A competent workforce is more productive, operating with reduced risks, shorter downtime and fewer injuries and thus delivering efficient projects realising value to the client. These are certainly reasons enough for the continuing focus by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) on universal take-up of their competence assurance and assessment framework; and they continue to encourage a firm commitment to competence by all.
IMCA's guidance on competence assurance and assessment has been developed to provide offshore contractors with a framework on which to build their own competence schemes, thereby giving the offshore industry, in general, confidence that all personnel appointed to safety-critical and other relevant positions can carry out their jobs in an effective manner.
The Association's commitment to competence sees two newly published documents - "Guidance on Competence Assurance & Assessment for the Offshore Survey Division" (IMCA C 004 Rev. 2) and "Guidance on Competence Assurance & Assessment for the Remote Systems & ROV Division" (IMCA C 005 Rev. 2).
"The competence tables in both have been thoroughly reviewed and updated, client representative tables that were published in 2004 relevant to both the offshore survey and remote systems/ROV sectors have been incorporated; and tables for a number of new positions are included in the remote systems/ROV publication," explains Hugh Williams, IMCA's Chief Executive. "The front section of the guidance, which provides an introduction, overview, and which looks specifically at competence assurance and then competence assessment as well as the role of assessors and verifiers is common to all four of our technical divisions, has also been updated and extended.
"The diving and marine tables are currently being updated and extended," he adds. "The combined volume for all four divisions has been withdrawn, but will be available again once the updated diving and marine tables are complete. We have other guidance currently under development, including competence guidance for offshore safety advisers and on the implementation of competence schemes, including case studies. We are also reviewing the information packs for freelance personnel, covering survey and ROV positions.
"We are firmly committed to ensuring that competence is a 'given' throughout the offshore marine contracting sector. It is vital that it is assessed and appreciated throughout the industry. All those involved know a rigorous assessment procedure is in place against which their skills, experience and knowledge will be measured. This competence framework also enables personnel to plan their career development, as it outlines the steps they require in order to attain the required levels of competence for their current job function and future career path development."