) if applicable.

Our service

To professionally support ship owners with these regular exercises, DNV GL's Maritime Academy offers its assistance regarding the organisation and the performance. We therefore jointly act with qualified consultants of SEC4 GLOBAL PROJECTS GmbH (SEC4), a leading specialist in operational risk and security management.

The co-operation between the shipping company and DNV GL's Maritime Academy/SEC4 would be arranged as follows:

1. Pre-meeting at the shipping company's premises

  • Selection of scenario and explanation of details regarding organisation and performance of the exercise
  • Introduction to the company's security and emergency system by a company representative (e.g. CSO)
  • Agreement on time and location of the exercise
  • Agreement on course of exercise

2. Performance of the exercise under the supervision of DNV GL's Maritime Academy/SEC4 experts

  • Opening meeting
  • Initialization of scenario
  • Performance of the exercise by the ship's crew and the company's shore Emergency Response Team
  • Supervision, controlling and facilitation through DNV GL's Maritime Academy/SEC4 including importing situations and actions, co-ordination, observation and recording
  • Detailed de-briefing through DNV GL's Maritime Academy/SEC4

3. Providing the company with a full report about the conduction of the exercise, including:

  • Objectives to be achieved
  • Description of scenario
  • Flow trace
  • Summary of the exercise
  • Recommendations for improvement

How you benefit

  • Compliance with ISPS Code requirements
  • Expert assistance in the preparation and performance of security exercises
  • Preparation of complete exercise documentation for on-board use
  • Shipping company's staff and crews better prepared to handle security incidents