The American Waterways Operators, the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, has entered into an agreement with the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau under which the TVIB will take over the responsibility for training and certifying AWO Responsible Carrier Program auditors later this year. The first TVIB-led auditor classes will be held this summer.
AWO’s Responsible Carrier program is an industry initiated, third-party audited safety management system that promotes safe practices and environmental stewardship in the barge and towing industry, the largest segment of the U.S. domestic vessel fleet. The program was established in 1994 and has been a condition of AWO membership since 2000.
Under the AWO-TVIB agreement, TVIB will build upon existing AWO standards for auditor training and certification. TVIB will also review and improve the existing curriculum and audit tools to make them more robust. Existing auditors trained by TVIB will be designated as “TVIB-Certified AWO RCP Auditors” and new auditor applications will be reviewed and approved by TVIB. The content of the Responsible Carrier Program, however, will continue to be governed by AWO and can only be changed by the AWO Board of Directors. Participation in the Responsible Carrier Program will remain a condition of AWO membership.