The Association of Offshore Diving Contractors (AODC) – IMCA’s predecessor organisation – launched the offshore diving supervisor certification scheme in 1987 to establish a minimum standard of acceptable training for offshore diving supervisors. At the time the diving supervisor certification scheme was created it was thought that all diving supervisor certificates issued under the scheme would remain valid “for life.” When IMCA was formed in 1995 it took over the running of the scheme.
Diving supervisors sit in a safety critical role and diving contractors are responsible for ensuring that that the diving supervisors they employ are competent to discharge their duties. Industry has now decided that it is no longer appropriate for diving supervisor certificates simply to remain valid indefinitely. In 2018, it was agreed that a suitable form of continuing professional development (CPD) was needed to ensure the ongoing credibility of the IMCA Offshore Diving Supervisor scheme/qualification, and to maintain the professional standing of supervisors.
It was also quickly realised that an effective and user-friendly means of facilitating the CPD process would be highly beneficial for supervisors and for the industry. As a result, IMCA immediately began developing the IMCA Diving CPD app to provide supervisors with a convenient mechanism for keeping abreast of changes in industry good practice and guidance. In 2019, the Association conducted extensive industry trials of the beta version then, in April 2020, the app was launched to the industry worldwide. The app requires users to complete four knowledge units per annum, issued quarterly. During its first year, the IMCA Diving CPD app was made available to all certified IMCA diving supervisors without charge and on a voluntary basis.
The app incorporates the latest in training techniques to support diving supervisors in keeping up to date with current information and guidelines from IMCA. It also allows IMCA to make diving supervisors instantly aware of safety critical issues that may arise within the industry by means of the application’s broadcast system.
From Q1 2021 it became mandatory for all IMCA Diving Supervisors to maintain suitable CPD records on an ongoing basis. Therefore, in order to be considered “in-date”, all IMCA Diving Supervisors who wish to maintain the validity of their certificates must undertake appropriate CPD going forward. IMCA will consider evidence of appropriate CPD that has not been undertaken using the IMCA Diving CPD app, but this CPD record must be of equivalent standard to the IMCA scheme and certified as true by an appropriate independent third-party provider. Self-certified CPD records will not be accepted.
IMCA encourages all eligible diving supervisors to register for the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD app on IMCA’s website and start using it as an appropriate means of maintaining the validity of their diving supervisor certificates. The scheme is open to all IMCA certified diving supervisors, and registrations are also accepted from both Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (ADAS) and Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) offshore diving supervisors.
All diving supervisors who register for the app must work through all the relevant uncompleted knowledge units that the system makes available to the user. Having completed the required units, the supervisors in question will be considered in-date. To remain in-date, IMCA certified diving supervisors will then be required to review the contents of each new knowledge unit when issued and correctly complete the relevant self-assessment questions within the unit as required before the next quarter’s knowledge unit is released.
Those who fail to keep up to date in the manner required by the scheme will invalidate their diving supervisor certificates. A verification system will be in place for diving contractors and client companies to check the current validity of diving supervisor certificates.
To bring their IMCA Air or Bell Diving Supervisor certificates to in-date status using the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD App, supervisors must complete the following actions:
- Register, and then revalidate on an annual basis, for the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD scheme and app.
- Complete all the relevant uncompleted knowledge units the system makes available to the user.
If diving supervisors undertake actions 1-2 above, their certificates will be brought to the in-date status.
Maintaining In-Date Status Using the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD App
For diving supervisors to keep their Air or Bell Diving Supervisor certificate status in-date using the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD App, they must complete the most recently released knowledge unit before the next quarter’s knowledge unit is issued.
Supervisor certificates will lose their in-date status should supervisors fail to complete the required quarterly knowledge unit within the allocated time scale i.e. prior to the launch of the next knowledge unit.
To regain in-date status for their certificates, diving supervisors must complete all of the knowledge units that are still outstanding.
Registration, Revalidation and Payment
Certified supervisors can register for access to the IMCA Diving CPD app and complete the annual revalidation of their IMCA Air or Bell Diving Supervisor certificate via https://www.imca-int.com/cpd.
A fee of £100 GBP is required per diving supervisor, which covers processing of the annual revalidation and access to the CPD app.
Users who fail to pay the annual revalidation fee will lose access to the CPD app until such time as they pay the required fee.
Responsibilities of Diving Supervisors
It is the sole responsibility of Diving Supervisors to undertake appropriate CPD and maintain the in-date status of their Air and Bell Diving Supervisor certificates. IMCA will not issue CPD requirement reminders to individual supervisors.
Terms and conditions for the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD app are available online and should be consulted via https://www.imca-int.com/legal-notices/terms-diving-cpd/.
Achieving In-Date Status Not Using the IMCA Diving Supervisor CPD App
Diving Supervisors using an alternative CPD scheme will need to submit CPD records equivalent to the IMCA scheme and verified by an appropriate independent third-party provider on a quarterly basis. These records will then be assessed for suitability by IMCA, and the supervisor advised accordingly.
For more information, please contact [email protected].