Work is under way on reviewing the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) Diver Medic Scheme which is widely used and taught by IMCA recognized schools around the world. The scheme has changed little since its development in 1999, although there have been some significant improvements in training as a result of changes in technology and recent experience in trauma medicine. In addition, the problem of skill fade amongst Diver Medics, especially with some of the more complex procedures, has become an increasing cause for concern.
“Initial work on reviewing the scheme will include the establishment of a workgroup later this year, which will take the review forward, ” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “In an effort to address concerns over skills fade, our Diving Division Management Committee has decided that all certificates issued after 1 July 2013 will only have a two year validity, with refresher training required every two years.
“This means that within the final three months of validity of a certificate a refresher course can be carried out and the validity date of the new certificate will run for a further two years from the expiry date of the old one. Or otherwise, for up to eight weeks after the expiry of an existing certificate, a refresher course can similarly be undertaken – this allows for unforeseen circumstances that prevent a refresher course being undertaken during the final three months of a certificate’s validity but is very much the exception rather than the rule, taking the refresher in the final three months is the recommended course of action.
“The certificate ceases to be valid on its expiry date, although we allow that eight-week period in which people can renew doing a refresher course rather than a full course.”
Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 900+ member companies in over 60 countries is available from www.imca-int.com and from IMCA, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; email@example.com. The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint.
- IMCA is an international association with more than 915 members over 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
- IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as eCMID, safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.