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Offshore Seabird Monitoring Training

To ensure the collection of high quality and standardised data, JNCC offers training in offshore seabird surveillance for both the Volunteer Seabirds at Sea (VSAS) citizen science programme and for commercial European Seabirds at Sea (ESAS) standard surveys.

VSAS training


VSAS training is provided at volunteer and mentor levels, with both courses including a mixture of theoretical and practical sessions. The three day mentor course trains participants to an ESAS standard (see information below on commercial training) and helps them develop coaching skills. 

The two day volunteer course delivers the key elements of the ESAS methods and gives participants the opportunity to practice these in the field. Both courses are taught in a friendly, interactive, low pressure environment.


Commercial Training

Commercial training takes the form of at least three days of theoretical and practical instruction by a JNCC-approved ESAS trainer. Trainers assess participants in five key areas: seabird identification, method application, navigation, seabird detection and recording stamina. To gain accreditation, participants must pass all five of these competencies. 


If you are considering attending a commercial ESAS training course, it is essential that you have excellent seabird identification skills; good eyesight (visual acuity); and you are not prone to seasickness and fatigue (recording stamina), as these competencies cannot be taught during the training course.


Course Sign-Up

If you are interested in partaking in any of the courses, or would like more information on what the training includes, please contact the team.



Monitoring Seabirds At Sea

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