A slim 18-page volume published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) marks a significant piece of work in the quest for increasing levels of competence within the marine contracting industry. “Guidance on the Use of Simulators (IMCA C 014 Rev. 1) is a fundamental piece of work, for it emphasises the increased importance placed by the industry on the use of simulators,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Simulation is proving its worth in the quest for the best way for individuals or teams to undertake a task efficiently and safely, and is thus often used for work lanning/mission planning purposes including engineering development, procedure development, technical assessments, research, and asset risk assessment. “The technology has improved enormously in recent years and the graphics are so good that users have a true idea of what they will be seeing and doing in ‘real time’ when the planning stage moves to the operational stage. Of course, simulators are also vital tools in emergency planning. “Our new publication is designed to address the use of simulators in the training environment and as part of competence assessments. The use of simulators enables measurable assessment of individuals in training to be undertaken. Sections cover the definition of a simulator; classes of simulator; use of simulators in the marine contracting industry; differences between e-learning and simulation; simulators in the training environment; simulators in competence assessment; and definitions. Then appendices cover different types of simulators used for dive control, dynamic positioning (DP) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) each describing their purpose. Other appendices will be added to the document as they are completed.” Simulation features on the conference agenda for the forthcoming IMCA Annual Seminar (being held 9-10 November in New Orleans, with Rob Gatt of ADAS and Cato Hordnes of OLF looking at Diving simulators and simulation – experience their use and development of an industry standard; and, in the ROV and Survey session, Use of simulation from concept design to offshore completion being presented by Jacco Huipen, Fugro Subsea Services. Guidance on the Use of Simulators can be downloaded free of charge from the IMCA website at www.imca-int.com with printed copies available at £2.50 for IMCA members and £5.00 for non-members, with further information available on the website; at email@example.com.