‘Tis the season to be jolly

The QE2 as you have never seen her before
The QE2 as you have never seen her before

Indeed it is the season to be jolly and if you are reading this blog as we approach the festive period, may I wish you a very Happy Christmas (if you celebrate the festivities) and best wishes for a progressive 2020.

Somebody recently asked me to tell them what were my personal highlights for 2019 and my reply was simply – too many to recount. It has been a momentous and memorable year, and one that will live long in the memory for many reasons. So, I will just focus on some recent events. But in essence, the run down towards the end of 2019 in readiness for a new decade has been anything but quiet and rather productive!

Recently I had the absolute pleasure to host the IIMS UAE Branch 6th biennial Conference, which coincided with the tenth anniversary since the formation of the branch. It was a fabulous event, held onboard the splendid QE2, now permanently moored in Port Rashid, Dubai. Around 100 guests joined us for pre-event cocktails and a further 100 delegates the following day for the Conference itself. Click for a report on the Conference. As a memento, we have also published a classy 16 page Report Magazine special supplement.

The second Marine Surveying International Fest (now presented in two parts – 12 presentations delivered on the hour each hour for 12 hours) was great fun and attracted good numbers, both in terms of live candidates on both days and also those who chose to purchase the videos to watch on ‘catch up’ after the event. Putting the programme together for both Yacht & Small Craft Surveyors (the first day) and Commercial Ship Surveyors (the second day), hosting and delivering it is a tiring but pleasurable pastime! The content delivered on both days was of exceptionally high quality and all who promised to come online and present did just that. The videos, (10 hours from the small craft Fest and nearly 8 hours from the commercial ship Fest) many of them presenting specially prepared content for the two Fest days, can still be purchased. Email head office for details at info@iims.org.uk. Alternatively, you can purchase the video content directly via this web site – click here for details.

Over the past four years I have held the position of Chairman of the Certifying Authority Professional Standards Working Group. Bit by bit the various UK based Certifying Authorities have edged closer and closer together, by no means an easy task. Our aim is to deliver a certification scheme to enable the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to meet their obligations of their looming III Code audit, meaning only those who are competent to code vessels commercially will be able to do so. I am immensely proud of the progress we have made and at a recent meeting, we took another major step towards this new certification scheme, expected to be rolled out in early 2021.

Personal thanks from me to:
– our many members who are based in over 100 countries for being part of our organisation;
– all those who serve on various management boards and committees in an unpaid capacity – I am grateful for all that you do;
– to all those presenters and speakers from the wider IIMS family who have pitched up to share their considerable knowledge and expertise on a myriad of topics at various worldwide locations;
– to my colleagues at IIMS head office who put up with me and make it all possible!

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz
Chief Executive Officer

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