Why do I need accreditation?


In the UK it is a mandatory requirement for those delivering MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) and BEIS (Department  of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy) courses. MCA and BEIS courses require some private and public industry position holders e.g. Port Harbour Master or leader of a pollution response team, to have certain qualifications. The NI are appointed by the MCA and BEIS to perform the accreditation of those companies that provide this mandatory training. This satisfies the MCA and BEIS obligations under the OPRC convention to enable a programme of oil pollution training.

Some company policies require a training provider to be accredited. Many countries require that training providers are accredited and many specify the NI’s service as a preference. The IMO , in their OPRC and HNS model course documentation, recommend the use of accredited training product providers.


How do I apply?


By going to the pages on the website, on there you will find an application form. If you wish to discuss your application first please contact the Scheme Manager. There are separate sections for UK and International companies. If you wish to offer courses in the UK to UK position holders you will have to apply for the UK scheme


How much does it cost?


Full details are given on the web pages. There is a different set of fees for the UK Scheme and the International Scheme. This is because the UK Scheme is sponsored by the UK Agencies. 


I only want accreditation to IMO model courses. How does that work?


The NI accredits to MCA and BEIS standards in the UK  as well as to IMO model course standards internationally ( The International Scheme )

As some of the MCA and BEIS courses have equivalent IMO level, those taking UK specification courses can also get an IMO equivalent course certificate from their provider.


If NI accredited providers wish to offer IMO level courses either in UK or internationally they should be branded as “OPRC level x” equivalent to IMO level x to differentiate them (as only IMO faculty can deliver IMO branded courses).


The IMO have published a set of guidance on copyright and the use of Model courses on their website.  Please follow these links:

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Copying and Permission Requests:


Does the IMO provide accreditation for their model courses?


The IMO themselves does not give an accreditation to training providers. Neither does the IMO directly appoint accreditation bodies. The IMO recognises the NI Accreditation scheme and the Certificates that NI accredited companies’ issue.  

The IMO recommend that those persons receiving training have it delivered by a provider that is accredited by a suitable accreditation body such as the NI.


What are the benefits of accreditation?


Other than a regulatory compliant requirement in some countries such as the UK, the providers of training services can demonstrate to customers their commitment to the provision of a quality product by subjecting itself to the accreditation process. Potential clients are likely to prefer an accredited  provider.



Can NI accredit other oil spill related courses?


If the course has a “Standard” or technical content that has been approved by a regulator or published by an internationally recognised body and that body agrees to the NI providing accreditation then, yes.  A list of other course types can be found in the Appendix of the International Standard.


How long does an Accreditation last?


The accreditation under the MCA and BEIS scheme last three years after which a company will need to be re-accredited.


How long will my Certificate be valid?


The Certificates issued in the UK  for UK position holders are valid for three years, after which a refresher course will need to be undertaken. UK appointed government inspectors check this validation when performing checks on port authorities and oil and gas industry for regulatory compliance purposes.

Outside of the UK the rules of other administrations could be different or employers may have their own refresher requirements. International best practise is that a refresher should be undertaken every three years.


Where are the standards that I need to meet to gain Accreditation?


Both the UK MCA and BEIS Standards can be downloaded from this Website. The IMO Model course expected outcomes can also be downloaded to assist in planning the delivery of IMO Courses.


What evidence do I need to prepare?


The NI will look at trainer’s competency and their subject knowledge, the course technical content and the administration and training policies of the provider. Full details of the requirements are documented in the Standards documentation available on the website.



What is a “Standard”?


A Standard is an approved specification of course content and management control procedures that a provider has to meet. The approver or issuer of a Standard can either be a regulatory body ( e.g. UK MCA ) or a recognised subject matter institute such as IPIECA or the IMO


If you have further questions which have not been answered above or in the other Oil Spill Accreditation pages please contact


.ui-state-active { background: pink !important; } .ui-widget-header { font-size: 20px!important; }