ISM, ISPS, MLC Maritime Lead Auditor


Delivered by industry specialists, this online course qualifies and prepares participants as lead auditors in the areas of audit planning, conducting an audit and follow-up audit activities in compliance with the relevant requirements, by applying recognized audit principles, processes, and techniques.


The purpose of International Safety Management (ISM) Code is to provide an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention.
The Code establishes safety-management objectives and requires a safety management system (SMS) to be established by “the Company”, which is defined as the shipowner or any person, such as the manager or bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for operating the ship.
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.”
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is an International Labour Organization convention, established in 2006 as the fourth pillar of international maritime law and embodies “all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions”. The other “pillars are the SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL. The treaties applies to all ships entering the harbors of parties to the treaty (port states), as well as to all states flying the flag of state party.
While observing the ISO 19011 standard as the official guidance for the conduction of audits, the Lead Auditor ISM-ISPS-MLC Course will provide you with the appropriate knowledge, skills and expertise in order to be effectively involved in the audit procedures and activities in the context of the safety management system and other management systems of shipping companies as required by the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code).
You will learn about the requirements related to the performance of the audits and verifications in an integrated system and how to apply the principles of ISO 19011 management system auditing guidelines, including to be able to:

  • Identify key themes in risk, safety and security management and how audits support the development and continual improvement of Company Safety, Environmental and Quality Management System, under ISM and applicable ISO Standards
  • Understand the purpose and benefits of a good audit
  • Understand the use of standard auditing techniques
  • Plan, prepare and lead an audit
  • Write effective non-conformity audit reports and summaries
  • Understand the importance of resolving non-conformities and verification of completed corrective actions
  • Understand ISPS Code and MLC Convention audit verification requirements

The course approaches the audit process in the context of international standards and therefore, it is equally suitable for sea-going and office-based staff and its benefits are as following:

  • Individuals will have a good understanding of the ISM Code, its importance, and their role within it, including ISM, ISO, ISPS and MLC auditing requirements
  • Individuals will be actively involved in the ongoing evaluation and development of a Company Safety, Environmental and Quality Management System
  • Providing the Company and its auditors with the ability to establish the effectiveness of a Company Management System ahead of external verification by Administrations or Port State Control
  • Delivered by experts with International safety and security management, compliance and verification experience in an engaging interactive style with a variety of security and safety related scenario case study workshops exercises during the training course


Each module is expected to involve 6 hours of learning time each week, making a total of 52 hours per 2 months period and the associated tests might be completed in less than 2 hours.
The training sections don’t have to be completed in one session, you may return to it as often as you like, the system will bookmark your last page so you are returned directly to where you exited the program.


This course will remain open for 2 months for completion or revision starting from the date of course uploading on the student portal.
One or more extensions of study totaling not more than 2 months may be requested by a student and authorised by the Course Director. The request should be made at least one day prior to the end of the period of study.
Further extensions are used where exceptional circumstances necessitate an extension of the normal period of study in order to complete the final test. An agreed extension may involve the payment of small additional fees.

Teaching Methods

In line with the LMI’s general approach and the best international standards, the course is designed with the aim of providing excellent training with an emphasis on its concrete application in the job, professional and company principal related activities.
The training include a course framework (detailing the scope, objective, entry standards, and other information about the course), a course outline (timetable), a detailed teaching syllabus (including the learning objectives that should have been achieved when the course has been completed by students), guidance notes and summary of how the students will be evaluated.
The course involves mainly independent study with the assistance of the educational team; study time, in general, is to be spent on activities such as studying the lecture course material and textbooks and preparing your coursework in order to be ready to take the final test.
Your progress in the subjects taught will be tested and consolidated through exercises related to actual ISO Management Systems cases.

Modes of attendance

This course can be attended only:
Online, via a cutting-edge web platform.

Course Benefits

Whichever way you choose to take the course, you will receive:

Certified Digital badge

Digital badges are web-enabled versions of a credential, certification or learning outcome that can provide valid verification of your credential. They protect the integrity of your credential by providing a link to the verified data from IMT that cannot be falsified. Earners can share their credentials in their email signature, resumes and across various social media platforms, with their contacts, and the greater community enhancing their profile visibility and recognition.

Tutors Gateway

Our tutors are renowned trainers and managers with strong academic and industry backgrounds, with sector-specific skills and practical experience. They are therefore able to bring a wealth of up to date experience and competency.

High Quality Learning Materials

All participants in this course will be provided with a wealth of documentation, including slide presentations, case studies and exercises. The course material is current and accurate and is regarded as the most comprehensive study material of its kind at this level.

Career & Employability Service (3 Months)

Participation in this course will entitle you to have your CV inserted in the IMT database and distributed to companies, organizations and head hunters of the IMT international network. With our certificates, the student has the chance to apply with leading companies in the shipping industry and gain access to work-experience placement opportunities. After you finish your course, you can get help, advice, and support for up to 3 months from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Registration in the IMT  Alumni Portal

Participation in the Advanced Diploma’s course entitles you to be enrolled in the IMT Alumni Association, the international network through which students of the IMT can share ideas, experiences, and projects.