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Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) and Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (MISW): Vessel inspector accreditation scheme update

Members will wish to be aware that the accreditation scheme for vessel inspectors using the IMCA M 149 – Common marine inspection document and IMCA M 189 – Common marine inspection document for small workboats (Marine inspection for small workboats) – managed by the international institute of marine surveying (IIMS) is now in operation and the names of accredited vessel inspectors (AVI) are available on the ‘’ website.

The establishment of the accreditation scheme is a big step forward for the CMID process and has addressed the industry requirement for an assurance of competence process for the CMID vessel inspector community.  There have been over 60 applications from around the world in the first month of the scheme’s existence.

AVIs receive a CMID Inspector ID card, a unique ID number which will be able to be annotated on CMID reports when issue 9 is released in the next few weeks and an IMCA Auditor’s Log Book to record inspection work.  The log book forms part of the Continuous Personal Development element of the scheme which will include revalidation of accredited status after 5 years. 

Once an application has been accepted by IIMS, an AVI has two years in which to attend one of the Accreditation Courses which IIMS will be running globally.  These courses do not aim to teach people how to become vessel inspectors but only to ensure that the principles of ISO 19011 – Guidance on Auditing of Management Systems – on which the CMID process is now based are understood and that the expectations of both IMCA and IIMS are understood by AVIs.

The aim of the whole project is to raise the quality and consistency of CMID and MISW inspections and by doing so to eventually reduce the need for the current high frequency of audits and inspections which adds considerable costs to the industry all-round.  IMCA has recognised the Scheme as it provides an appropriate level of due diligence for assuring competence and while it is still very much in its early stages it shows great promise.

As with all new ventures of this nature there are refinements and adjustments which need to be applied to deal with teething problems.  A series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are listed below to clarify some of the aspects of the Scheme not understood by the community.


  1. How do I become an accredited vessel inspector?

    Individuals can apply to become an AVI by completing the application form found on the CMID Inspectors’ website at Instructions in how to complete the form are included and IIMS also provides additional support where necessary to help prospective applicants complete the forms. The instructions explain what evidence is needed to accompany the application, as well as providing details on costs and the code of conduct which is a condition of acceptance to the scheme. IMCA and IIMS will also publish the dates of courses in their respective trade magazines and website news sites;

  2. Why do I need to send two copies of previous reports for each type of vessel I am applying for to IIMS?

    Without a work place assessment (impractical) or completing some sort of exam (not credible) the only way to address the industry demand for accreditation of inspectors was by looking at past performance history. To make the assessment of an individual’s vessel inspection CV as credible as possible the most obvious source of information was to look at inspection reports – CMID / MISW preferably but any other form of report record could be accepted. It was decided that 2 reports as a minimum for accreditation of general inspectors would provide the panel with the minimum level of data to make a judgement. This is not the only criteria looked at during the accreditation process and other information is used in the process. For the half dozen specialist endorsements needed for specific vessel types required by IMCA’s CMID Steering Committee, two reports for each type of endorsement are needed meaning a maximum of 12 reports for all specialist endorsements, which would also cover the general requirement;

  3. Who is the IIMS Accreditation Panel and what are their credentials for making judgement on my application?

    IIMS is a creditable trade association with a global footprint and an existing track record in accreditation of marine industry specialists. Among their members are a cohort of very experienced marine surveyors and indeed some of these are also experienced CMID inspectors. A number are applying for accreditation themselves and their applications will be dealt with in exactly the same manner as anyone else. There is absolutely no suggestion that IIMS perceive that they have superiority over the CMID vessel inspector community – rather they are peers with the necessary professional qualification and experience to make a judgement on the CV of people in the same industry;

  4. What happens if I don’t have any previous reports to send? Reports are not the Inspector’s, they belong to the Vessel Operator

    The use of previous reports as evidence of competence is the most useful way of demonstrating to the Accreditation Panel that the applicant has the necessary previous experience. However, this does not prevent the use of other verifiable evidence from being submitted and the Accreditation Panel will accept any other reasonable methods of demonstrating this;

  5. Completed CMIDs and MISW reports may contain sensitive information which vessel operators are unwilling to be released into the public domain and so how can I send any previous reports?

    Applicants should redact any information in reports which are considered by vessel operators to be confidential and the Accreditation Panel will accept such redacted reports because it is the process and evidence of inspection ability not the subject of the report which they are reviewing. Reports submitted can be destroyed by IIMS or returned as necessary, but in any case all applications are dealt with in the strictest confidence;

  6. We are a large inspection service company, how can we get all our inspectors accredited?

    IIMS is more than willing to arrange block courses for larger inspection concerns to facilitate the accreditation process. Such arrangements can include the conduct of Accreditation Courses and CMID Workshops at mutually agreed locations and dates;

  7. How do I as the manager of a team of inspectors get myself accredited?

    The scheme is aimed at those conducting vessel inspections on a frequent basis and is not designed to provide accreditation to those involved in the management of inspection services. Attendance by such persons at CMID Workshops is possible and in the future specific modules aimed at CMID inspection reviewers is being considered by IMCA.

Originally issued with the following reference(s): IMCA M 06/15, IMCA SEL 05/15

Information Note Details

Published date: 26 June 2015
Information note ID: 1277

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