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Competence Assurance and Assessment: Marine Roles for Small Workboats – guidance published by IMCA

Published on 8 June 2015

Following a number of incidents involving small workboats operating in the wind farm sector during 2012 and 2013, a need was identified to set out the elements of competence required for crews operating and working on small workboats. ‘Guidance on Competence Assurance and Assessments: Marine Roles for Small Workboats’ (IMCA C 017) has now been published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

“For the purpose of our new guidance a small workboat is any vessel less than 200 gross tonnes,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director and Acting Chief Executive, Jane Bugler.

“Working together, our Competence & Training Core Committee, Marine Division Management Committee, and Renewable Energy Workgroup in our member companies acknowledged that the areas of competence and the supporting knowledge and abilities required are different on small workboats compared to larger vessels, and formalising these criteria would be of benefit not just to the wind farm sector, but any marine construction sector around the world where small workboats are operated.

“The frameworks have been written with the international community in mind; they do not seek to replace any local guidance or legislative requirements so should be used in conjunction with any local requirements and not instead of them.”

Separate volumes of guidance on competence assurance and assessment also exist for each of the IMCA technical divisions (Marine, Diving, Offshore Survey, and Remote Systems & ROV) and are issued individually as C 002-005.

In addition to an introduction and overview, the new guidance document includes sections on Competence Assurance; Competence Assessment, including:
‘Core’ or ‘Common’ Competences
‘Key’ Competences
Logbooks and Competence Records (a Workboat crew logbook has also been published)
Assessment and Review
There are also sections on Assessors and Verifiers and Competence Tables.

The document can be downloaded free of charge from the IMCA website at, and additional printed copies are available to members at £10.00 and non-members at £20.00. The Workboat crew logbook costs £15.00 for members and £18.50 for non-members. Both publications can be ordered from [email protected] and from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.