ISM Lead Auditor

This course is currently under development and piloting. We aim to start delivery in early September! Keep a look out for updates! 

There has been widespread support across the industry to develop and implement an audit structure for implementation of Safety Management Systems. 

Adopting a Safety Management System has been a game changer in protecting workers from injury and saving lives in high-risk industries. By adopting an auditable Safety Management System, supported by The Nautical Institute ISM Lead Auditor’s course, operators can document all their safety and welfare activity and have peace of mind that they are compliant with regulations.

Course Aims

The Nautical Institute aims to contribute to the improvement of vessel safety with the development of the ISM Lead Auditors’ Course.

On successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the auditing principles extensively
  • Prepare systematically for an ISM audit 
  • Systematically conduct an ISM audit
  • Prepare an effective report after the audit
  • Conduct an effective de-briefing and follow-up


The ISM Lead Auditor Course is delivered over five days, totalling 18 hours of teaching time. 

Who should attend?

The course is designed for members of the maritime community, specifically those in the industry who have the professional knowledge and experience to apply the principles of the ISM Code to vessels whilst understanding the culture and requirements of the industry.


This is a pass/fail course.

To achieve a pass, participants must:

  • Attend the course in full. 
  • Pass a theoretical assessment held at the end of the course. The pass mark is 70%.
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete all required elements of practical auditing tasks to the satisfaction of the instructor.


Meet your Instructor

Captain Sarabjit Butalia FNI
Captain Sarabjit Butalia FNI

Short course instructor

Captain Sarabjit Butalia FNI is a Nautical Institute Fellow who specialises in maritime education and training. Captain Butalia has years of experience as an onboard assessor, has an MSc in Maritime Affairs from the World Maritime University, Malmö. He designs and develops safety modules and training programmes based on need analysis to enhance skills and efficiency.