Published on 26 May 2021
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has published the latest set of updates to its eCMID vessel inspection system, which offers a safety management system health check for offshore vessels.
Changes to inspection templates
The system includes two templates – the main eCMID (Common Marine Inspection Document) format and the eMISW for inspecting smaller workboats – and both have been updated this month. The latest annual review of the documents identified some minor editorial improvements, with more substantial changes described below.
Two new optional supplements have been added to both documents.
- The first covers compliance with the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (the HSC Code) and the Code for High-Speed Offshore Service Craft (HS-OSC Code).
- The second addresses the use of walk to work (W2W) as a means of access to offshore assets in both the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors, based on guidance set out in IMCA M 254 – Guidelines for Walk to Work Operations.
In the eCMID template, the existing section covering machinery spaces has also been entirely rewritten, with a clearer question set and updated guidance to assist inspectors.
In the eMISW template, the previous index of certificates has been replaced with a new section covering certificates and publications held onboard, reflecting the same change in a previous eCMID update.
A detailed changelog is available on the eCMID website, together with review copies of the templates in PDF format. These are to help users prepare for an inspection, or for evaluation purposes, but are not valid for uploading to the eCMID database.
An analysis of findings from the previous versions of the inspection templates is underway, with an annual report to be published shortly. These analyses provide users and IMCA committees with valuable information on frequently found issues and identify areas for future work and potential guidance updates
Improvements to the IT platform
A range of improvements has also been made to the website, database and app that underpin the inspection system. A visual refresh reflects updated IMCA branding, with a cleaner, modernised interface. At the same time, the report search and vessel management areas have been completely rebuilt to be clearer to read and simpler to use.
User guides have been updated to help both new and existing users familiarise themselves with the changes, and the database now links directly to a guide where available.
In the background, the hosting platform has been upgraded, to ensure high availability and performance. Finally, website and email addresses have been consolidated around a simplified domain – ecmid.com.
Ensuring high quality inspections
Since 2018, only accredited vessel inspectors (AVIs) have been able to upload inspection reports to the eCMID system and, in partnership with the Marine Surveying Academy (MSA), IMCA is building on the success of this system.
The MSA accreditation process already includes a mandatory training course (now available online), assessment of previous work and the ability to shadow and be supervised by an existing AVI. Once accredited, inspectors must work in compliance with a code of conduct, demonstrate their continuing professional development annually, and undergo revalidation every five years.
A further element is now being developed, with a randomised review to be undertaken of a sample of uploaded inspection reports which will further ensure the quality of inspections and will also provide inspectors with valuable feedback.