All personal information collected during registration is required for this certification, will be secure and encrypted, and used only for the purposes of this course. Payment information is entered through PayPal's secure and encrypted website.

You can pay for the course with your credit card (Visa, Master card, American Express, Discover) or using PayPal.

No. Once you purchase and begin the course, there are no refunds.

PayPal will send a receipt for payment to the email address you provided.

There is no cancellation policy. Once payment is received for the course there are no refunds.

Students can proceed through the lessons at their own pace. Each time you exit a lesson, you will return to where you left off within that lesson. Fast-moving learners may complete the course in several hours, while others have the option of completing over several days or weeks.

The course must be completed within 90 days.

No, you can log out of the course anytime and when you log back in, you can return to where you left off in the previous session, EXCEPT when you are taking the final test which needs to be completed in one session within two hours.

There are a series of 12 lessons followed by a practical quiz and a final test. Each lesson begins with an introduction, lesson objectives, and then moves through three to four sections of subject matter. Fun practice quizzes are interspersed throughout the modules and each lesson also contains a graded quiz.

There are two graded portions of the course: lesson quizzes and the final test. You must score a cumulative 60% grade on all the lesson quizzes to be able to access the final test and then an 80% on the final test to receive the certification.

Yes. A cumulative score of less than 60% on the lesson quizzes or a score of less than 80% on the final test will not pass the course.

If you do not pass the course you will not receive a U.S. Gulf of Mexico Protected Species Observer Training certificate. You may then re-register to take the course again.

The end of lesson quizzes and final test can only be taken once.

Yes. You will have 2 hours to complete the final test.

No. Once you access the final test, you must complete in one sitting within the time limit.

Students that complete the course with a passing grade on the final test will receive a certificate of U.S. Gulf of Mexico Protected Species Observer Training. The student’s name will be submitted to BSEE as a certified Protected Species Observer.

You can download your PSO certificate as a PDF file immediately upon completion of the test with a passing grade.

Under current regulatory requirements, the PSO certification for the Gulf of Mexico does not expire.

Yes. This program is accepted by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The course in its entirety will be available to you for a period of 90 days after you complete the registration process. Course documents will be accessible for download throughout this time period.

No, once the 90 day period is complete you will have to re-register to regain access to the course content.

The website is compatible with primary internet browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome) and operating systems (Mac, PC). Compatible devices include computers, tablets, and smart phones with Apple iOS, Google Android, or Windows operating systems. Devices with other operating systems (i.e. BlackBerry, Symbian, webOS) may be used, but compatibility has not been tested for these systems. We do not suggest completing the entire course on a mobile device, as it would likely reduce retention of information in comparison to completion on a larger device. Some course components may not be functional on out of date browsers, so we recommend updating your browser prior to starting the course.
RPS has been at the forefront of providing Protected Species Observing (PSO) services in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic for many years. Our in-house training and certification program has been part of the foundation of our success.
We are pleased to present the first BOEM/NMFS-compliant online PSO course for the Gulf of Mexico and U.S Atlantic. Successful completion of the course will result in your certification as a PSO.
This training program pulls together the expertise, advice, and lessons learned of our instructors, biologists, and other professionals who have overcome some of the complex hurdles that have shaped the PSO program into what it is today.
Please view some commonly asked questions below. If you have additional inquiries feel free to contact us at
Ready for a career in Marine Biology?
Get certified as a Protected Species Observer today!
Expand your knowledge of the marine environment
Increase your professional skill set and value to prospective employers
Work in an exciting and diverse environment where you can observe marine life
Want to learn about marine environmental issues?
Learn about sound in the marine environment and associated regulatory requirements
Increase your understanding of monitoring and mitigation procedures on geophysical surveys
Proactively prevent incidents of potential non-compliance
Improve understanding of regulations and HSE performance
Already a PSO and want to be the best of the best?
Never stop striving to learn more!
Improve your knowledge and performance as a PSO
Refresh and sharpen your skills
Improve your data collection and reporting techniques
Looking for Professional Development?
Educate your project management team
Increase the efficacy of project mangers with improved knowledge of regulatory requirements
Enhance your offshore environmental training program
Are you ready to become a certified Protected Species Observer?
Then get started right here!
Sign up for our online Protected Species Observer (PSO) course today!
The certification never expires!