Biggest shake up for IMCA’s CMID inspectors in the 17 year history of the scheme announced

IMCA has provided the IMCA M 149 – Common Marine Inspection Document – for 17 years and it has seen a number of iterative changes over this period and has also seen the introduction of IMCA M 189 – Marine inspection for small workboats (common marine inspection document for small workboats). Since 2009, when the electronic CMID (eCMID) database was introduced, there have been calls from the industry to increase the integrity of the common marine inspection document (CMID) system.

That there is a burden of over-auditing on IMCA’s vessel operators is not in doubt and in an effort to reduce this burden in due course, through greater integration with the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) process managed by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), IMCA intends to improve the integrity and quality of the CMID system by adopting a greater degree of oversight of the system.

IMCA has already taken steps to address the competence assurance of vessel inspectors through its recognition of the Accredited Vessel Inspector (AVI) scheme delivered by the International Institute of Marine Surveying. This scheme has now attracted well over 200 applications and continues to grow, and is delivering a level of assurance expected of any professional cadre involved in safety management systems auditing. The whole CMID system is now based on ISO 19011 Guidance on Auditing Management Systems and closely follows the guidance provided by the International Register of Chartered Auditors (IRCA).

The next step is to address the absence of control over the conduct, dissemination and cyber security aspects of CMID and Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (MISWB) reports, which IMCA intends to do in two ways. Firstly, IMCA will only recognise formal reports conducted using the eCMID database. This means that paper reports not uploaded into the database will no longer be considered by IMCA to be ‘authorised’ CMIDs. Secondly, only validated AVIs will be able to use the eCMID database and thereby conduct these authorised IMCA CMID and MISW inspections. In order to ensure that the CMID user community is able to transition to this revised arrangement the new regime will commence in January 2018. This will give inspectors who have not yet joined the AVI scheme 18 months to apply and also enable vessel owners/operators sufficient time to register on the eCMID database and to manage their vessel details accordingly.

IMCA believes that these important steps are proportional and necessary for this widely used safety management system audit process, to ensure it keeps pace with current and future expectations of stakeholders in the offshore energy industry.

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