IMCA's E-CMID and CMID datebase go livePublications // November 26, 2009
The International Marine Contractors Association's (IMCA) 'Common Marine Inspection Document' (CMID) is now available electronically as e-CMID along with a secure online database for the reports. Both are designed to further enhance the consistent completion and availability of completed CMID reports.
Clients, vessel operators and inspectors can all register as users now at the new dedicated website - www.imcacmid.com - where registration and use is free to all, both members and non-members of IMCA alike.
The 'traditional' form of the CMID was updated earlier this year (2009) by a cross industry workgroup, with input provided by contractors (vessel operators) charterers (oil companies through their association OGP), consultants (inspectors) and other interested parties at dedicated workshops in Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro as well as direct feedback from the same groups of IMCA members around the world.
"The launch of e-CMID marks a major milestone in the development of the CMID, which was initially developed in 1999 to provide an industry format for vessel inspection reports and to reduce the number of inspections carried out on individual vessels," explained Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA. "Back then, vessels were subjected to repeat inspections each with a slightly different format because there was no acceptance of other clients' inspection results and no common approach available. Delegates at our annual seminar earlier this month in Rio de Janeiro saw a demonstration of the new system and were fulsome in their praise. We are delighted that it has now gone 'live'."
"Over the past 10 years the CMID, and the consequent standardisation of vessel inspection, has had a most beneficial effect on efficiency, vessel quality and operational safety. However, we could not afford to rest on our laurels and, taking on board feedback from users of CMID, the launch of e-CMID was the logical step to take to ensure the document's continued usefulness."
In the electronic version the inspector will not be able to leave blanks or provide insufficient information - when the inspector answers 'no' to certain questions, a description of what is lacking must follow.
"We believe the electronic version will be easier and quicker to complete for the inspector," says Hugh Williams. "He should have certain information pre-populated which improves speed and accuracy. He should be able to create the report quickly whilst on the vessel. Any time saving at this point is very important to the vessel operator who, in the past, had to spend a lot of time whilst in port escorting inspectors round their vessels. A more accurate report can also improve the likelihood of an existing report being accepted and thus a new report not being commissioned - another saving."
The e-CMID is also the necessary precursor of the all-important database which will store the reports. IMCA thrives on feedback and a number of users reported that CMID reports were circulating with inaccuracies in them, which the vessel operator could not correct, and that updates to vessel equipment status could not be included; and there were also indications that several versions of reports could be in circulation at the same time.
"The new system allows the inspector to generate a list of findings to discuss with the vessel master before leaving the vessel," explains Hugh Williams. "It also ensures the vessel operator has the opportunity to provide comments and updates on the inspector's findings report before, and after, it is lodged on the database. Clearly only one version of the report can exist on the database which addresses the feedback we received. Better quality reports and better access to them, both provided by the combination of Issue 7 of the CMID report format/the e-CMID/the CMID database, will be an improvement for all parties concerned - vessel operators, clients and inspectors."
Updated guidance is already being prepared, which will cover how inspectors should assess elements and complete their report; and then how it can be integrated with the e-CMID and database. With downloadable guides for vessel operators, inspectors and clients; FAQs for the CMID database website, e-CMID application, and CMID report content; and easy methods for reporting problems and providing feedback to IMCA, the association is confident that all will find the new system user-friendly.
Further information is at www.imca-int.com/cmid and available from the Association at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7824 5521; and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.