A competent workforce is a productive one, operating with fewer risks, meaning shorter downtimes and fewer injuries – all steps towards that much sought after industry ‘holy grail’ of zero incidents. Effective competence schemes established by companies of all sizes ensure confidence in the offshore industry, and that all appointed to safety-critical positions can carry out their jobs in an effective manner.
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) first introduced a competence assurance and assessment framework in 1999, and IMCA sees encouraging evidence of an ever-increasing number of competence schemes, using that regularly revised framework, being introduced by companies around the world. This in itself speaks volumes, for initially the scheme was launched in the UK, but increasingly in the 15 years since its introduction ever-greater interest in, and uptake of, the IMCA competence framework has been apparent globally.
Proof of this is that on 27 August, a competence seminar will be held in conjunction with an IMCA Asia-Pacific Region section meeting in Singapore (Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel).
Organised by the IMCA Competence & Training Core Committee, the seminar, with its theme ‘Effective competence management systems’ will consist of a mixture of presentations and round table discussions on competence related industry topics. The seminar aims to raise the profile of demonstrating competence in the offshore and subsea sectors offering companies tools and solutions to develop effective Competence Management schemes and systems. The seminar is particularly aimed at contractors’ competence and training representatives, personnel from their offshore workforce, IMCA Personnel Agency members, and providers of C&T solutions and is open to members and non-members alike.
The competence seminar, which is free to attend, will begin at 11:30 with a welcome by Neil Evans, Technical Adviser at IMCA who will explain the role of the IMCA Competence & Training (C&T) Core Committee and give an overview of its action plan. Mike Meade of the M3 Marine/Singapore Shipping Association Offshore Training, Development and Education subcommittee will then speak on ‘Making progress with offshore training, development and education of seafarers in the offshore marine industry’.
Mike Robinson of McDermott International will start a group discussion ball rolling with a presentation ‘Competence: back to basics’ and Q&A. Following lunch Darioosh Naderi of Atlas Professionals will look at the ‘Personnel agency perspective on competence assessment’; followed by Neil Evans talking about ‘Competence Management Systems: auditing against a standard’. Steve MacMillan of McDermott International and IMCA Asia-Pacific Chairman will bring the seminar to a close with a summary and feedback.
IMCA is an international association with some 970 members in 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 Vision & Strategy. As a result of work and collective input in 2013, IMCA has redefined its stated core purpose to be “Improving performance in the marine contracting industry”. To achieve this goal, IMCA’s Vision & Strategy has been devised with two elements in mind: Core activities and ways of working. Targets and objectives against which the association will measure progress in 2014 have been established.
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.