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From the President – December 2013

Published on 23 December 2013

In the last 10 years, IMCA has evolved almost beyond recognition: in 2003 we had 215 members, now we have almost 960*.

Research indicates that the collective annual turnover of the members is in excess of $150bn per year, and they directly employ almost 350,000 staff across the world. The fleet of specialist vessels operated by those members accounts for some 4% of the world’s shipping tonnage, and IMCA members deliver some of the most important elements of the global economy – not just oil and gas.

In light of the evolution of our membership demographic (see diagrams at the foot of this article), Council felt that a strategic review of IMCA’s direction was essential to ensure that the Association anticipated the future needs of members and set high level aspirations and goals for that future, whilst continuing to respond and deliver to the current needs of the industry.

The strategic review process we used to develop this”over the horizon planning” involved taking opinion and inputs from a wide section of the membership (primarily those contributing through committees and workgroups) to provide feedback as to what IMCA did well, what we did not so well, and what we should be doing in the future.

We have conducted workshops to develop and define our aspirations into a”vision” for the future. The process has then been focused to consolidate the results into a working document, re-defining our core values and principles in order for them to be communicated to our members, our business partners, our clients and the general public; thus raising the public profile of IMCA and building up pride in being part of it.

As a result of all this work and collective input, we have refined IMCA’s primary and core purpose to be: Improving performance in the marine contracting industry.

Full and formal details were announced and rolled out at the annual seminar in Singapore in the first week of November but, in brief, we are looking at four core activities, being:

1 – Championing better regulation
2 – Enhancing operational integrity
3 – Engaging and developing members and stakeholders
4 – Developing our people and organisation

It is important to note that we have deliberately chosen highly aspirational goals to be attached to each of these core activities, primarily to ensure that we: aim as high as we possibly can; continue to stretch ourselves; and maintain a risk culture that reflects our stated desire for zero incidents.

There is not space within this brief article to discuss the full depth and detail of the various ambitions we have set out under the four core activities, but they have been encapsulated in the documents handed out at the seminar, and further information will be available soon on the website.

Whilst looking at IMCA’s direction, we recognised that the change in membership demographics meant that it was also time for a change in the way that those members are represented. As a result, our structure will be amended in order to allow a greater input into our strategy and management from a wider range of members. When the change takes place, in addition to International Contractors (ICOs), there will be a new membership category comprising approximately 20 larger contractors who are active on a regional or international basis across the globe and will, from within their ranks, elect a representative to sit on Council with the ICO members.

We are also looking at the other membership categories in order to determine if we can deliver more benefit or value to the collective group by revitalising the other divisions within IMCA. Updates will follow as these projects develop.

Given our standing in the industry and the social as well as environmental principles we are proud to have, we wanted to put something back into the world we work in. Accordingly, we are working on an initiative to develop an IMCA educational foundation aimed at providing educational and training support and opportunities for underprivileged or disadvantaged children across the world, allowing them to develop the skills they need and to give them the opportunity to change their lives and futures by pursuing a positive, worthwhile and fulfilling career in the marine contracting industry. There will be more on this as the idea grows and takes shape.

The winds of change are blowing through our organisation, as we prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future.

Massimo Fontolan,

IMCA President 2013


*All membership figures quoted as of 14 November 2013