IMO Model Courses

OPRC Model Courses

The OPRC 1990 Convention obliges governments to establish a programme of exercises for oil pollution response organizations and training of relevant personnel.  It also calls on IMO to develop a comprehensive training programme in cooperation with interested governments and industry.
The IMO has developed a range of training courses to address all aspects of oil spill planning, response and management.  These are known as the OPRC Model Courses.  These courses have been designed and developed by an international group of experts from governments and industry. They are available in CD format and include instructor’s manuals, participant’s manuals and training aids, in the form of presentations and additional guidance and tools.
The IMO courses on oil pollution preparedness and response have been developed for three levels of competency:
  • Operational staff (Level 1);
  • Supervisors and on-scene commanders (Level 2); and
  • Senior management personnel (Level 3).
The OPRC Model courses 2006 edition is currently being updated. The new edition will be available at the end of 2015.

HNS Model Courses

The OPRC-HNS Protocol 2000 requires governments to establish the training of relevant personnel and a programme of exercises for the response to pollution from hazardous and noxious substances (HNS). The protocol also called for IMO to develop a comprehensive training programme in cooperation with interested governments and industry. 

At the 53rd session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and on the recommendation of the OPRC-HNS Technical Group approval was given for a project to develop two model training courses for preparedness and response to marine incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances. 

The objective of these model courses was to provide practical training and guidance in preparing for and responding to HNS incidents. The courses were not designed to train response personnel. This is a separate and very specific subject. 

The new courses were designed to complement the suite of existing IMO OPRC model courses for preparedness and response to marine oil spills and aimed to support the efforts of countries in acceding to and implementing the OPRC Convention 1990 and its HNS Protocol 2000. The courses are aimed at two levels:
  • Operational Level:  First responders, Supervisors and On-Scene Commanders
  • Manger Level: Administrators and Senior Managers
These courses, when properly linked to a country’s national contingency plan, can be used to train staff who form the cornerstone for the conduct and management of an effective response to a marine HNS spill.


The OPRC and HNS Model Training Courses are offered for purchase through IMO Publishing. 


It is important to note that while the courses are made available for purchase, the International Maritime Organization does not certify, endorse or accredit training institutions or individuals for the delivery of the OPRC Model Courses. 

Use of the IMO logo

The Organization also prohibits the use its logo, unless permission has been expressly granted in writing, based on an official request.  This rule extends to the use of the IMO logo on promotional materials, web sites, and business cards that may be used by training organizations to promote the delivery of the OPRC Model Courses or imply endorsement by the IMO for this purpose. The criteria for granting use of the IMO logo are limited and permission would not be granted for its use in this context.