Online developments related to the invaluable International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) 'Common Marine Inspection Document' (CMID) are well on target. A new electronic format - the 'e-CMID'; and a secure online database, both of which are intended to further enhance the consistent completion and availability of completed CMID reports are currently under development. Both will be demonstrated at IMCA's annual seminar on 4-5 November in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"Earlier this year we published an updated version of the CMID overseen by a cross industry workgroup, with input provided by contractors (vessel operators) charterers (oil companies through their association OGP), consultants (inspectors) and other interested parties. At that time we announced the development of the e-CMID and the online database," explains IMCA's Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. "I am glad to say that both are well on target, with the e-CMID and online database due to be completed this autumn, Technical Adviser Ian Giddings will be giving a demonstration of both in Rio at our Annual Seminar. These are major developments designed to ensure cross industry use of the CMID, and thus ensure ever-greater levels of efficiency."
Updated guidance on the use of the new CMID is also being prepared, which will cover how inspectors should assess elements and complete their report; and then how they can work with the 'e-CMID' and database.
"The CMID was initially developed nine years ago and has done sterling work in meeting vital objectives during that time," explains Hugh Williams. "First to provide an industry format for vessel inspection reports and to reduce the number of inspections carried out on individual marine vessels - some were inspected over and over and over again because there was no common approach; and secondly to work towards the adoption of a common inspection standard for the offshore marine industry - achieved by using the CMID format and sharing inspection reports."
The new CMID document (IMCA M 149 Issue 7) was thoroughly reviewed and rewritten, with clearer structure; the previous subjectivity removed in the questions; and incorporating updates to reflect technological, operational and regulatory developments. It now provides additional guidance on inspector competence.
"Some people, used to the previous format have been searching for the supplements that it previously contained," says Hugh Williams. "Those that were deemed relevant are included in the body of the new document thus making it far more 'user-friendly'; this is a very definite bonus. Others, that sought job-specific suitability information were not considered relevant to the CMID and have thus been removed. We are now working on guidance on vessel assurance, outside the CMID, to address this need. Like all IMCA documents, a degree of 'evolution' has seen the CMID achieve ever-greater acceptance.
A Word version of the new CMID for electronic completion by inspectors, and which can be kept as a 'live' document on vessel/company systems, is available for free downloading via both IMCA's members-only website and the public website at www.imca-int.com/cmid
"Cross-industry collaboration is key to the success and acceptance of the CMID," says Hugh Williams. "There is no doubt that over the past nine years the CMID, and the consequent standardisation of vessel inspection, has had a most beneficial effect on efficiency, vessel quality and operational safety. However, we can never afford to rest on our laurels and our recent update undoubtedly improves the CMID in a number of ways, and the introduction of our online facilities later this year will ensure ever-greater usefulness of the CMID."