Industry and training schools have come together to work on developing a diving personnel qualifications scheme that could be in place as early as the start of 2005.
Diving continues to be a globalised industry with common approaches being adopted by clients and contractors world-wide. However, in some regions clients and contractors have difficulty in recognising the qualifications of some personnel because the courses offered by the training schools they have attended do not have a recognised content, duration and syllabus. Schools have developed their courses in response to government and other local requirements, which have sometimes led to wide variations in syllabi.
This leads to the qualifications of some qualified personnel not being recognised, which results in confusion, restrictions on free movement of personnel, general inefficiencies and potentially a number of safety issues.
Clients and contractors look for a recognised global qualification which remove this doubt and will help ensure a commonality of approach and understanding and across the world; and thus increased safety levels.
IMCA, the International Marine Contractors Association, is the international trade association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IDSA, the International Diving Schools Association, is the international trade association representing diving schools. The aims of both trade associations include addressing issues collectively for the benefit of their members, promoting the free movement of personnel and trying to remove inefficiencies. Both organisations have been at the forefront of promoting good and safe diving practice through developing and publishing guidance.
IMCA and IDSA have a common interest in addressing diver and diving personnel training for the benefit of their members, the divers themselves and the many other interested parties in the industry. To that end, they have come together to work on developing a diving personnel qualifications scheme that could be in place as early as the start of 2005.
The joint IMCA and IDSA approach aims to develop a scheme for internationally recognised training standards for the certification of diving personnel; initially for divers but subsequently extended to cover other diving personnel positions. "We see a simple purpose to the scheme," say Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA and Sijtsche Zwiers, Chairman of IDSA, "It is to provide common training standards to facilitate the free movement of diving personnel internationally and obtain recognition by employers, clients, governments and training establishments."
IMCA and IDSA will work together, leading to:
- The development of an appropriate scheme and transitional arrangements using IDSA diver training standards; this in turn will lead to:
- IMCA accepting the IDSA qualification
- IDSA members issuing IDSA diver training cards
Conclusion and Benefits
In a joint statement, IMCA's Hugh Williams and IDSA's Sijtsche Zwiers explain that "This new scheme will create a sound system designed for the benefit of all parties. The combination of good standards, the representative advisory board and independent audit will ensure that it is a robust scheme, designed for the long term benefit of the diving industry worldwide. Its internationalism is ensured thanks to the membership and links of both our organisations and the wide support we can count on globally. However, the scheme is not just designed for the 'here and now' but to 'grow' with the requirements of the industry and be flexible and encompass the addition of new diving schools and countries over the years. We are confident that the proposed diving personnel qualifications scheme will contribute to enhancing safety for divers, ensure free movement of personnel and remove inefficiencies from this industry."
Further information on IMCA and IDSA, and the IMCA/IDSA Diving Initiative/Diving Personnel Qualifications Scheme is available from:
|IMCA - the International Marine Contractors Association |
|IDSA - the International Diving Schools Association|
47 Faubourg de la Madeleine, 56140 Malestroit, Brittany, France
Tel: +33 (0) 2 9773 7261
Fax: +33 (0) 2 9773 7261
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