In a move to achieve greater measurable competence and thus higher levels of safety and efficiency, the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has changed the name, and thus the remit, of one of its core activities. The Training, Certification & Personnel Competence (TCPC) committee is now known as the Competence & Training (C&T) committee, with responsibility for certification issues moving to each of IMCA's technical divisions - Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey, and Remote Systems & ROV.
"The newly constituted C&T committee will do exactly 'what it says on the tin' and have responsibility for guidance on competence assurance and assessment for personnel in marine contracting" explains IMCA's Chief Executive, Hugh Williams.
"Our competence assurance and assessment framework, launched on New Year's Day 1999, was updated in 2003 and is now undergoing a further review to ensure that it is used widely as a basis for in-house schemes by our international membership. The formation of 'Competence & Training' sees us relaunch the drive to greater measureable competence, which in turn leads to higher levels of safety and efficiency and thus to projects being delivered on time and on budget."
Like much IMCA guidance, the aim is to create a singular, workable and accepted approach. This approach should encourage developing recognised competence through training and experience, measuring and recording it and thereby the ability to demonstrate it to clients and authorities.
The Competence & Training committee will also co-ordinate training issues undertaken throughout IMCA and implement much of the association's work on recruitment and careers promotion issues, vital to ensuring the industry recruits, and retains, the skilled - and competent - workforce it needs to undertake its operations safely.
The new Competence & Training Committee will be enlarged to have more representatives to get a wider spectrum of views, with committee members co-opted if necessary; the regional input will also be strengthened - IMCA has four regional sections, Europe & Africa; Americas Deepwater; Middle East & India; and Asia-Pacific and a member of the IMCA secretariat will support the Competence & Training Committee in its work.
"The TCPC committee has achieved a great deal in its 12 years of existence, and we would like to pay tribute to John Greensmyth of Technip, the outgoing Chairman, who has steered it with such vigour, particularly over the past year during which the review that has led to the establishment of the Competence & Training committee has taken place," says Hugh Williams.
"Steve Sheppard of Helix Energy Solutions Group is the Chairman of the Competence & Training committee with a long list of actions for his committee. These including developing and approving training schemes; approving proposals for training from our four Technical Divisions; developing links to NGOs; developing international aspects; specifying four levels of training; reviewing initiatives with impact on the IMCA competence framework; reviewing training proposals against competence guidelines; and investigating stakeholder expectations of competence and training.
"We got off to a flying start at a recent highly successful members' workshop held in Aberdeen by our Europe & Africa Section at which the IMCA competence framework was in the spotlight. We are eager to ensure that there is worldwide consistency across the membership using in-house schemes; and to provide all necessary materials to help members implement the guidance. Our framework, which is now ten years old, is to be reviewed. It is essential that member companies grasp the competence framework with enthusiasm, and use it for the demonstration of competence now demanded internationally in the offshore industry.