Frequently Asked Questions

Every course we offer are written by either (a) Subject Matter Experts, (b) Subject Matter Trainers, or (c) Certified Trainers within that Subject Area. Our MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) Courses are written by MCA Approved Ship Security Officers, Company Security Officers, and former members of the UK Royal Marines (Associated Units).

Our STCW ISPS Courses are fully Approved by the UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). Other courses that we offer are either CPD Approved and will state this on the course page or are in-house certificated which will be demonstrated by the VTC logo at the top of the page opposite the course title.

The UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) Approved certificates are internationally-recognised under the STCW Code & Convention. The are Outside of the UK, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) extends across the globe and is undertaken in most countries. The CPD Standards Office accreditation services support all forms of professional development and CPD schemes globally and has an increasingly international reputation as the strongest currency in professional development.

All of our MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) and CPD Approved courses are 100% online. There is absolutely no requirement for you to travel to a test centre or attend a classroom-based course. The majority of our other courses are fully online and at present we do not offer any blended-learning courses.

The MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) Courses include official online assessments as per the requirement under the UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). All CPD Approved Courses include an end-of-course assessment, other courses may or may not have an assessment at the end. If courses include an assessment, or multiple assessments, this will be outlined in the course information on the relevant page on the Virsec website.

When you purchase the course, a 6-month licence is applied to your course. This commences upon time of purchase, not the first time that you access the course. You can enter and exit the course as often as you wish during this licence period and upon completion of the course (passing of assessment) your licence will cease. If you exit at any time, your progress is recorded, and you will be able to commence where you last left off. We provide downloadable Course Notes on the course, so this may be saved to your device and used as reference material.

It is important to note that all officially certificated courses have an allocated expected learning time associated with them. If we deem that you have abused this by simply clicking through the course, we will refuse to certificate you and may also inform the Awarding Body (UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency).

When you access the course for the first time, your progress is recorded on our tracking system (for MCA and other Officially Certificated Courses only). It is strongly advised that you use only the device you have originally accessed the course(s) from and not change to a different device, as the system will overwrite any progress recording if you use a different device, and this may affect the time recorded against the requirements of the Awarding Body.

When you undertake some of our courses, especially those that are certificated under an official Awarding Body, such as the UK DfT Maritime & Castguard Agency (MCA), we have initiated what is referred to as Forced Sequential Learning. What this does is ensure that you visit each and every slide in the order that the course is to be taken. It prevents you 'jumping ahead' or missing out important information just to get through the course quickly. Greyed out slides cannot be accessed because you have to complete the slides before these. Make sure that you take all our courses correctly as they are fully tracked.

Course access licence is granted for a period of six (6) months only from the date of purchase. If you exceed this timeframe, your access will be automatically removed from the course and you will lose any progress you have made. You may also be charged the price of a new course if you wish to re-take it and we are not liable for any costs incurred.

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