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Change is in the air for IMCA's eCMID

Published on 3 January 2017

From January 2018 the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) will recognise only formal inspection reports conducted using its eCMID database, meaning that paper reports not uploaded into the database will no longer be considered by IMCA to be authorised inspection reports. The whole eCMID system is now based on the principles described in the ISO 19011 Guidance for Auditing Management Systems standard and is aligned with other comparable industry guidance on safety management system assurance.

From the same date only validated Accredited Vessel Inspectors (AVIs) will be able to use the ‘inspector role’ in the IMCA eCMID database to conduct authorisedCommon marine inspection document (IMCA M 149) and Common marine inspection document for small workboats (Marine inspection for small workboats) (IMCA M189) inspections.

“Working with the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS) the AVI scheme is already proving successful, and 2016 saw a concentrated drive to ensure vessel owners/operators register on the eCMID database and to encourage all aiming to become AVIs to complete the steps necessary for validation,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie.

“The planned changes are certainly already bearing fruit, as an example, IIMS tell us that only recently they played host at their UK office to a visitor from Vietnam eager to talk about the steps needed to ensure all their inspectors get through the validation process. And calls are coming in from around the world from organisations and individuals eager to ensure they meet the January 2018 deadline.”

“These steps are designed to improve both the integrity and quality of the eCMID scheme, which in turn helps reduce the burden of over-auditing of vessels.”

Validation of AVIs

There are now 220 AVIs based in 35 countries; and 12 AVI assessors. IIMS has run 14 courses, with IMCA’s Technical Adviser Chris Baldwin leading three of them. IIMS now has trainers in the Far East, Australia, the UK and Norway.

As IIMS’s Hilary Excell, who leads the validation programme explains: “We plan at least one course a month throughout 2017, and the programme for the first half of the year is as follows:

Date Location
17 January Aberdeen DNV GL offices
19 January London Global Maritime offices
16 February Hamburg Global Maritime offices
15 March East Yorkshire Safety Marine Consultants offices
w/c 2 April Jakarta venue tbc
w/c 7 May Nice venue tbc
12 June Southampton Novotel, West Quay (Seawork)
25 July Singapore alongside IIMS event
31 July Sydney alongside IIMS event

“When the courses first started they were largely about how to use the eCMID database. Now they cover legislation, expectations, code of conduct, and importantly they provide a networking opportunity as well as use of the database.”

IIMS works with applicants to ensure that their applications fit the bill, and suggest work on certain aspects, or attendance at specific courses before the application goes to an assessor. They also step in with suggestions if they feel a prospective or accepted AVI would benefit from mentoring or shadowing. “We want to feel that all AVIs are inspectors who anyone would be pleased to have on their vessel,” says Hilary Excell.

Further information on CMID, eCMID, the AVI scheme is at