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Dear Colleagues,
One of my roles in IMCA is to act as the IMCA secretariat technical adviser to the associations' Remote systems & ROV Division management committee. Following a recent meeting, the committee asked me to find ways whereby I could further spread the message about IMCA's guidance on ROV technician competence accreditation and progression. This is because I receive regular enquiries from individuals who are stating that employers expect them to have 'IMCA Certificates' and want to know how to get them. As we do not and never have issued such certificates, last year I pushed out an IMCA Information Note which was exceptionally released on public access to provide some guidance on this issue. However, the frequency of enquiries has not reduced and I would therefore be grateful if readers could help to spread the word so that ROV techs understand IMCA's position. The Info Note can be found on the IMCA website( by going into the search (top right) typing "Unofficial" and then selecting the News Article option. It is attached to this post in PDF and I hope this is of use and many thanks for reading.

I think you need to inform your members of the situation.

It is your members requesting the various certs and quals. In fact it would be very useful if you could take this a stage further and explain to them the role of ROV personnel. Some agencies are requesting experience on a particular serial number of a type of vehicle. This is absolutely ridiculous. Whilst experience on a type is fair enough, asking for experience on a particular vehicle is ludicrous ( unless the vehicle has had a very large modification programme making it significantly different). This would be the same as asking for a taxi driver who has driven black taxi cab no 5381.

So I feel the problem lies with your members and the agencies not the arOV guys.
Hi Chris We have exchanged emails many times regarding this matter however as I said in all my past correspondence , All competence assessments should be done in house by company's that are IMCA members and who know you and not by training schools like MTCS that use it just to generate income . Many of the clients in Asia have stated they will only accept competence assessments done by MTCS and not in house assessments . It would seem that a MTCS agent has already made them a visit and explained that all competence assessments should be done by the schools , On checking all the Rov Schools I find that MTCS is the only Rov school that does re - assessments , The last I heard the cost was £300 - £350 plus if you have not been working at that grade for over 12 months you need to be re-assessed .

Re : MTCS Web Site :-

Certificate of Competence Renewal Process

All Certificates of Competence issued by MTCS have a 3 year validity period, after which they must be renewed in order to ensure personnel are still competent in safety critical, operational and maintenance activities.

The reason the validity period is in place is to overcome the problems that can arise when personnel temporarily “stop working” at the role in which they were assessed as competent. It is possible that they will return to the industry and be faced with changes in safety legislation and technical/operational procedures in which they are no longer competent.

MTCS stipulate that personnel who wish to re-certify at a specific grade, must have been actively working at this grade, during the previous 12 months.

MTCS offer a straight forward renewal process that ensures personnel remain in date with their competence.
Candidates must submit the following:

Submit a witness statement for the grade at which they want to re-certify. The witness statement must be completed by a line manager or equivalent.
Submit valid survival and medical certificates for the region of the world in which they work.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your certification needs and can offer a variety of complimentary guidance information that you may circulate to your employers, employees and colleagues that describes the re-certification process.


like I have said many people in the past regarding Competence assessments go to you current or previous employer who is a IMCA member and request they do you a Competence assessment letter it will save you over £300 and will cost you nothing .
As above, I agree it is the IMCA members who are asking for "IMCA Certificates" and various Training Schools who try and make out that you MUSt have been certified by them in order to be classed as an ROV Pilot.

I'm sick of telling people that IMCA do not certify anyone and that Training Schools may train based on your competencies, but this does not make them IMCA trained or certified.

I would suggest rather than aiming at the ROV World in general, you need to better inform the major companies, their agencies and sub contractors, exactly what IMCA competencies are and how to do them and also that there is no such thing as IMCA certification.

Having just left a company that is a member of IMCA who do not have their staff assessed to IMCA standards or were unable to provide any kind of competency paperwork for the staff they laid off, I suggest you also need to work with your current members to ensure that they are all assessing to your Associations standards.
IMCA are unintenialy supporting a scam that makes a couple of training companies money supplying so called IMCA ROV competencies ,,,i was talking with IMCA representatives about this Issue at the Oceanology show last week and they seemed unaware or complacent of what is going on ,
MTCS and others have teams of sales people visiting companies worldwide
and persauding them that they have the holy writ from IMCA .

Industry personnel Pilots. techs , supervisors are now at the mercy of this pernicious blackmail ,, pay up for an IMCA Competency Certificate from MTCS or you dont work ,,,,,,,

ANDY B What do IMCA have to say about that .....

Another money making (SCAM) sorry scheme by MTCS!!
Dear Colleagues,
Thanks very much for your feedback and I certainly get the message from you guys on the coalface. I will ensure that the feedback is provided to the IMCA ROV Division Management Committee and I know that they will take these views seriously. Rest assured that the guidance has gone out to members though I cannot guarantee that everyone listens or indeed acts when the information is provided. I hope that you will help by spreading the Info Note out to those in the community who are faced with this obstacle to their careers. Many thanks.
Thanks for taking note of the feedback. Having just gone through this "no MTCS competency cert - no job " scenario myself, I am really at a loss as to why it cannot be made very clear to so called IMCA member companies and clients.
Due to the lack of work it all started when people over sold them selfs claiming they had experience when the agency's or rov company's took the time to check the guys experience only to find the guy had stolen someone's cv and was selling it off as there own .

The best and only way to confirm that someone has the experience is to get a work reference from previous company's confirming your work history. Its all there in black and white .

At the end of the day the client wants what he is paying for and in the past this has not been the case . So to all you guys reading this who require a competence assessment contact a current or previous employer who is a IMCA member and request they do you a Competence assessment letter.

As far as MTCS goes I think IMCA should have a chat with them because how can they do a assessment and they dont even know you ? . Competence assessments should be done only in house by people that know you .
Raptor wrote:
So to all you guys reading this who require a competence assessment contact a current or previous employer who is a IMCA member and request they do you a Competence assessment letter.

Did that before I left, they said they could not give any competency paperwork, confirmation or assessment as they didn't have it. Big standing IMCA member.

Whats the point.

Rolling Eyes
Did you try Ray requesting a working reference as thats all you require some thing that confirms your level of experience . but I have never heard of company's refusing to supply you with a competence assessment letter before . I dont understand why they would not supply you with a letter as I think you had been with Fugro for many years , Did they tell you why they would not give you a letter ?
Many Companies promote staff to suit there needs with out any documents or official letters to say other wise maybe they get the higher rate of pay for that extra shift but receive benefits of the below position if you suddenly left you would be signed of in your owned competence company issued book at the lower position if you had one that is. often companies will supply some sort of Cert package from the office with your name on it but you might not see that.

You could of been a Supervisor suddenly the company goes bust you are working as Senior Pilot again because no comp cert which that company wants for example as you cant show that level.

As this often is signed off by someone who might not even hold themselves such documentation to sign you off other than there official company position made up to ROV Ops Manager themselves.

Working contract one never even goes to these offices anyway.

Also from my understanding its possible should wish to pay MTCS rip of scheme money's and be constantly paying there after as for the 3 year expiry scheme you could buy the paper work sign it of get an agency to counter sign it and get your certificate you want certainly for the lower positions in that scheme.

I don't have any MTCS cert as I refused to pay for a 3 year cert as a contractor under there made up rules.

Now under there rules I wonder what will happen as every one will have an expiring cert but no recent experience and there last agency possible gone down the drain as well due to current times.

So how will they keep there old positions?
As it states I think if no longer work for a year your demoted !!!! something on long those lines I am sure it says or said.

Fort William which sells ridiculously expensive rov course's and milks the system as much as it can government included as well they don't have a scheme why is that they turned down a money making scheme never would those directors do that at FB.

Should a Company require Competence they should except one's trade skills or education and ROV log book and CV most companies do such that over my career anyway.

I have never had such a Cert with 12 years offshore I have worked with many which have been signed off as all sorts though.

Which Payed 300 GBP + for the Cert often so the company can under cut there staff working there already to the benefit of the ops manager to justify there expat status at such under performing company and constantly brining in cheaper labour every 6 months to make themselves look good constantly promoting people who were chancers but mainly as they agreed to work for less maybe due to there homeland status.

MTCS scheme is a paper pushing sign off scheme which allows companies with poor or little HSE departments to use the scheme to say there staff are competent the users don't even know themselves the quality of it.

In my early career the LOG book was often asked for as the years went by it was not asked for just a Competency cert.

It is also possible to end up as a ROV Supervisor or above with such Cert in little time with no other career or experience or education then suddenly.
You have guys who were given Trainee cert from a IMCA operating company as a ROV Pilot 2 or did a course then work through the MTCS scheme all the way up and suddenly there in charge but have no education and skills other than a competence Cert getting the jobs over Apprentice trained Technicians.

That's a serious problem as is a under lying problem with rates of pay now in the industry.

I have been on such jobs were those people have been as well signed off with nothing ok they have learnt some things along there way but who trained them some are making supervisor in 2 years and faking CV's is all too often.

I lost jobs over the last years with the Competency Cert as even some of my main agencies believed in it as well.

One of them is the one you can get your MTCS docs counter signed with as well.
I don't care for that system.

As it just proves it can be signed of and pay someone 300 GBP for the cert of which is worthless really as most jobs don't require it the problem was the agencies all of them believed it was written in stone a requirement.

I hope one day a new scheme is agreed upon some thing like NVQ2 3 and 4 depending were you come from into the industry and also points systems for HNC and HND and City and Guilds and real assessing offshore system were one can be graded a subsea technician first then a grade for operating Pilot side.

this would help keeping standards and pay but the companies wont want it.

Also the main group of subsea ROV operating companies are in bed with IMCA and also MTCS which is a larger problem really operating companies tell Imca what they want and companies are using MTCS as accepted format for employees training and competence that's how its been rolled out worldwide as those main companies used it for them selves allowing MTCS to sell there scheme everywhere.

But if you want one just pay the 300GBP and it yours.

All those customers if 90% continued to pay the cert fees every 3 years its raking in Millions

I don't see the system which has been put in place by MTCS changing very much at all.

The operating NorthSea companies use it for there own personnel, agency staff on the outside of the system will never be able to compete in that system but it can be signed off as the agency is your employer.

I could quite honestly say that my next 50 e-mails regarding ROV work will ask for such Cert at least 49 out of 50 will anyway.
Raptor wrote:
Did you try Ray requesting a working reference as thats all you require some thing that confirms your level of experience . but I have never heard of company's refusing to supply you with a competence assessment letter before . I dont understand why they would not supply you with a letter as I think you had been with Fugro for many years , Did they tell you why they would not give you a letter ?

My reference was a standard one to confirm that I had worked with them at the position I was in for the number of years I was in. That's it. That's all any of us got, its company policy don't you know.
That sounds bad Ray as I think most of the company's that I have worked for over the years has all ways provided a working reference when I have requested one I think the only difference is I am a free lancer and and your salary but that should not make any difference , Because the whole point is to show some future employer that you have the experience . The last time I spoke with Chris he was telling me that you need to be Competence assessed every 3 - 5 years at your current grade .

Now I can see why I have been getting lots of emails regarding Competence Re-assessment letters and if company's are refusing to give you a working reference then your screwed unless you buy one from MTCS but like I have said before MTCS don't know you they have no idea of your work experience only what they find in your log book most senior members of this forum will tell you means very little . The only way to confirm work experience is from previous company's or personnel that you have worked for in the past . Rov work is very thin on the ground at the moment and the last thing you want to hear after landing a job is being told " Sorry you dont have a Competence letter " I think most agency's request for 3 working references from past employers which is fine I would have thought as all your looking for is being able to prove that you are who you say you are .

In the end its down to what the clients will and wont accept .
Guys, I am heading up to Aberdeen for the IMCA ROV Division Management Committee tomorrow (Thursday) and if there are any updates on the subject I will be happy to provide a sounding board. For information I have just had a response from a training provider in the ME who was using the IMCA logo on the back of a certification card and I emailed them to ask them to change this. They have agreed to do this immediately and to re-issue cert cards to those already in receipt. So spreading the word in bite size chunks at least! I still get plenty of calls and emails on this subject however, so clearly some people involved in hiring in companies are still not getting it - even as has been pointed out below, the bigger contractors. I will keep pressing the transmit key to try to get the message through. As a matter of interest would anyone be in favour of IMCA establishing an accreditation scheme? Anyway best of luck everyone, happy flying!

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