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Monday, November 28, 2022

OCIMF Overhauls Its Tanker Inspection Program

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 21, 2021

© momentscatcher / Adobe Stock

© momentscatcher / Adobe Stock

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is overhauling its Ship Inspection Report Program (SIRE) by introducing tablet-based inspections, a more comprehensive inspection process, and enhanced policies and procedures from Q2 2022. The new program, SIRE 2.0, will facilitate a risk-based approach to assessing the safety and quality of a vessel and its crew on an ongoing basis, but will require a “change in mindset” from industry, OCIMF has warned.

Under SIRE 2.0, accredited inspectors will complete a Compiled Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (CVIC) in real-time using a tablet device. Unlike the existing paper-based questionnaire, the SIRE 2.0 CVIQ uses a sophisticated algorithm to select questions from a question library based on the type of vessel, its outfitting and operational history to create a bespoke risk-based inspection questionnaire. This means no two inspections will be the same. In another significant change to the reporting process, most questions require the inspector to provide responses based on hardware, processes and human factors, with observations graded from not as expected through to exceeds expectation. Observations will also be supported with documentary and photographic evidence (where permitted).

As a result of these enhancements to the program each inspection question set is varied, providing vessel operators and crews greater opportunity to demonstrate their best practices, and for the first time both positive and negative observations can be documented. Enhanced governance processes will ensure greater transparency and control for OCIMF and other parties involved in the program, with stringent compliance requirements enhancing accountability, creating an altogether more robust and program that can more easily be adapted to the evolving risk profile of the industry.

OCIMF’s Managing Director Karen Davis, said, “The development and introduction of the SIRE 2.0 tanker inspection regime represents a significant change for OCIMF, its members, users of the inspection program and the marine industry as a whole. It’s a move away from a snapshot yes/no approach to providing richer, more meaningful insight that can be acted upon.

“The new program will ensure observations are given context and will result in more detailed, reliable, granular and comparable marine assurance data, helping the report recipient better understand how well a vessel is managed. Central to SIRE 2.0 is the integration of human factors assessments which will take into account performance influencing factors, as OCIMF acknowledges that mistakes are typically due to conditions and systems that make work difficult. SIRE 2.0 is designed to encourage a safety culture aligned with the principles contained in the OCIMF Human Factors Approach paper and framework for integrating human factors in management systems.”

Software for the intrinsically safe tablet devices has been developed in consultation with ports, terminals and ship operator stakeholders, in accordance with best practice as defined by ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals). Given the complexity of the project, over the past three years OCIMF has been engaging with different stakeholder groups at relevant junctures to gather feedback, input and technical expertise.

Sam Megwa, OCIMF’s Program Director, said, “At OCIMF we are doing everything we can to support industry to transition from SIRE to SIRE 2.0. While there is work still to be done to bring SIRE 2.0 online, the team are well underway with the trial inspections program and have already rolled out a series of workshops with more planned over coming months. Transition training of inspectors has also been underway for some time already, with additional courses due next year. We will continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the program, and to help our industry achieve zero accidents to people and the environment”.

A range of resources and information about SIRE 2.0 are available on OCIMF’s website, here. The full SIRE 2.0 question library and supporting guidance materials will be published by OCIMF in January 2022 for vessel operators, program recipients and submitting companies as well as terminal operators. A feedback portal will be made available to program participants from April 2022 where comments and suggestions can be provided which will be considered during future program reviews. Additional resources and engagement activities for all stakeholders will be rolled-out through Q1 2022.

While OCIMF develops SIRE 2.0, the existing SIRE program will continue to be supported and improved, ensuring SIRE incorporates the latest industry standards, best practice and regulation.

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