Work is underway on reviewing the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) Diver Medic Scheme which is widely used and taught by IMCA recognized schools around the world.
The scheme has changed little since its development in 1999, although there have been some significant improvements in training as a result of changes in technology and recent experience in trauma medicine. In addition, the problem of skill fade amongst Diver Medics, especially with some of the more complex procedures, has become an increasing cause for concern.
“Initial work on reviewing the scheme will include the establishment of a workgroup later this year, which will take the review forward,” explained IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “In an effort to address concerns over skills fade, our Diving Division Management Committee has decided that all certificates issued after July 1, 2013 will only have two-year validity, with refresher training required every two years.
“This means that within the final three months of validity of a certificate a refresher course can be carried out and the validity date of the new certificate will run for a further two years from the expiry date of the old one. Or otherwise, for up to eight weeks after the expiry of an existing certificate, a refresher course can similarly be undertaken – this allows for unforeseen circumstances that prevent a refresher course being undertaken during the final three months of a certificate’s validity but is very much the exception rather than the rule, taking the refresher in the final three months is the recommended course of action.
“The certificate ceases to be valid on its expiry date, although we allow that eight-week period in which people can renew doing a refresher course rather than a full course.”