We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Marine Mammal Observer training course. If you are unable to find the answer to your question below or on any of the other pages within this site then please contact us.

Course FAQs

How much does the course cost?

The price of attending the Marine Mammal Observer training course depends on when you register and pay as well as which country you wish to complete the training in.
For full details on course prices please click on the prices menu at the top of the page.


Why should I take this course?

We get asked the question all the time, are there many jobs out there for Marine Mammal Observers?

We could write a book on this topic, but here are a few reasons to take the MMO course.

So you already have an interest in the subject of marine life in general otherwise you would not have even considered this course?

Or your company requires you to take the course to do work that they have gained via the tender process?

You have seen a job that requires this certification in this skill for you to attain the job?

You have just finished your degree/masters and need to earn big money fast?


So we will cover what we tell all our students before they sign up for the course:

If you agreed with the last statement this is NOT the training you want or should attend.

The jobs you will gain after taking this course are about integrity and passion. They involve a huge understanding of the legal system/guideline for the region of the world you could be working in. Your identification skills need to be very well honed as you will get very little time to identify a marine mammal and act on the legal requirements to protect that animal from the noise/effects of the job you are working on.

Working offshore for the Oil and Gas industry is not a full time constant flow of work. You will, if you are driven enough, gain 4 to 6 weeks in a swing. Some countries stipulate how long you can work offshore, before you require psychiatric help (joke), due to isolation conditions. Once you have done a swing you will have a down time of 4 to 6 weeks if you have been contracted for the whole of the job.

If it is your first job the company will see how well you work, how well you work with the crew, how you cope with life offshore, and how efficient you are with reports and knowing the guidelines of that region well enough to interpret and be proactive in your working day.


When asked so can I get a job easy once I have done the course and got my certificate?

Well, how many jobs have you applied for in your lifetime?

How many CVs have you written?

How many jobs have you applied for and not even had a response or acknowledgment?

This work is no different to any other job, JOB = EFFORT how much work you put into finding a job will improve your statistics. If you expect to walk out to of the training and straight into a job as an MMO, ask any graduate if they have done that and look at the percentage that have done that. They are the people who have attained a First in their chosen field. They have worked hard and gained experience before they have completed their degree.

When you take the Marine Mammal Observers course or for that matter our Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operators course it is another skill set that will increase your chances of gaining the work you wish to do.

We have had had students attend the course without a degree in any related field and have had such a passion they have gone and got work within a week of completing the course.

When you take a course it is to increase your chances of gaining the work you wish to do in your field of choice. Be it basic qualifications from school to, Tertiary education, first aid, boat licence, coxswains, marine mammal rescue, BOSIET, Seaworthy Medical each adds to your skill set and that is exactly what the MMO or PAMO course does. Gaining this certificate does not mean you will walk straight out of the training and straight into a job.

In certain trades there are times when work is in high demand and periods where it is low, you must understand and comprehended that this is exactly the same in gaining the MMO/PAMO certification.

If you choose our course, I can tell you now; it is not a breeze, we give you every piece of information to make you the best at what you can be. The days are long and the work load is full. You will be graded on your certificate which reflects how much effort you have put into gaining the skills required of you.


So to look at what you will gain:

You will be marketable in your skill set.

You will demonstrate values of accomplishment, achievement, commitment, and determination to your employer.

You will never lose the work behind the journey you undertook to get your certificate.

You will gain confidence that comes with making it through the course education program.

You will have increased opportunities. More job openings, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility with which jobs you take (and keep).

You will be more empowered knowing that this skill puts you further up the scale towards the job you want.

You will be better educated about the impacts on marine life in general and how to safeguard against any issues.


What forms of payment do you accept?

Currently we only except Bank Transfer and PayPal. We will be introducing more payment options in the near future.


What is the difference between the MMO and MFO course?

There is no difference between an Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) and an Marine Fauna Observer (MFO), its just the difference in the name they call you in different parts of the world once you are trained.


Which is the best course to attend?

The best training course to undertake is the one your company or prospective company requires. It’s wise to check first with your company or the associated operator to find out what their requirements are.


What do l need to work as a marine mammal/fauna observer offshore?

To work offshore in any of the industries you will be required to have:

  • Offshore medical relivant to the country you are working in to prove your fitness to be at sea
  • BOSIET or TBOSIET, STWC 95 or equivalent to your region training (the BOSIET/TBOSIET includes the helicopter underwater escape training)
  • HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training) to enable transfers to and from ship
  • JNCC or equivalent regional training to ensure you are qualified as a marine mammal/fauna observer or in some areas at least 3 years work in the marine mammal field
  • MINIMUM INDUSTRY SAFETY TRAINING (OPITO) – This two day course is based on the offshore industry’s ‘Boots on for Safety’ campaign. It is anticipated that this course will become requirement for all new entrants to the UK Offshore Oil & Gas Industry. The requirement will apply to those who have a BOSIET but haven’t yet been offshore as well as to those who haven’t done the BOSIET course.


Do you offer assistance after completing the course?

Yes, all students receive full support once they have completed the course via email.


Do we have to re-train after a certain amount of time?

At present there is no regulation stating that you have to attend a training course to update your certification. We do however offer a refresher course to all our existing students at a heavily discounted price. This is beneficial as the industry guidelines are constantly changing.


Where can l get the latest guidelines?

You can download the latest guidelines directly from the local governing body such as JNCC, alternatively we have them available on our downloads page which is under the “Need Help?” menu at the top of the page.


Can you recommend anywhere to stay near the course?

Each students budget and requirements are very different. We suggest that you search Google to find accommodation near to the location of the training. Alternatively we have provided a few suggestions on our accommodation page which is located under the “Course” menu at the top of the page.


Can l bring my laptop?

Yes, we welcome all students to bring their laptops. We do not prevent you from using computers during the training session to take notes or find references, however, anyone found to be “surfing” the internet or answering emails which is not relevant to the training course will be asked to leave.


Do you offer private courses?

Yes, we offer private courses. We can either run the course at one of our training locations or travel to your location. The big benefit of private training courses is that it allows us to cater the content of the course specifically to the groups needs.

Please contact us for further details.


What is the difference between the safety at sea courses?

  • PMA08The following Units of Competency under the Process Manufacturing Australia Training Package (PMA08) are offered:
      • PMAOSH214B Undertake helicopter safety and escape
      • PMAOHS215B Apply offshore facility abandonment and sea survival procedures and practices

These Units are Nationally Recognised Training under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and can contribute towards a Qualification. There is no validity period but Operators may require refresher training at their discretion. This qualification may or may not be recognised outside Australia, again dependent on the Operator.

  • HUET – This course aims to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the events and dangers surrounding a water ditching, and the skills necessary to survive an emergency ditching situation. These skills are taught by training in the use of the correct emergency and exit procedures, sea survivals skills, sea safety skills and knowledge of common medical situations.
  • Tropical Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training TBOSIET) –This accreditation is the OPITO Recognised Training for Australian and International Tropical Waters. Validity – 4 years
  • Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) –This accreditation is the OPITO Recognised Training for Australian and International Cold and Tropical Waters. Mandatory for the North Sea. BOSIET encompasses all training for the TBOSIET as well as Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS) and Cold Water Immersion Suits and will enable you to work in both tropical and cold water climates. Validity – 4 years.


Safety at sea Australian courses


What happens after the 4 year validity period?

Refresher training is required, dependent on what was initially undertaken.

  • Tropical Further Offshore Emergency Training (TFOET) – This accreditation is a refresher for TBOSIET. Validity – 4 years
  • Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET) – This accreditation is a refresher for BOSIET. Validity – 4 years