The safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles


Version history

February 2024 Rev. 6 – Major review and inclusion of ROC – for remote operations

December 2021 Revision 5 – Was completed to reflect technical developments, expand on AUV, trenchers and improved operational practice

October 1997 – Initial publication



This document provides contractors and clients with guidance on the safe and efficient use of ROV Systems.  The various types of ROV (vehicle), tools in common use, typical tasks undertaken, support locations and methods of operation are identified and briefly reviewed.  This information is intended to provide an overview of the subject and an understanding of the relationship between various combinations of equipment and operational tasks.  This document is not intended to replace experience and competence to successfully conduct ROV operations. Reference to information contained in manufacturers manuals, company integrated safety management and the outcome of any risk assessment and mitigation should always be followed.

Whilst this guidance highlights a wide range of technical and operational scenarios, it should be the duty of individual contractors to satisfy themselves that all ROV operations are conducted safely and efficiently.

The document is intended to assist:

  • personnel involved in ROV operations;
  • client staff who prepare bid documents and contracts;
  • client and contractor representatives;
  • vessel owners and marine crews involved with ROV operations;
  • installation and rig managers;
  • all personnel involved in quality assurance or safety, health and environmental management.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
  • ROV Classification
  • ROV Tasks
  • ROV Tools
  • Environmental Considerations
  • ROV Operations
  • Equipment Certification and Maintenance
  • Personnel
  • Responsibilities
  • References
Reference(s): IMCA R004
Published:February 2024
Version:Rev. 6
Grade:IMCA Recommended Practice

Members should log in to access downloads
and discounted pricing on physical items.