The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Competence Assurance & Assessment guidance, originally launched in January 1999 and regularly updated (last update 2012), is designed to facilitate improved safety in the offshore industry by providing a framework for IMCA’s marine contractor members to assess and demonstrate to other the competence of their safety-critical personnel. Now new associated guidance has been published for verifier training.
“Assessment naturally should be supported by verification of the assessment of the individual’s competence; the role of the verifier is to check or verify assessments that have been completed offshore; and a verifier should be used as part of a company’s in-house audit arrangements – his or her role is naturally of vital importance,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler.
“We have just published ‘Guidance on Verifier Training’ (IMCA C 016). This aims to provide a checklist of the topics to be considered for inclusion in a verifier training program and the appropriate auditing arrangements for such a program.
“As an association we do not approve or formally recognize any particular verifier training course or program – this type of training given to a verifier is for each IMCA member to determine. However, our new document, although not intended as a formal training document, sets out aspects which would normally be included in a verifier training program. The provision of verifier guidelines can be useful in achieving a more consistent level of assessment.”
In the new document IMCA points out that some form of monitoring and support will often be required to be in place to ensure that new verifiers are clear about the role they are to perform and are supported as they find their feet with this important role.
“This can also help to address the issues of lack of objectivity and natural bias,” says Jane Bugler. “Some companies address this challenge by putting internal quality assurance or internal verification processes in place and focus on supporting verifiers rather than a traditional auditing approach.”
As well as providing background information on the structure and process of competence assurance schemes, the guidance has sections devoted to ‘Who are the verifiers and what do they do?’; ‘Training for verifiers’; ‘Formal Verifier and Assessor Standards and Qualifications’; ‘ ‘Verifier training challenges’; and ‘Providing Support and Advice’
The new publication is available online for free downloading by IMCA members and non-members alike, and printed copies can be bought from IMCA at £5.00 (zero VAT) for members and £10.00 for non-members (plus delivery charge where applicable) from firstname.lastname@example.org.