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My reaction to IMCA is that its just another body having its turn at regulating the industry.

Maybe you dont remember the last lot who were supposedly going to regulate the industry for years to come but ended up as a monthly meeting for certain business men halfway down the M1 where they enjoyed a trip away on expenses and acheived little other than taking some aspects of regulation beyond sense.

They did not last long and as it happens I do not think IMCA will go on forever either.
They are but an advisory body appointed by no one but themselves and the proof for our industry is in the pudding so to speak as how many people have you ever heard praising Imca for the worthy certificates that are given to guys spending thousands of pounds for nothing.
Their are many companies using IMCA saying that they approve this or that where the truth is that IMCA approves nothing and never have but one must wonder sometimes at the new idea courses that come out from the so called approved training schools.

One other point on IMCA is that many companies are IMCA companies but how many of them do you know that follow their advice very closely?

Dont get me wrong Im not an IMCA basher Im just being realistic about whats happening and Im sure they do some good but Im also sure that an association of ROV people would know better about ROV matters than a body that wants to encompass all and have zero bite.

The best by far body in the uk sector is the HSE who do have a bite.Maybe if they took back the role of regulating and creating standards that many people would be happier that they have some enforcable regulations behind them as opposed to some non enforcable rules that can be side swiped at will by unscrupulous companies.

Its like the try with the RMT union,they wanted our revenue but they in the end shunned us.Thats why something needs to be done about our ROV industry to stop us being shafted.

I dont have all the answers and maybe I have none but what Im doing here is trying to spark something amongst ROV people about helping themselves avoiding being shafted as we are in certain sectors now.
If thats wrong then I appologise and will withdraw but as Im sure if you glance through the pages on this website you will find more than a few complaints about companies giving ROV people bad deals.

The backbone comments was thrown in to start a reaction as Im sure many ROV people on here recognised and has obviously worked by you reacting with your welcomed comments,now your attention is here how about some ideas on how to improve our lot.
Here is a starting point.

What are we as ROV people looking for in a trainee?

What level would we look for in being happy to allow them amids our ranks to train as a pilot/tech?

What level should they acheive before being recognised by US as being a pilot/tech.

Should they be part of the operational team or should they be extra in training?

What should be their minimum wage as a trainee?

Who should fund their training?
My views

A potential trainee.
Maturity,Common sense,Ability to clearly communicate both verbally and written english,Some appropriate form of engineering qualification with some industry experience or a good experienced engineering background,team player,enthusiastic but not reckless,forward but not arrogant,good listener,cool headedness and non aggresive,able to learn.

All of the above

Hmmm... A designated number of real flying hours not in the TMS,flying experience in and around structures,pipelinees and diver support.
Designated technical jobs satisfactoraly completed and backed up by supv sig and engineering log,ie CHECKABLE to avoid blaggers and buddies and botch jobs.
Testimonials from 5 different supvs on his team playing and abilities.
Testimonials from 5 different pilot/Techs

They should be in excess of the operational team.

Minimum wage should be 200us pd

They should be funded by the employing companies as an investment in their future workforce with the funding built into each contract for training.
Im struggling a bit here on trying to work out how many hours of flying would constitute a good level of experience in each field.I have my thoughts and will publish them but I would appreciate some figures thrown about for this particular point and then I will progess.
Come on lads five minutes thought and a few figures and I will be able to kinda guage a ball park figure which can be refined further if needs be.
The flying hours experience thing is a nightmare on its own. If a company specilises in drill support with eyeballs the pilot may be more than competent to do that job but may well struggle with some types of survey work.

Do the association hold back them pilots because they have the misfortune not to do certain tasks. Or are you proposing that we have a multi-tiered wage structure based on proven job skills, time served, number of systems worked on and the ability to make a good cup of tea.

As for pay that argument will rage for a long time. Personally if I was contracting and the day rate was over £400 a day I was happy. I imagine that there are people on here who feel it should be higher others may feel it should be flexible and move with market demands.

Maybe you should break the whole thing down into small bits get the opinons in rather than trying to deal with the every issue in the industry at once.

Thankyou in the first inst for your imput.
I am aware that the hours thing is a nightmare but we gotta put some figures on it for the time being.
Im spending my time between visits here trying to formulate some rules as starters I have chosen flying inside and outside structures,pipelines and diver support which I think is most of what we do.
Im trying to keep this as simple as possible in the first inst to spark views on what we should do.

My view right now is that we keep everything as simple as possible until we are up and running and then we can refine it as we go and start to put some pressure on those that would shaft us.

Make no mistake the people who do shaft us are watching and if we get anywhere near causing them a problem they are gonna go at us as best they can,so for now Im tryin to keep it tight and hopefully soon I will post a full set of proposed rules and we will go from there.
My problem with the whole hours thing is summed up pretty well by the ROV I manage.

We work for the Marine institute Ireland on scientific research projects. We have not had the ROV that long and are just finished getting it bedded in and over most of the niggles from the factory.

We currently have only 60ish days a year of programmed work and the rest of the time we are on standby to support the coastguard etc in search and recovery operations. We also support the Irish Naval service as required.
The problem with our days is the Technician I employ would only be able to achieve a maximum of 240 hours a year flying. Obviously I want him to be involved in the IMCA scheme or anything else that I feel forwards our company and his career development.
The point is my staff would be take years to develop within a scheme through no fault of there own even though they may be very competent at doing what they do.
The problem with rigid rules is they start to exclude some people so maybe dispensation needs to be put into any system for such circumstances.
Thats why the following should be the most important fact

Qualifications we are Technicians after all.

(As you said JUSTATOT some dont have i dont see you ever getting recoginition with out using that as a base)

By putting Flying hours down what happens to the Trenchers and Ploughs?

Are you just going to deal with pure ROV's.

The Min should be 200 GBP For a Trainee Oceaneering for Example was paying more than 200 US in 2005.

Also like some companies have several positions as does Imca Pilot Tech 1 and 2 and Some have now 3 and 4.

I think Time offshore should be also a factor.

Or even Workshop based time should count for some time of the lower based positions towards days on the equipment etc.
Thanks for the input.

I appreciate your concerns re progression for your staff.

What I am trying to instigate here is not a regulatory body giving qualifications out in opposition to IMCA.

The object of what I envisage is to bring the majority of ROV people working around the world mainly offshore in the oil and gas industry together as one strong body interested only in ROV.

At present offshore we have a number of things going on that affects our pay and conditions.

We tried working with the RMT union to represent us and found that they were not interested in us but enjoyed our subscriptions.

In view of no other body, anywhere in the world ,able to put our grievances towards negotiating with companies, other than our individual talks ,whereupon the company will take the view," like it or walk as we can get someone to replace you easily." I am trying merely to put such a worldwide body together ,of purely ROV people, who ,if negotiating on our behalf, would have a better chance of our grievances being addressed and take away the like it or walk syndrome.

You say your ROV person achieves 240 flying hours per year,that amounts to a sizable amount of flying hours in a couple of years probably more than many offshore trainees.

For qualifications you must seek your own as the indicators of levels within our proposed association are not qualifications but levels of entry for membership to create a known factor.

If specialist ROV people want to be part of this then great but each grey area application would be looked at individually as one of our biggest grievances is the fact of any joe blogs walking in off the street and calling themselves pilot techs having had near to no technical background.

That is allowed by our system at present and I personally think its time to slow this down and take control of our industry for as sure as god made little green apples unscupulous companies will shave a buck anywhere they can if there are zero chance of consequences and at this time they have zero consequences.


Yes it would be nice to form a new regulatory body for ROV people as we can all see the abuse of the existing system,but you must walk before you can run and this step I am trying to instigate at this time is merely to bring known proper ROV people togehter in the first inst in order to give us the clout to start changing things.The levels are purely for distinguishing who is who and that they are bone fide people with an acceptable level of skill.

Forget going against anyone except the companies who are in our pockets at every opportunity.

Yes if all ROV people join us then we can start demanding but that is not the case.At this point we need to get together and look no further until that happens because if it doesnt happen then nothing will change for the better for us.

At this time this association is only a vehicle to get us together.Qualifications are in other domains at this time.

I would like to try to make this clear and simple.

This is my attempt to bring the vast majority of ROV people together in order that we have some say when others abuse our industry.

If we dont get a vast majority then we fail and things worsen.

Lets keep it as simple and controlled as possable for now until we are established.

Then.......We start to take a close look at whats happening and force change by sensable negotiation. They will have to listen to us as we will be controlling part of their source of revenue.

Lets get some simple association rules togehter and get the numbers and we will be in a hugely better position than we are now.

It would appear that good ops working for the likes of sss are walking due to conditions.Good on ya lads I wish I could back you with the majority of rov people in our industry but I cant at this time and no one else can.

Please reflect guys and think simple.Im giving it my best go.
Here is some ideas from my own point of view

ROV Trainee Pilot Tech 4 Entry Level Min Trade or Experience route etc Qualifications etc

ROV Pilot Tech 3 Must have gained Tech 4 plus At least one calendar year offshore and also min 185 days

ROV Pilot Tech 2 Must have gained Tech 3 plus At least one calendar year offshore and also min 185 days

ROV Pilot Tech 1 Must have gained Tech 2 Plus 400 Hours no restrictions Min time to gain this level 2 + years

So would take approx 2 and half years to beocme a Pilot Tech One which is increase of what it is today just 100 Hours i think and one year.

The days offshore on Subsea Equipment need to be an important part of the system not just flying hours.

Hours can be fiddled so much easier than offshore time.
Thankyou Deepseacon.

I am open to any views and ideas.

Personally I see no reason to move from the titles already established by IMCA ie entry level pilot/tech 2,Pilot/tech 1,senior pilot/tech followed by supervisor.

I have noted recently that some companies have introduced, from god knows where, but I suspect from their bean counters ,the levels of PT 3 and PT 4.which in my view is only a ploy to extend the period that they can pay people less and put more in their pockets.

These titles are fine but, like you ,for our association membership point of view ,we should set our own minimum requirements, to be recognised in our association with any particular title.

It is not my intention to get everyone packing off to some training school to achieve a piece of paper that very few people in this industry have regard for and line their pockets further.
The industry at present must stand on the only published criteria for these grades all be it companies only want to impliment them if its in their financial benefit.
Until we have the power to have our say so then this will continue.
I am watching this with interest Justatot !
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
I'll take a shot at it...

First off the entire IMCA standards needs to be canned... Those standards aren't working for the good of the industry. They are working good if your running a school, but not much else.

Secondly, I think we need to redefine qualifications etc... What I mean is we call ourselves pilots, but no one acts like it. In the world of airplanes a pilot is certified to fly a specific type of aircraft, not any thing that happens to need a pilot. They don't let someone who is qualified in a Lear Jet, go and fly a 747 because they aren't the same. So to bring some stability to the folks who work in the industry, I think getting qualified on certain ROV's themselves is the way to go.

Thankyou for the interest hopfully it will go somewhere eventually.


Thankyou for the input.

I fully agree with you ,however by going for qualifying on each type of vehicle we would have to have the consensus of the vast majority in the industry and a rock solid plan which will cost much time and funding.

So far we have had in excess of 2000 views and input from a handfull.

I did not start this to try to overhaul this industry of ours although in my opinion and many others I suspect that that is what it needs.

My first and foremost objective in doing this is to bring the majority of ROV people involved in our industry together with a common bond.

I have no idea where this will end up but I know for sure that absolutely zero will happen to help us if we cannot stand as a coherant group representing ROV.

Im all for the ideas put forward so far ,and indeed ,many of them should be implimented ,but again Im sorry to repeat myself, but nothing ,absolutely nothing, zero, nada, zilch, will happen, unless we are a strong body with some clout.Our aim at the present should be to make that strong body ,then, we can strive forward with confidence in pulling our industry apart and restructuring.

Id love to run but right now we are at the crawling stage.

I think I need to put something simple together,post it and when we have the numbers implement it.

Keep pumping it in guys and have a little bit of patience I am looking at everything and trying to work the best way forward.

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