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Thanks for the update Chris but at the end of the day its all down to what the client will and wont accept , Many people have contacted me after the clients have turned down there competence certs issued by rov operators after being told that they will only accept a a Cert / Stamp issued only from MTCS .

The reason for this was there was no way to check who stamped and signed the log book or provided the competence assessment letter , But any thing issued by MTCS could be confirmed .The whole competence process should be done in house and nothing to do with training establishments .Years ago the only people that could do competence assessments where IMCA members and each had a number that was on the stamp so it could be traced .

While the work load for rov personnel is low it might be a good idea to sort things out because when the price of oil does go back on there will be a strong demand for experienced rov personnel but the way things are at the moment but you only have to go on the web and your see " IMCA Approved " We all know this to be wrong but it still goes on all the same .

Good luck in Aberdeen .
The problem is that there is (was) money to be made in convincing clients they need to specify 'ABC' course or qualification to minimise their exposure

IMCA for all the right reasons gave the industry its guidelines, unfortunately these guidelines have been used to establish competency benchmarks

The industry has practically 'disqualified' many 'decades experienced' and proven people and set a horrible 'paper is everything' and 'experience is nothing'

The danger being some 'paper correct' offshore person is considered ready for the job...whereas someone who has been doing the job for years is 'out of spec'

Personally I think that people should be trained, tested and given authority over job sites when they have sufficient experience

I take great exception to being told that I need to constantly subscribe to a scheme that documents my 'competence' for something I have done for decades

Whatever happened to 'your as good as your last job'....that's the true test..

For all those with competency up to date...the next 'method to make money' will make what you have now worthless

Then you too will feel as we older (experienced) people do

What really gets up my 'tits' is that they ask a line manager to sign off when they are NOT offshore and have no idea what a person can or can't do

I have been in management and I read the CV, talked to the person, asked if they were comfortable and if so gave them the opportunity... that works

If they didn't work out then I simply replaced them for justifiable reasons...

I go to my doctor who trained 30 years ago and he takes care of me without some 'chap' in city hall asking if he understands basic medicine

By all means have H2S courses (and cards), have factory training on specific types of ROV's (and cards) but please NO IMCA cards

I totally agree with training and a certificate at the end of it...

Your a trade organisation keep it that way...

Please tell all of your members


As a last point;

All the companies offering competency schemes did nothing wrong

They just found a niche market and with the best of intentions set it all up

I just wish they had set up training schools instead

In my view,

The establishment of the success criteria (things that people should be able to do) is subjective but arguably the IMCA competencies maybe correct

The problem is in the manner in which the competencies are supposed to be developed, recorded and their finite validity period (if no work for example)

The 'method' stated in the competency documents is simply not viable anymore; it was ok when done in-house or when things were very busy but NOT now

IMCA needs to consider the impact of this on the Industry and suggest a better way (just as they did when they published competency framework)

I suggest that IMCA supersedes the IMCA competency guidance with a simple IMCA membership card guidance

The membership card ( I say it this way as its less contentious) would be similar to offshore medical and survival cards (plastic credit card sized)


It should record the three key aspects from the persons submitted CV and declaration (as part of the membership application process)

1. number days offshore
2. number of piloting hours
3. number days offshore in position

It should be issued by IMCA for a total price of less than USD 50-100 and can be updated as and when a person/member feels the need

The 'membership fees' would pay for the administrator for this aspect and the cards themselves


NUMBER >> 16-08972

ISSUED >> 01 JAN 2016

NAME >> Mr Jack Russell
DOB >> 01 Jan 1990


This card is issued based on declared Information from Jack Russell as reviewed by IMCA


In my view,

PRIOR to anyone paying any money for the suggested 'membership card' (with work related data)...

IMCA needs to issue guidelines that categorically explains to its contractor members that these membership cards are intended to confirm that a person has proven experience/competence in the specific role

Importantly that the card replaces the need to refer to expired 'competency records' or fictitious IMCA certificates

When the person goes offshore the safety officer can ask to see Survival Card, Medical Card and IMCA Card

These will verify the person is trained re survival, medically fit and has past experience at the position he/she is going to do (or at least in the role they will supervise)

It is using proven performance offshore and past work as the basis for issuing a 'statement of fact'

This 'method' removes any liability issues

Most importantly when we all get asked for IMCA certification we have it

Obviously employers should look in detail at the CV of the person to see if the experience (and training) fits the system and job scope...but it’s a start

My belief is that the vast majority of people that have been offshore for a reasonable period of time and performed the work at a certain level can be assumed competent

The CV is ultimately proof that your contractor members have previously entrusted a certain aspect of their contract, equipment, personnel and reputation to the person in question…

What else is there?

The good thing about this is in a time where people have no work and can’t continue to pay to be recertified they can have an IMCA certificate (in card form) which documents accurately what they have proven they can do

IMCA can also explain to contractor members what a 'real IMCA card looks like' and to ignore anything counterfeit

Anyone that reads the IMCA card will get a quick snapshot of what the person has done in the past

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