MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) (STCW)

What is special about this course?

This full day course is a pre-requisite for entry to the Merchant Navy. A certificate is issued by the college on behalf of the Maritime Coastal Agency (MCA)following MCA required standards of training and syllabus.

The course covers basic induction training in safety procedures, accident prevention and familiarises new seafarers with employment and working conditions aboard a ship.

Students develop knowledge, understanding and practical competence in areas critical to marine safety.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements.

  • Complying with emergency procedures
  • Take precautions to prevent pollution of the marine environment
  • Observe safe working practices
  • Understand orders and be understood in relation to shipboard duties
  • Contribute to effective human relationships on board ship
  • Types of emergency which may occur, contingency plans for responses to emergencies
  • Action to take on discovering a potential emergency
  • Emergency signals, actions and specific duties allocated to crew members in the muster list
  • Muster stations; correct use of personal safety equipment
  • Value of training and drills
  • Knowledge of escape routes and internal communication and alarm systems
  • Effect of operational or accidental pollution of the marine environment
  • Basic environmental protection procedures
  • Importance of adhering to safe working practices at all times
  • Safely and protective devices available to protect against potential hazards aboard ship
  • Precautions to be taken prior to entering enclosed spaces
  • Familiarisation with international measure concerning accident prevention and occupational health
  • Importance of maintaining good human working relationships aboard ship
  • Social responsibilities; employment conditions; individual rights and obligations
  • Dangers of drug and alcohol abuse

How will I study my course?

    A mixture of class room based work and practical demonstrations.

    How long will my course last?

    1 Day

    1 day: 9am 5pm

    This course can be scheduled in any of our 10 college centres. Call for information and to express your interest.

    Where can I study my course?

      • Auchtertyre
      • Broadford
      • Fort William
      • Gairloch
      • Kilchoan
      • Kinlochleven
      • Mallaig
      • Portree
      • Strontian
      • Ullapool

      Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.


    £100.00 Certificate from Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA)


    A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

    This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

    You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

    Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    As a pre-requisite for entry to the Merchant Navy, this certificate will improve your employment options in the marine industries.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Check availability and book your place

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI West Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.