Training Courses

MMO & PAM Training CourseS

Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC) offers a variety of training courses world-wide, designed to give participants hands on skills to feel confident and competent working as an Marine Mammal Observer (MMO), Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Operator, or Protected Species Observer (PSO).

OSC’s course instructors are highly experienced, practised, and active MMOs and PAM Operators who have a wide background in various offshore projects.

OSC is also certified to run New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC)-accredited training courses for MMO and PAM. DOC-accreditation is consistent with standards in the ‘2013 code of conduct for minimising acoustic disturbance to marine mammals from seismic survey operations’ (the Code). 

Additionally, OSC is approved to train Taiwanese Cetacean Observers (TCO) by the Ocean Conservation Administration (OCAa) for applicable projects.

OSC’s courses involve responsive personal (including one-to-one) tuition throughout. Please note that our courses are not simply ‘attend-and-pass courses’. In accordance with Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and DOC’s requirements, successful candidates must pass an exam (pass rate of 70% or higher), although we will provide further reassessment procedures for those initially scoring less than the pass rate. 

Course participants will also receive a discount for purchases of Marine Binoculars or Tripod Mounts from Opticron.

Depending on current COVID-19 guidance, courses are intended to be held in person (face-to-face), and all participants will be required to provide proof of negative leteral flow test within the previous 48 hours, and ideally COVID-19 vaccination status prior to attending. Confirmation of current requirements shall be emailed to the participant prior to course.

All course are capped at a maximum of 12 participants. Prices are exclusive of VAT, which is charged at the current rate. We offer courses at a reduced rate of £700 should participants attend all three (MMO, PAM, and PSO), click here to register.

Potential candidates and/or firms unable to attend/send delegates to these courses are welcome to suggest alternative venues and dates anywhere in the world, which will be organised if sufficient interest is generated. Please email with your company’s requirements.

If you are already a certified MMO/PAM operator and would like to work with OSC, or have worked with us previously, please create an account here to provide us with your contact details and offshore documents. Please ensure you keep your documents and contact details up to date. If you have questions, please get in touch with


OSC offers JNCC-accredited training courses for MMOs which comply with UK regulations to minimise the risk of injury and disturbance to marine mammals from industrial activities such as piling, geophysical surveys, and explosives.

JNCC guidelines are regarded widely as international best practice, particularly concerning the establishment of observer training and performance standards. OSC’s JNCC-approved MMO course includes lectures, discussion, and practical elements in an intensive one-day training course.

OSC’s next JNCC-approved MMO training course is planned for 16 August 2022 in Dunbar, Scotland, UK, for £220 per person (requires 5+ course attendees). Subsequent MMO courses will be on 14 November 2022 and in 2023. This cost includes provision of a copy of the ‘Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Handbook’ for each participant.

Click here to register.


OSC offers Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST)-accredited PAM training. PAM Operators (PAMO) are used to supplement MMOs during industrial operations when visual operations are not appropriate, e.g. during hours of darkness, poor visibility, or poor weather conditions. Underwater noise can be processed and analysed in real-time for detection of marine mammals using Passive Acoustic Monitoring Guardianship (PAMGuard).

OSC’s next IMarEST-accredited PAM course is planned for 15-17 November 2022 in Dunbar, Scotland, for £450 per person. Subsequent courses are planned for 2023. These courses involve practical components on use of PAM systems that will either be held between OSC’s warehouse facilities and vessel Orca (weather dependent and requires 8+ course attendees).

Click here to register.


OSC offers PSO training accepted by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). A PSO certificate is required for any observer working within the United States of America (USA) Offshore Continental Shelf (OCAb).

OSC’s next PSO course is planned for the morning of 15 November 2022 in Dunbar, Scotland, for £100 per person (requires 5+ course attendees and MMO course is prerequisite). Subsequent PSO courses are planned for 2023.

Click here to register.


“Both Tierney and Sophie were excellent teachers and trainers. They are both so knowledgeable about both marine mammal species but also about the offshore industry which is very useful for the student.” – Siobhan

“For me, the training was really informative. Although I’m a marine scientist, I’ve never actually worked with marine mammals and running through the JNCC guidelines was very helpful to understand the MMO role, which gave me a better understanding of what to expect onboard and how to operate as an MMO offshore. I also just want to say that Sophie was an amazing instructor and delivered all the information in a clear and consise manner. Thank you so much, I learned a lot and feel ready and confident to act as an MMO on vessels.” – Patrica

“There was a lot of information packed into the course, and I really enjoyed the day. I found some parts to be more of a recap, as I have previously covered them (e.g. marine mammal classification), however I’m sure these parts would be really useful for a wider audience, and ensure that people wouldn’t need any prerequisites to attend. I found that running through the JNCC guidelines, and also the various operation types, was most useful, as this helped to put the MMO role into context, and gave me a better understanding of what I will actually be doing on a day-to-day basis offshore. Sophie is a great instructor, very clear and thorough explanations!” – Katie

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