Graeme Reid, technical adviser – marine, IMCA, considers how best to avoid duplication of marine surveys
The industries IMCA members serve are constantly striving to remove unnecessary duplications of effort and inefficiencies across processes.
IMCA’s Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) was launched in 1999 to provide standard formats for the inspection and auditing of offshore vessels. Its use globally helps promote safety and efficiency. Importantly, it also helps reduce the number of repeat inspections on individual vessels by providing a consistent, transferrable format which meets vessel operator and client requirements alike.
CMID evolved to become eCMID and IMCA now recognises only eCMID and eMISW (for small workboats) inspection reports that have been prepared by Accredited Vessel Inspectors (AVIs) and uploaded into the online database. No other versions are accepted.
There are currently 3,560 vessels registered on the eCMID database system; there are 4,200 active users of the database and at the end of January over 1,300 eCMID and eMSIW live reports (i.e. in date) on the system.
Add to this the 487 AVIs in the scheme operated by the IIMS Marine Surveying Academy and we could surely say: “Job done! It’s all smooth sailing.”
However, several IMCA members have reported instances of ‘double inspections’, all of them relating to Marine Warranty vessel suitability (MWS) surveys of vessels with existing eCMID audits. This was concerning as the existing eCMID relates primarily to the ‘marine platform’ – the vessel – whereas MWS surveys are in most cases undertaken because something is going to be installed by the vessel, or a specific piece of work is to be undertaken connected to lifting, pipe or cable lay, or diving, i.e. the vessel’s ‘mission’.
“Members have reported instances of ‘double inspections’, relating to MWS surveys of vessels with eCMID audits”
Members reported that the ‘doubling up’ was happening when suitability surveys were close to, or in some cases identical to, an IMCA eCMID audit, with little or no regard to the ‘mission-specific equipment’ – the very thing that is of fundamental interest to the insurer.
Example survey documents supplied to IMCA had similar content and questions to that of the eCMID; in some extreme cases the survey was performed by the same company and the same surveyor who had undertaken the eCMID audit weeks previously. In some examples a new set of findings was generated, causing unnecessary workload and inefficiency to the vessel owner/operator and leading to doubts over surveyor competency.
IMCA took this issue to the Joint Rig Committee (JRC) – London Market Association and it was subsequently tabled for discussion at the JRC Survey and Engineering sub-committee. Recently the JRC fed back to IMCA its intention to update its guidance, adding wording to reflect that MWS surveyors may use any supplementary documentation made available to them to augment their survey (for example, eCMID).
The JRC further highlighted that IMCA members should notify attending MWS Marine Warranty surveyors that eCMID audits exist, are fully available, and can be referenced/included as part of the report if deemed helpful to avoid unnecessary repetition and inefficiency.
This is a welcome step, but may not prevent poor practice in some areas. Therefore, IMCA plans to monitor this situation and asks that practices of this type be reported, enabling us to collate and approach the JRC, if required.
We have published an Information note on the issue and urge members to inform MWS surveyors if an eCMID (or eMISW) exists for the specific vessel and grant them permission to use it within their report; we also urge MWS surveyors to ask the simple question: “Do you have an eCMID?”
Working together we can eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort.
You can learn more about the eCMID system at: