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    IMCA helps to close the knowledge gap for graduate surveyors

    Publications // March 7, 2008

    Over recent years it has become increasingly clear that graduates from survey courses, who are recruited into the offshore survey sector, are not equipped with the expected level of knowledge upon completing their course. For this reason, one of the most recently revised publications from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is aimed at closing this knowledge gap, and assisting colleges and universities in focusing on ‘customer requirements’ when revising existing courses and developing new ones.

    “Knowledge attained by students on different courses can vary considerably,” explained Hugh Williams, chief executive of IMCA, which has a very active Offshore Survey Division with over 80 member companies worldwide. “This knowledge gap has resulted in several IMCA member companies having to provide a further level of training to ensure that new staff surveyors have these basic skills. This is on top of already comprehensive company training programmes that aim to give graduates knowledge in contractor organisation and operations, safety and survival training, and in-depth knowledge and operation of a wide range of technical software and survey hardware.”

    To assist both IMCA member companies and the colleges and universities from which they recruit, IMCA has published ‘Academic Requirements for Surveyors Working in the Offshore Survey Sector’.

    The document has been developed to provide international guidelines for the areas in which IMCA would expect an offshore or hydrographic surveyor to have knowledge upon completion of an appropriate course in offshore or hydrographic surveying.

    “Although largely aimed at ensuring the students are equipped with the necessary theoretical knowledge, naturally it is expected that much of the theory is backed up with practical sessions either classroom or field based; and that students have the opportunity to put many of the principles into practice,” said Williams. “As an association we recognise that access to specialised knowledge and equipment can be difficult for some colleges and universities and are willing to assist in supporting courses by facilitating the provision of knowledge and/or equipment wherever possible. Colleges wanting any assistance are welcome to contact us to discuss their needs.”

    The revised publication covers information on requirements under 16 headings - health, safety and environment; geodesy; hydrography; oceanography; geology and geophysics; mathematics; survey computations; surface positioning systems; acoustics; marine survey industry; land and engineering survey; data management and presentation; databases; IT skills; technical report writing; and project management.

    Ordering copies

    Members of IMCA can download the publication (IMCA S 005) free of charge from the members-only website; and can order printed copies at £2.50 (£5 for non-members) plus 20% delivery fee outside Europe, online at; or from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: 020 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; Email:


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