It’s officially Spring in the UK

Photo taken at the small  craft training day in Watford last month
Photo taken at the small craft training day in Watford last month

Officially it is now Spring in the UK, although with night time temperatures still sub zero and snow around, we could be forgiven for arguing this point!

Life at IIMS is rarely dull. There have been some significant changes to report on since my last blog. Due to the increased work flow from the CMID Accreditation Scheme we are running for IMCA, we have run out of office space! This is actually a pleasant problem to have. So, after some negotiation, I am grateful to our tenants, Supported Living Ltd, who have agreed to release half of their space for our use. Hilary and Sam will move into that area to establish a Marine Surveying Academy nerve centre. Some slight modifications are required to the space and the builders are heading in this week to do their bit. We take up occupancy on 1 April.

The recent committee meeting of the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Certifying Authorities was interesting. The arrival of the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) – an intense read indeed – means that we all need to change the way we co-operate and interact as a group to comply. As a result, Fraser Noble (Chairman of the IIMS CA) and Mark Towl (Lloyd’s Register) will work jointly to consider and assess how best to standardise how the various MCA codes are interpreted to ensure all coding surveyors are working to a common set of guidelines to avoid future confusion.

I have also agreed to take up the role as Chairman of the Certifying Authorities Professional Standards Working Group (CAPSWG). As part of this role, I will lead the project to assess how surveyor standards and competency are harmonised to ensure a level playing field and am under way with a blueprint for discussion and debate amongst all UK certifying authorities.

It was good to meet members at the recent, well attended, small craft ultrasonics training day in Watford. Storm Imogen did her best to spoil the party, but we worked on despite her might! I hope to meet many more at future training days this year, which includes the Western Med small craft training days in Palma (28/29 April), our CA training days and later in the year at our small craft ‘super’ training day in October. More details are available on the web site.

On the subject of meeting members, we are now well advanced with our plans for the 25th Anniversay London Conference, Awards and Gala Dinner. I have promised surprises at the Dinner and keep getting pressed as to what they might be. Of course my lips are firmly sealed. The only way to find out is to come and be part of what promises to be a thoroughly memorable and educational couple of days. And we need your nominations for the IIMS Silver Jubilee awards, especially in the surveying project of the year in both small craft and commercial ship categories. So, don’t be shy. Put in a nomination now.

I was especially pleased with the Report Magazine March edition, which published last week. My thanks to those who contributed to it. In my opinion, it is one of the best issues we have published and many members think so too. Thanks for your most positive feedback. We appreciate it.

Finally, just a plug for our social media activity. We currently have 762 followers on Twitter and this is growing fast. Come and join the party! And our LinkedIn group grows almost daily too. We are closer to 400 members of the group than 300 now. Following IIMS on either (or both) platforms is simple and is a great way of getting regular updates about surveyor related matters and regulation changes.

Time to get back to the day job now. The next management board meeting is looming and I have a report to write for it.

Good surveying.

Mike Schwarz


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