A 'Catch 22' situation has been solved by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) with the publication of its latest guidance 'Outline syllabus for training of personnel in supervisory positions' (IMCA C 011).
"Within the relevant committees and at our annual seminar members have discussed the pressing need for guidance on the training of offshore supervisors, having found that those who have demonstrated technical competence can often be promoted to positions of responsibility, only to find that they have inadequate competence in supervisory skills and an incomplete or superficial understanding of the business of leading and managing their fellow employees," explains IMCA's Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. "The result can be an unhappy one for both the individual concerned and for employers.
"A number of IMCA member companies have in-house courses on leadership, management and supervisory skills. We have therefore drawn together some of the subject headings from these courses in the proposed syllabus for the training of supervisors, which can be used by members and other training providers to develop a course appropriate to their needs."
The aim of the new document is to provide a framework or syllabus for a training course suitable for supervisors and team leaders from all areas within the marine contracting sector, both on- and offshore. It could also apply to newly appointed managers and those who have some experience of managing but who have received no formal training. The syllabus aims to provide clear guidelines on supervisory and leadership skills, as this aspect of the role of the supervisor or manager can be both difficult and important.
Under ten main headings - The role of the supervisor; Managing yourself; Managing and supervising your team; Cultural differences; Communications; Delegation; Managing, assessing and monitoring performance; Training and development; Safety leadership and management; and Managing change - the slim volume lists a number of vital points for discussion in a course which, it is suggested, would take two days or be tailored to the needs of IMCA member companies.