Five years on and still rolling along

It came and went almost without notice. I refer to the fact that I marked my fifth anniversary as Chief Executive Officer of IIMS on 1 January this year. Five years is a long time in anyone’s life and I am shocked at just how fast the time has gone. I am proud of what my team and I have achieved over that period and I am indebted to them for their continuing enthusiasm and hard work. Do we increasingly make a difference and add value to the marine surveying profession worldwide? I hope so. I believe so. Over that time, my driving force and focus has become increasingly centered on continually looking for ways to push up the standards of marine surveying worldwide and to help find ways and methods for surveyors to better themselves.

Allow me to look back briefly over the past five years without getting too sentimental. The organisation I inherited in 2014 is now almost unrecognizable from what it was. We have made significant inroads into digitizing the business – the launch of a CPD App and just last week, the roll out of the innovative Marine Surveyor Search App, the next generation search tool, are two such examples. Our social media presence have grown exponentially – LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter especially. The Report Magazine is now as good editorially as any other similar title in my opinion. Our communication strategy with members has improved dramatically, partly due to the increasing use of social media, but also due to comprehensive monthly news bulletins, compiling safety briefings and so on. Our range and depth of membership benefits has grown steadily. The content and delivery of seminars, workshops and conferences around the world has positively mushroomed.

The Marine Surveying Academy, a wholly owned subsidiary of IIMS, was launched at the start of my tenure. Over that period we have helped to clean up the previously unregulated offshore vessel inspection sector by developing and implementing the eCMID Accredited Vessel Inspector scheme for IMCA. Over 600 have come forward. I am especially proud of our achievements in this area. The Registered Marine Coatings Inspector programme for those involved in inspecting superyacht coatings has seen us create and develop the standard. Now more than 100 specialists have passed and the standard is quoted in the ISO as being acceptable.

What will the next five years hold? That is not an easy one to answer but my thirst is not yet quenched! I am tempted to say more of the same. But if you push me, I can be a bit more specific. IIMS is negotiating to buy some real estate to house the head office secretariat. This is an important move and should be completed by first quarter 2020. We are continuing to develop our international accreditation scheme (not mandatory) for marine surveyors and expect to make some announcements soon. Other niche areas of the surveying profession interest us as well, such as an international standard for riggers perhaps. Time will tell what lies ahead. What I can promise is that in an ever changing marine world, there will be no slowing in the pace of change being embraced by IIMS.

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz

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