The Ship Operations Cooperative Program, Inc. (SOCP), in conjunction with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), introduces a new, computer-based training program, developed around the idea that the tools of the trade in today’s maritime environment are not just marlin spikes and winches anymore. Contemporary mariners are working in increasingly technologically advanced environments for everything from navigation, administration, shipboard communications, cargo systems and engine controls.
The Merchant Mariner Information Systems Security Awareness (ISSA) program provides maritime professionals with a comprehensive overview of the threats to which information systems and technology are subject, and the guidelines recommended to minimize that vulnerability.
Scheduled for release on Maritime Day 2014, best practices of this program include maintaining security for government and corporate networks, personal use of workplace computers, the use of social media, and smart password practices, as well as working aboard vessels that are operated or chartered by government agencies (i.e., specific log-in policies and rules for handling classified information).
Courses in the training program will include quiz questions to test users’ understanding of the material, as well as a final assessment section. Students will also be able to print out a certificate following completion of the program.
SOCP is set to distribute one free copy of the program to each of the U.S. Maritime Training Academies and all other mariner training facilities, maritime labor unions, and the owners and operators of all U.S.-flagged vessels (ocean, inland, coastwise, offshore, Great Lakes, harbor, small passenger, dredging, etc.). Copies can also be purchased on the SOCP website.
Innovation in computer-based training (CBT) gathered speed as the STCW-95 requirement deadlines approached, and that trend has only continued, though many of those deadlines have now passed. Leaders in the industry – like Videotel – have developed programs that integrate a wide range of learning tools – from “virtual reality” to video game capabilities. As technology continues to work its way into the roles of maritime workers, CBT will increasingly be blended with classroom learning as a staple of mariner training.
SOCP is a non-profit organization of maritime industry professionals, geared toward promoting positive innovations in maritime operations through the development, identification, and application of new tools, methods, and technologies. The organization’s overall objective is to improve productivity, safety, efficiency, environmental performance, and security of all U.S. vessel operations.
Any organization with United States interests that benefit vessel operations is eligible to become a member and participate in the cooperative program.
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