25th Anniversary conference plans are complete

Mike Schwarz pic smallThe whole point of a blog I was taught was that it should be updated regularly. My apologies. The reason it has not been is testament to the sheer amount of activity that is going on in this, our 25th anniversary and Silver Jubilee year.

On that subject, much of my time in the first quarter of 2016 has been devoted to our celebrations and ensuring the special IIMS London Conference on 31 August and 1 September will be a success and memorable occasion. The result is, I believe, a very different and exciting two day event, which incorporates the Annual General Meeting and all at a very reasonable cost too. The morning of day one (31 August) offers delegates a small exhibition to enjoy and five high quality, technical workshops. At lunchtime we move seamlessly into the Silver Jubilee Awards for Excellence to be presented by Sir Alan Massey, CEO of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. More nominations are required please to keep the judging panel busy – and who would not want to be in the running for such a special award and recognition? You can make nominations here until 30 June and I encourage you to do so.

The second day (1 September) has been great fun to put together. Given the theme of the Conference, ‘Marine Surveying: The Next 25 Years’, it has been a real challenge to find speakers who reflect this. The result is a mix of not only quality speakers, but fascinating subject material that will make marine surveyors of all persuasions think.

The Gala Dinner at the Museum of London, Docklands promises to be a highlight as celebrations reach their culmination! Will someone be kidnapped or even worse in haunted ‘Olde Sailor Town’? Whatever happens that night I guarantee you will see things that will deceive your very eyes. But enough said!

I have a number of opportunities to speak this year at various IIMS and non Institute meetings, training days, conferences and seminars. This year there is one subject that I have chosen to discuss whenever I can, which is quite simply surveyor standards. In an increasingly litigious and safety conscious world, I plan to encourage surveyors to ramp up their responsibility for their continuing self development and to invest in themselves. It will be a recurring theme this year, partly because it is abundantly clear that there are many surveyors (not members of the IIMS) throughout the world who bring the profession down through a  lack of competency. So by investing in yourself, developing new skills and knowledge, I will argue that you can set yourself apart from these people and give yourself a competitive edge. I hope that IIMS can play a big part in helping you achieve this goal.

Small craft surveyors are particularly spoilt this year with training opportunities. Next week the Western Mediterranean Small Craft Working Group meets in Palma, Majorca, for a two day training event, which is being well attended. In late May we have arranged a joint training day at the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset, UK. This will bring together 16 RNLI surveyors and 30 IIMS small craft surveyors for what promises to be a fascinating and educational day. There are plans for a training event in Athens late this year too. And in late October, we will be holding our second annual Small Craft ‘Super’ Training day at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. There will be a great line up of speakers to entertain you.

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz

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