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Frequently Asked Questions:
Invigilation of Course Assessments

What happens if I do not carry out my duties as the appointed Invigilator?

As the appointed Invigilator, you must ensure that you carry out the role responsibly and fully. Failure to carry out these duties in the manner expected of you could result in a formal complaint made against you to the Awarding Body (UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency). Failure to carry out the role may include:

  • Not submitting the required photo ID.
  • Not attending the assessment Invigilation as required.
  • Assisting, or taking the assessment(s) for the Learner(s)
Who can act as an invigilator?

An Invigilator for a Learner must be either (a) an Officer on board the vessel, or at the physical venue, or (b) someone of good standing, or holds an official qualification or officially recognised professional qualification, or service recognition such as a Doctor, Police Officer, Lawyer, Solicitor, etc.

An Invigilator cannot be (a) a member of the family, (b) same or lower rank, or (c) someone without an officially recognised professional qualification, or service recognition as mentioned above.

As an Invigilator, must I submit any official Identification?

Yes, you will be provided with a link from the Learner to upload a copy of your official photo Identification document. This must be done PRIOR to the Learner undertaking an assessment, or they will be required to re-sit the assessment(s) again under an Invigilator Remote Invigilation Session (IRIS) ran by VIRSEC.

Accepted forms of official photo Identification are as follows:

  • In-date Passport
  • In-Date Driving Licence
  • In-date Country ID Card
  • In-date Seaman’s Book
What is the role of an Invigilator?

As an Invigilator, you must ensure that the Learner undertaking the formal course assessment(s) does so under strict exam conditions. Learners are allowed to use their own notes, or the course notes provided on the course. Learners must not communicate with any third-party whilst taking the assessment(s), including the Invigilator to ask for any assistance. The Invigilator must attend all assessment(s) for the full duration the Learner takes to complete the assessment(s).

Can I act as my own Course Invigilator?

No, you cannot invigilate yourself. You must ensure that someone in a position of authority, and as listed on the relevant course page completes the online form and invigilates you as required. If you complete the form on behalf of this person, or make someone up, we will refuse to authorise your certificate. As noted in other questions, if you do not have access to an Invigilator, we do offer a *free Remote Invigilation Session [RIS], so there are no excuses.

*NOTE: Free sessions are during strict timings as listed on the course. If you require an out-of-hours Remoted Invigilation Sessions [RIS], this will be arranged with you, and there is a charge associated with this service.

Can I take an assessment more than one time if I fail?

Yes, you can take the assessment as many times as the course allows. Usually, if you have failed, you can email us, and we will reset the assessment for you.

If you are taking this under a Remote Invigilation Session [RIS], then you may have to request an additional re-take date depending on the time remaining for the RIS sessions that day.

What happens if I do not adhere to the MCA Invigilation requirements?

If you are taking an MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) Course and do not adhere to the mandatory requirements as detailed on the related course(s), then VIRSEC will refuse to certificate you. The Official Invigilation requirements for Designated Security Duties (PDSD) and Ship Security Officer (SSO) Course Assessments are very clearly detailed on the courses. However, we will provide you with the option to re-sit the Official Assessment again under our supervision on a Remote Invigilation Session [RIS].

Do VIRSEC offer Invigilator Remote Invigilation Sessions [IRIS]?

For learners undertaking courses that require an Invigilator, but don’t have access to one in line with the mandatory requirements placed on certain MCA Approved Courses, VIRSEC do provide a Invigilator Remote Invigilation Session [IRIS] and these sessions are currently provided free of charge during listed office timings (detailed on the course itself). VIRSEC does not run IRIS on weekends, or Bank Holidays (unless by prior appointment, which there is a non-refundable payment requirement).

Should you require an out-of-hours Remote Invigilation Session, then this can be requested by emailing us at, requesting an Out-of-Hours Remote Invigilation Session and when you require this. Please note, only acceptable times will be considered and there will be an additional associated cost required that must be paid for in full prior to any session provided. This is a non-refundable payment, and should you (a) fail to attend, or (b) wish to change the timing, then you forfeit this payment as we will have made arrangements for cover to be provided.

Do the official course assessments require an Invigilator?

For MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) Designated Security Duties (PDSD) and Ship Security Officer (SSO) you must have access to someone who will act as your Official Assessment Invigilator [the SSO, Master, another Officer-ranked Person, or Person of good Standing]. The person acting as your Invigilator must complete the following form and submit their photo ID (linked from the course) prior to you taking the Assessment(s). If you don’t have access to an Invigilator, we can provide you with a Remote Invigilation Session, free of charge unless requested out-of-hours (additional charge will apply). This is covered under another question.