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Chief wrote:
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.



There are also those older guys in the aircraft industry that have flown MANY different aircraft throughout their tenure and are hired to do so on new aircraft. Give them a plane, the manual, a flight calculator (yes, some of the older pilots still use them!), and off they go... Test pilots - great job from the stories I've heard!

Put this factor into our industry and you get an assessor - hmmmm... like the word except for the first 3 letters....


In parallel with this (these) particular reply (ies), the rates - yes, you've probably read another reply of mine concerning stepped rates for different vehicles, time in service, the different tasks, different ranks (of course), hazard pay, overtime, and other benefits due to us as onshore workers get...

I can hear some of you diehards now... coming up with the ' Oh, we didn't have internet before, we used ( I used) Telex and radio calls... we ( I ) worked 18 hrs a day on a mobe or to get the system running again... and so on ad infinum - Ya' know what? I could give a toss about all the stuff we had to put up with (usually under threats). This is 2010 - no reason to work around the clock 24 hrs. - re: taking other peoples job away from them / cheaper for the company, no reason for drops in pay or a 30 year guy getting the same as a five year guy, we get no pension - hmmmph, once again DIY, no reason why we can't get normal benefits, share options, and ALL THE THINGS THAT ONSHORE FOLKS GET. To be continued as the internet is crap out here...
I got your economic downturn right here!!!

Thankyou for your imput and yes I think a pay structure of some sort should be hammered out between us as the step after getting us together as a body with some clout.

I look forward to you continuance.

The good thing guys is that in just over a week we are communicating on a subject dear to us all and as we go, more input is coming forward.Thank you all and keep it coming.
My immediate reaction to this thread (and I admit to not having thought it through in detail) is that you may be looking at this from the wrong direction. Justatot is suggestion something that sounds very much like a uni0n (will the website really break if I use an o instead of a 0 in that word?) and is talking about *forcing* companies to treat us well.

The drawback with this is that the fledgling uni0n and the ROV operating companies are immediately put into a confrontation with each other. From this position it's hard to negotiate, hard to enforce membership and hard to stop non-members from taking jobs for less pay or worse conditions than the uni0n mandates. The uni0n is seen as toothless because it has no members, so no-one joins and it really is toothless.

How about if instead we were to set up some kind of industry organisation, such that ROV companies saw membership as something that added value to its members? I'm thinking along the lines of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (which I'm sure many ROV professionals are members of, or at least aware of). IEE members can get chartered engineer status (always looks good on the business card) and become part of a respected trade advocacy body. Although the IEE has no power in terms of balloting for strikes etc, their recommendations to the industry in terms of safety, standards and so on are usually taken on board because they are respected.

Its been a while since I joined one of these industry societies, but most of them have various grades - student membership, associate member, full member and fellow (for instance). To get full membership you normally have to be recommended by an existing member, and meet certain criteria. These are usually flexible, and based on a mixture of formal qualifications and practical experience (and in our case this would allow flexibility for people who have lots of workshop time and little piloting, or vice versa), and there is often a short written test or an oral assessment. Membership is usually a few hundred pounds a year (which is tax deductable) for a full member, or a few tens of pounds for an associate member (I've never been a Fellow so I don't know off-hand how much they pay, if anything!)

Organisations like the IEE and the British Computer Society gain respect by working with schools and colleges, sponsoring industry related events, giving talks/lectures about new technologies or techniques, publishing safety recommendations and lobbying with government and other industry bodies.

Benefits to members of a new ROV industry association would include increased recognition and employability (would you rather hire someone with 30 hours piloting from a "school" in the far east, or a member of the "Association of Subsea Engineering Professionals" or whatever we call it?), a body that can work on their behalf (and often more effectively - many politicians are snobby enough to dislike uni0ns but would respect a professional body), and possibly a clearly defined career progression scheme. Its often also possibly to arrange things like cheaper professional indemnity insurance and other fringe benefits for members.

There may already be a body like this (I'm pretty isolated within the industry, working as I do for a very specialist company), or there may be a division within the IEE or similar body that covers ROV work. If so, I apologise - please let me know so I can investigate - it might be worth my joining it!

I'm not opposed to the idea of a uni0n, and I'd join one if I thought it had benefits. However I do tend to mentally link uni0ns with confrontation, whereas professional bodies I link with respect. Since most ROV people tend to be rational thinkers (even if we do have to get our hands dirty a lot of the time) then it might be better to recognise this as our strong point. What works for divers (who generally think with their muscles and machismo Very Happy) might not work for us?

Sorry for the long post. I'm normally just a lurker on these forums but I felt compelled to give my 2p today!


(edited for grammar/spelling mistakes Smile)

Last edited by Lemmin on 23:20 Mon 28 Jun 10; edited 1 time in total
Further to my previous post (while I remember) - if set up as a professional body, it would be possible to encourage the people who design and build ROVs, and the researchers who use them for oceanography etc to join as well. This would boost potential membership and also add a lot of respect.

Lemmin wrote:
Further to my previous post (while I remember) - if set up as a professional body, it would be possible to encourage the people who design and build ROVs, and the researchers who use them for oceanography etc to join as well. This would boost potential membership and also add a lot of respect.


I agree, plus I feel that the IMCA is too all encompassing to be of any real worth to the ROV industry as a whole.. An independent Global ROV/AUV association should eventually become credible/viable, if set up correctly.
James Mc
Site Admin

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Justatot,James, Lemmin,etc

The Institute of Marine Engineering,Science and Technolgy (IMarEST) and the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) are two proffessional bodies that already exist along the lines of what your proposing.

Granted, the IMarEST is more geared towards ships engineers, but they do welcome anyone with a marine engineering background who meet certain criteria.

Not too sure about the SUT, but perhaps someone on here can fill in the details.

I joined the IMarEST about 6 years ago, specifically to have some form of engineering recognition outwith the mickey mouse IMCA rubbish. It was prompted by being given the run around by an agency in regards to my IMCA rating. Having worked for several different ROV companies, my variuos IMCA competancies were spread between several books. I contacted IMCA direct to see how I could 'pull everything together' and was told there was no provision for this whatsoever. Things may have changed now.

The IMarEST recogniton was quite a long drawn out process, with a written paper submitted, then a presentation to two members to prove my competancy as a Marine engineering proffesional. This gave me asscociated member status and recognition with the engineering council of England and Wales as an Incorporated Engineer. Next step would be to go through the process aagain to get recognised as a chartered engineer with them. I beleive this requires a minimum of ten years and management (supervisory) level experience.

I know I'm not the only ROV member they have, but if more were to become active members, perhaps a sub-committee (? don't know if that;s how it works) could be formed to deal with ROV issues.
I was in the pub.
Thankyou for the inputs its good to see people who normally watch taking an active part in discussion and ideas.

I think this shows that people really do want something done and are unhappy with whats going on now.

You will have noticed early in my posts that I addressed my views on taking on the name of union.I fully agree that just the word itself conjours up confrontation for a them and us situation.

I do not agree with you as regards all of us becoming part of an engineering association and following the route of the RMT thing.

How many different forms of engineering and skills do we have?
I dont have to list them as anyone involved knows already.

You highlighted confrontation but isnt that why we are in the position we are now because we have been non confrontational and had no way of fighting back?

If you read all the previous posts maybe you will glean that yes I want something done.No Im not looking to get everyone together and form a strike.Yes I would like to structure this in the form of an association as you say, but, what I want, is an association of ROV people, not electrical engineers ,not mechanical engineers or electronic or hydraulic or fibre optic.
I want us all to be ROV personell.

In the first inst I am trying by means of what criteria we decide to bring members in that meet that criteria ,and yes, then clients will know that the person, with that membership number ,only has it because he has reached a certain level laid down by us,yes us ROV people.

It is my intention to ask everyone to lift those criteria a bit higher than the IMCA set up .I have no wish to challenge IMCAs work ,I want to see what we think ,is a standard ,and form a level playing field.
When we have that in place, and the numbers to back it, then ,I envisage negotiations with individual companies asking them to come onboard with us, and use our members.There are good companies and bad companies but they know what they are doing is wrong as of now but they will continue until they cannot any longer.Yes, maybe it will become a little confrontational with some companies, but rather than blaming all, I envisage those who continue to treet us as they do now is where the problems will lie in confrontation.

Anyone who thinks our lot will get better without forcing a few hands will be forever complaining and doing nothing.


I fully agree with you,all Im saying is we have to walk before we can run.We are in the embrio stage of what I hope will eventually become what you state.


Membership of these existing bodies will do nothing to change our pay and conditions.Only ROV people will try to do that and no one else.We tried a bit of that with the RMT who did nothing.
Hi All,
I am a member of AUVSI 'Association Unmanned Vehicle Systems International'.

Here is the link to the home page:-

As yet they are not very strong in the SubSea ROV section, just lacking in numbers of members. They do produce an interesting monthly magazine.
The subscription is very reasonable.
A recent article 'Robots in Disaster City' (May 2010) featured a Sea Botix ROV at the Response Robot Evaluation Exercise 2010. A subject much in the news.
Just thought people might want to know...
This is pretty amazing.. to me at least.
For the 10+ years that has been around (in one form or another) nobody has come up with credible idea on how to co-ordinate the ROV industry as whole. Last year we had a stab at using the Union to help knock a small modicum of sense into the game in the North sea at least.. that was a total washout as a few correctly predicted. I say if you don't try these things you never truly know what the outcome might be and would spend forever after speculating on the what if scenario. Now we all know the RMT does not give a damn about ROV it's time to try something else and move on.

Then, blow me if somebody doesn't front up, out of the blue, with a potential solution.. How about forming an International ROV Association (IROVA)? Not just a North sea thing... but fully global. No cosy little club like membership for companies only (which the IMCA comes across as) but for individual members too. Imagine PT's, Sups, other ROV related personnel, ROV operating companies, rov manufacturers, etc. all being looked after by an association formed for no other purpose than to represent the International ROV Industry. Not only that, but that person suggesting this is prepared to actually set up the association and get the ball rolling. Not just an idea but an active solution.. somebody that will do something about it.
How cool is that? For some not cool enough it seems.

Within this IROVA discussion.....
What I see here is a few people not actually debating whether IROVA is a good idea or not, but instead suggesting different ways of approaching the same issue rather than saying.. what the hell, it's a great idea lets make it work, or IROVA not a great idea because.....
So, where were these suggestions last week? last month? last year??
I find it just a little bit odd when somebody starts something off (from what was deathly silence for months) people pop out of the woodwork with other ideas and start throwing them into the pot all of a sudden. What's that all about? Are those people ready to take on actually helping to co-ordinate their suggestions?

This discussion is about [General: International ROV Association (IROVA)]
Putting some thoughts together.

If people wish to discuss ideas, other than IROVA, then they are free to do so, but they should not be doing so in this IROVA thread.
Instead, please follow forum guidelines, start a new thread and chat away about your own take on how to solve this screwed up mess of an industry. I'm sure any idea gaining momentum will be looked into or discussed at least. You can even add a poll to gauge interest, just as has been done with the IROVA idea.

Getting back to this topic......
I personally suspect the interest is there to form an International ROV association however, on Wednesday 7th July a Poll was added to the site to deliberately gauge the level of interest in an IROVA and show our members as transparently as possible how that interest shapes up one way or another. No doubting the numbers.

So Far:
Total Votes: 29
Yes 79.31% (23)
No 20.69% (6)

As it stands right now, in less than 24hrs almost 80% of the 29 people that voted are in favour of the idea of a IROVA.
Lets see where that goes over the coming days.

If you are Involved with ROV's in one way or another Please Vote! Yes or No

Last edited by jamesmc on 01:49 Fri 09 Jul 10; edited 1 time in total
I think what Justatot has hit on is what many of us would have liked to see but the old uni0n idea was possibly blinkering the bigger international concept. Perhaps even that those pushing to join the RMT were not thinking big enough.

The refreshing thing about this concept is it setting up initially with the positives being looked at first. Training, involment of everyone at every level, companies being involved but not in control, manufacturers operators, support companies.

The old way of thinking seemed to be lets all ask for more money. This way seems to be saying lets show that we deserve more money as we are professionals with standards.

Maybe in the future it would be good to see IMCA allow IROVA to handle the standards for the industry.
luckyjim37 wrote:
The old way of thinking seemed to be lets all ask for more money. This way seems to be saying lets show that we deserve more money as we are professionals with standards

Hhhmmmm! Professionals with standards...
septimus_harding wrote:

Hhhmmmm! Professionals with standards...

eh Question
I would like to voice my support the formation (and inevitable evolution) of IROVA

I agree that the image of a ‘Union’ evokes a response associated with confrontation. I don't like confrontation.

The vision of an 'influential Professional Organisation' is more appealing but perhaps that's living in Utopia.
The problem facing us is that a passive organisation does not help with addressing the impoverished 'rates which prevail. Does that sound like a contradiction? Yes.
Thus I shall observe the evolution of our band of happy, hard workers and hopefully someone will kick arse.

Thankyou for your support,it is the intention of this association to grow in numbers until unscrupulous companies will have no choice but to take notice.

The companies and training schools leaching upon us are very aware of what we are trying to do.The good companies will and do support us but the leachers are waiting to see this fail due to the usual lack of interest of coming together.

This association will be a legal entity in the near future and with due dilligence will grow to an association in which we rov people will benefit and steer our future.

Numbers of people from around the world have pledged their support and I look forward to working with you all in making our lot better.
Hi all,

Just looking at the poll on the left sidebar....

78.95% (135) positive view

21.05% (36) negative view

Slowly but surely getting popular

Oops.... this should be here:
I got your economic downturn right here!!!

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