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Competence assurance and assessment…

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Jane Bugler

Jane Bugler


Following a number of incidents involving small workboats operating in the wind farm sector during 2012 and 2013, a need was identified to set out the elements of competence required for crews operating and working on small workboats. ‘Guidance on Competence Assurance and Assessments: Marine Roles for Small Workboats’ (IMCA C 017) has now been published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

“For the purpose of our new guidance a small workboat is any vessel less than 200 gross tonnes, ” explains IMCA’s Technical Director and Acting Chief Executive, Jane Bugler.

“Working together, our Competence & Training Core Committee, Marine Division Management Committee, and Renewable Energy Workgroup in our member companies acknowledged that the areas of competence and the supporting knowledge and abilities required are different on small workboats compared to larger vessels, and formalising these criteria would be of benefit not just to the wind farm sector, but any marine construction sector around the world where small workboats are operated.

“The frameworks have been written with the international community in mind; they do not seek to replace any local guidance or legislative requirements so should be used in conjunction with any local requirements and not instead of them.”

Separate volumes of guidance on competence assurance and assessment also exist for each of the IMCA technical divisions (Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey, and Remote Systems & ROV) and are issued individually as C 002-005.

In addition to an introduction and overview, the new guidance document includes sections on Competence Assurance; Competence Assessment, including:

  • ‘Core’ or ‘Common’ Competences
  • ‘Key’ Competences
  • Logbooks and Competence Records (a Workboat crew logbook has also been published)
  • Assessment and Review

There are also sections on Assessors and Verifiers and Competence Tables.

The document can be downloaded free of charge from the IMCA website at www.imca-int.com, and additional printed copies are available to members at £10.00 and non-members at £20.00. The Workboat crew logbook costs £15.00 for members and £18.50 for non-members. Both publications can be ordered from publications@imca-int.com and from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.

Further information
Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 1000+ member companies in over 60 countries is available fromwww.imca-int.com and imca@imca-int.com. The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint
About IMCA

  • IMCA is an international association with over a thousand members in more than 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.
  • 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 code of practice, DP documentation, marine and ROV 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.

About the industry IMCA serves
The marine contracting industry plays a vital global role. Its vessels account for 4% of the world’s maritime fleet. Collectively IMCA members employ some 350, 000 people and have an annual turnover of around $150bn. They work in all the world’s major offshore areas, delivering large offshore oil and gas and marine renewables projects around the globe that quite literally fuel the global economy

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