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    IMCA promotes competence of offshore safety advisers

    Organisations and Associations // January 4, 2011

    A competent workforce is obviously more productive, operating with reduced risks, shorter downtimes and fewer injuries. All personnel involved in good industry competence schemes know a rigorous assessment procedure is in place against which their skills, experience and knowledge will be measured.
    The International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA)competence guidance has, therefore, been developed to provide offshore contractors with a framework within which to produce their own competence schemes, thereby giving the offshore industry a general confidence that personnel appointed to safety-critical positions can carry out their jobs in an effective manner.
    Launched over a decade ago, and regularly updated and improved, IMCA’s competence assurance and assessment guidance provides a framework within which its contractor members can demonstrate the competence of their personnel to both clients and regulators.

    The IMCA framework includes a substantial amount of documentation - set out in a straightforward manner for over 50 positions, with additional guidance for freelance personnel. Now the association has turned its attention to offshore safety advisors, a role that is fundamental to the safe and effective operations of many member companies.
    “There is some variation in job title, roles and responsibilities for offshore safety advisors who provide both an onshore and offshore support function,” explained IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “Our Competence & Training (C&T) and Safety, Environment & Legislation (SEL) Committee have developed guidance on competence assurance and assessment for the offshore safety adviser position, in order to provide clarity for members in terms of the standard of competence, and entry level criteria required.
    “The  tables in the published framework outline the knowledge and ability required to competently undertake the role of offshore safety adviser, including understanding language and culture barriers to safety on a multi-cultural site, planning and implementation of safety measures and maintaining a good health and safety culture.
    “It is anticipated that this competence table will be included in the forthcoming document covering competence in a number of offshore supporting roles not already covered by the existing IMCA framework.”
    In recent months IMCA has developed an example case study covering the development of a competence assurance and assessment programme, based on input from one of the association’s leading contractor members. It outlines a competence programme that promotes and supports the ongoing development of a workforce in terms of knowledge, skills and expertise, while at the same time addressing the business case for a competent workforce.
    IMCA will be holding a series of competence workshops for members in Aberdeen on 22 March; with a similar workshop planned in the association’s Asia-Pacific Section later in the year. Information about other IMCA events can be found at

    The association has also published a new hardback version of its competence logbook - £11.00 for members and £13.50 for non-members. This is the most recent in the range which includes logbooks aimed at professional divers; diving supervisor; diving inspection personnel; life support technicians; offshore managers; offshore engineers; those skilled in dynamic positioning (operators, engineers, watchkeepers and maintenance staff); crane operators; survey personnel; and ROV personnel.
    Further information on IMCA’s work on competence can be found at and is available from and from the association at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521. Logbooks can be ordered from

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