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About this course

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All students attending on-campus courses at Warsash Maritime School must take a Covid-19 test before starting their training. For more information about Covid-19 testing, please read our guidance document.

The IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention (2004) requires all ships to implement a ballast water management system. It involves an environmental responsibility for the shipping industry to put measures in place to avoid pollution through the transfer of non-indigenous bio species from one area of the world to another in the ship’s water ballast. 

This two-day course is structured to provide industry professionals with an appreciation of the requirements and challenges associated with ballast water management and covers the well-publicised core issues of the problem of transporting invasive species in ships' ballast water. The course ensures company officials are better prepared to implement and monitor the Convention. 

The BWM Convention (2004) is the eventual solution (in addition to some regional enforcement measures), and this course takes delegates through the Convention requirements, leading to streamlining the planning required for the implementation and monitoring of these requirements. The course also provides an outline of the main principles - and pitfalls - of the treatment technologies available for installation and use, as well as the issues of installation and retrofitting. 

In addition, the course provides an overview of the key monitoring and compliance checks conducted by enforcement authorities to ensure vessels comply with the Convention requirements. Foreign and regional regulations are also likely to be in force alongside the Convention requirements, and the course covers the main foreign legislation and the key differences. 

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at professionals within the industry who have positions within: 

  • Shipping companies, ship managers and superintendents 
  • Sea-going officers and engineers
  • Maritime administrations, flag state administrations, port state control administrations - surveyors and inspectors
  • Legal aid teams and maritime law experts
  • Enforcement agencies: operators and managers
  • Terminal operators and managers
  • Vetting inspectors
  • Parties with concerns about environmental issues
  • Students studying environmental protection, marine biology or coastal erosion

What you'll learn

Day one

  • Background: key issues associated with ballast water transfer internationally and how transported species have affected many local habitats and resulted in spread of disease. 
  • Ballast water exchange and hazards: assess the significant operational and safety issues associated with exchanging ballast water in open sea.  
  • GloBallast: clarify the role of GloBallast.  
  • Summary of treatment technologies: operational matters of the key treatment technologies available.  
  • Key principles of BWM Convention: what does the Convention require and what changes had to be made even prior to implementation of the Convention. 
  • Treatment technology approvals: processes involved in the approval of the treatment technologies. 
  • Individual nation’s response: discuss the significant individual nations who have taken their own action, in addition to the convention requirements.  
  • Implementation schedules: outline the schedule of implementation and national legislation of the convention. 

Day two

  • Administration of BWM: roles and responsibilities towards ballast water management at ship, company, flag and port state level, as well as class and other professional bodies. 
  • Active substances: use of chemical and other agents for control of microbes and pathogens. 
  • Filtration: review methods of blocked access at entry point and specialist filters. 
  • Port State Control of BWM: address questions on what the port state will be looking for? and how the compliance will be checked.  
  • Installation, retrofitting and surveys: key issues of installation and retrofitting of treatment units. 
  • Sampling and monitoring: issues and procedures required to collect samples 
  • Non-active substances: passive treatment substances and discuss issues with their use. 
  • BW risk assessment: processes and risks associated from exchange to treatment. 

Please see our Covid-19 statement and guidance for those attending maritime training and certification courses and exams at Warsash Maritime School and Solent University.

Course Information

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Course availability

Please contact admissions for course availability and to book.

Contact us

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course.

Online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure that you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email

Admissions Team

Normal office hours are (UK time):

08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Thursday
08.30 - 16.30 Friday