IIMS has a number of working groups and committees and is also involved with other external organisations on a formal basis. The working groups generally have a Chair and sometimes a deputy. Any full member is eligible to put him/herself forward for either of these positions, the criteria being a commitment to the aims of the group and to be seconded by another full member.
The concept of the working groups is to enable the Institute to focus issues towards members with particular expertise and experience in that area and for groups of members to concentrate on issues that they have a particular interest in.
There is no limit to the numbers involved in a group save to say that the Institute did not think that any one member should commit him/herself to more than two working groups.
Any member at any level can elect to be a working group member and will be accepted or not by the officials of the group.
Legal, Technical & Research Group:
These activities have been grouped together as they will potentially complement each other on many occasions. The principal objective of the group is to monitor actual and proposed changes to legislation, directives and so on that may affect the marine surveyor in pursuit of his/her day-to-day functional tasks.
The main aim of the group is to provide the Institute with the necessary information and evidence to allow the Institute to attempt to influence, through consultation, any of the authoritative bodies that are proposing to make any legislative changes.
In this constantly changing industry, new technology is being introduced to find and define new ways of collecting, collating and disseminating information that is gathered at the time of the survey, potentially influencing the conclusions drawn up in a report.
The group members will be responsible for briefing the Institute on any research, new equipment, or developments that they have knowledge of directly or indirectly. It will also be in the group’s remit to instigate research projects that are considered to be beneficial to the membership or to marine surveyors as a whole.
The principal aim of the education working group and committee is to review existing modules and to introduce and develop new ones for the distance learning Professional Qualification Diplomas. The committee also helps to develop training courses and programmes on subjects relating to marine surveying in all disciplines.
The group is responsible for proposing and promoting standards by way of Codes of Practice and Guidelines. The group will attempt to assist members who have the technical knowledge and skills but not the report writing capabilities. Furthermore, the Institute is in a position to assist in all ways to help any member to get into print on any marine topic – not just surveying – as the Institute is there to support its members and welcomes contributions for the Report Magazine.
Professional Assessment Committee:
Capt Chris Kelly chairs and oversees the vital work of the Professional Assessment Committee (PAC), which comprises senior members of the Institute covering all areas and aspects of the marine surveying profession. Every new membership application and supporting evidence is reviewed by a member of the PAC before a formal invitation to join is offered.
The group also monitors and regularly evaluates the IIMS Continuing Professional Development programme.
Certifying Authority Committee:
The IIMS is a Certifying Authority licensed under contract by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency to examine and code vessels up to 24 metres that are used for commercial purposes. The committee is chaired by Fraser Noble. Twice yearly training is arranged for coding examiners.
Large Yacht & Small Craft Working Group:
The group promotes improved standards for the survey of superyachts, yachts and small craft within the Institute’s Code of Practice by offering regular and detailed training events, both by face-to-face and online seminar formats.
It is incumbent on members of this group to monitor the activities of surveyors to encourage feedback on practices, good and bad. The group seeks to set standards of working practice in this field from first point contact with a client to the final report.
The group aims to meet four times a year to share best practice and to pick up new skills.
The specialist Inland Waterways Group was formed in early 2018 with a view to meeting twice a year to review and train in areas of specific interest to those who survey in this area. Chris Williams heads this section under the auspices of the Chairman of the LYSCWG.
Commercial & Technical Shipping Group:
The principal aim of this group is to monitor activities and developments within the dry, bulk and container trades to give feedback to the Institute office on matters international, national and local that will affect, or be of interest to members active within this field. The group assesses the impact that any changes, or developments that are happening in this market may have on the marine surveying profession and relay this to the Institute.
The principal aim of this group is to monitor the activities and developments in this constantly changing field of the industry. The tanker trade, in particular, has been over pressurised of late with rules, regulations, conventions and directives such that the marine surveyor has to be constantly vigilant. The group works towards stimulating contact and so feedback to the Institute.
Maritime Industries Forum:
The Maritime Industries Forum is the meeting facility open to the Institute to provide access to the Maritime Working Groups of the EU. The Institute has one seat on each of the Committees. Attendance at Committee meetings in Brussels takes place twice a year for each Committee.
IIMS has two representatives on the Boat Safety Scheme general and technical committees.
The Institute regularly attends the MCA’s Technical Working Group and gives comment and feedback on proposed new regulations before they go to consultation.
IIMS has two representatives on the British Standards Institute (BSI) committees, who are responsible for feeding into the long-term development of future small craft ISOs.
The Institute has a representative as part of the Recreational Craft Regulation (RCR) stakeholders group.
IIMS was a founding member of the Maritime Professional Council (MPC). The aim of the MPC is to provide independent expert advice and guidance based on the Council’s combined professional knowledge and experience unhindered by any financial or commercial interests. It also seeks to offer guidance to regulators and employers on the professional training standards adequate for our maritime professionals and to hold them to account.