Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL) has recently run a number of training courses for oil pollution control officers. This paper describes these courses and relates activities to the responsibilities of the officers attending and the functions of the range of organisations concerned with oil pollution clearance. The nature of these activities has been explored and the underlying philosophy developed. Ultimately, the aim is to equip oil pollution officers with as wide an appreciation and understanding of available techniques and practices as possible within the limits imposed by a 10-day residential course. The training programme consists of lectures, films, demonstrations, and practical work in the use of proven techniques, and members are required to produce written assessments and comparisons of a number of commercially available devices. Topics include nature and source of oil spills, beach protection and cleaning, and the recovery of oil from water surfaces.