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Learning from members at IMCA’s DP conference

Published on 14 March 2023

Richard Purser and Graeme Reid, two of the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA’s) Marine Technical Advisers, look back on the 2022 IMCA DP Conference and forward to this year’s event being held 9-10 May in Amsterdam.

Dynamic Positioning (DP) is in IMCA’s DNA and its heritage in this space can be traced back to 1989. Last year’s IMCA DP Conference was the first for some time, but it has once again become an established annual fixture in the industry calendar.

For us it is a 50:50 event. Half of the time is aimed at bringing our delegates up to speed on IMCA’s developments and hearing from prominent industry stakeholders. The other half is spent soaking up the views from attendees in workshops, interactive sessions such as ‘DP Event – Hybrid – What would you do?’ and when networking. All of this is vital to developing our work programme.

The 2022 IMCA DP Conference resulted in firm commitments to continue to push for more events to be reported by all involved in DP. In addition, there were pledges to increase the number of individuals going through the IMCA DP Practitioner Accreditation Scheme; to develop shallow water guidance; and to review the proposed objectives of the DP committee, which has recently been completed.

As we approach the 2023 IMCA DP Conference, aimed at those involved in oil and gas and offshore wind, we can share – and will go into fuller detail in May – that a higher number of reports have been received with a 50% increase in those from North America. At the Conference we will dissect the four main event categories – human, sensory, action and decision errors, the last of which was covered in Information Note 1601 ‘DP Consequence Analysis – A Timely Reminder’. The more we learn, the more we can share and collectively drive down event and incident figures.

As it matures, the Accreditation Scheme continues to attract more applicants. Their competence is crucial, with the IMCA Key DP Personnel CPD App, developed with the Nautical Institute, playing an important role. Scheme statistics show a 40% exam failure rate, proving the worth of our validation process, for levels of ability must remain high. Some applicants re-sit, but many continue to inspect vessels. However, the good news is that an ever-increasing number of vessel owners, operators and charterers are requesting accredited personnel more frequently within tenders and contracts.

The session entitled ‘DP Trials have we moved on?’ will drive discussion in the ‘Technical work of the DP Committee’ section. This will also see the launch of the shallow water guidance, to be followed by Field Arrival Trials, the focus of Information Note 1234 and the subject of a workshop. Other DP guidance published since the 2022 Conference includes ‘Guidance for the Management of DP System Network Storms’ and ‘The Hazards of using Hold-Back vessels during DP Operations’ – which will be covered in the IMCA Reflections session.

The timed-against-the-clock ‘Quickfire Round’ session on equipment and services and ‘Ask the Industry’ both make welcome returns. The sessions on ‘Assurance and Training’ and ‘Renewable’ are likely to prove popular. ‘DP Annual Trials & Assurance’ will also be relevant following the launch of the revised M 190 ‘Guidance for Developing and Conducting DP Annual Trials Programmes’.

‘Hybrid – Impact on a vessel’s DP Configuration’, with a strong panel, will encourage delegates to stay until the last moment of our May Conference, as will the results of interactive polls taken throughout the two days. The final review will help to shape IMCA’s DP Committee work programme for 2023/4.

Put simply…you need to be there!

IMCA’s DP Conference 2023 takes place 9 to 10 May 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tickets are available now.

This article originally appeared in Offshore Support Journal.

IMCA Contact

Richard Purser
Technical Adviser – Marine

IMCA Contact

Graeme Reid
Technical Adviser – Marine