Change in concept of operation of IMCA’s CMID system

Published 20 June 2016

To say that there is a burden of over-auditing on the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) vessel operators is without doubt. In an effort to reduce this burden IMCA intends to improve the integrity and quality of their Common Marine Inspection Document system (CMID) by adopting a greater degree of oversight of the system. This will enable greater cooperation with the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID).

The Accredited Vessel Inspector (AVI) scheme is already proving successful, and changes will be made that ensure that by January 2018 only AVIs are able to use the eCMID database and only eCMID reports, rather than paper versions, will be recognised by IMCA as a formal report.

IMCA’s Technical Adviser, Chris Baldwin, announced these changes at a workshop held at Seawork International 2016 in Southampton which was welcomed by the attending inspectors and clients. The changes are set out in IMCA Information note IMCA M 07/16 aimed at companies that are members of the IMCA Marine Division and at the eCMID User Community.

“We believe that these steps are necessary for this widely used vessel safety management system audit process, to ensure it keeps pace with current and future expectations of stakeholders in the offshore energy industry,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director Richard Benzie. “We encourage, and welcome, feedback and recommendations from members on all our guidance documents and any questions on the new regime for CMID and Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (MISW) should be forwarded to Chris Baldwin at IMCA Head Office at [email protected].”

CMID, the background and looking ahead

IMCA has provided the IMCA M 149 -Common Marine Inspection Document -for 17 years and it has seen a number of iterative changes over this period and has also seen the introduction of IMCA M 189- Marine inspection for small workboats (Common marine inspection document for small workboats). Since 2009, when the eCMID database was introduced, there have been calls from the industry to increase the integrity of the common marine inspection document (CMID) system.

The AVI scheme

IMCA has already taken steps to address the competence assurance of vessel inspectors through its recognition of the AVI scheme delivered by the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). This scheme has now attracted well over 200 applications and continues to grow, and is delivering a level of assurance expected of any professional cadre involved in vessel safety management systems auditing. The whole CMID system is now based on ISO 19011 Guidance on Auditing Management Systems and closely follows the guidance of the International Register of Chartered Auditors (IRCA).

Next steps

The next step is to address the absence of control over the conduct, distribution and cyber security aspects of CMID and Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (MISWB) reports, which IMCA intends to do in two ways.

Firstly, IMCA will only recognise formal inspection reports conducted using the eCMID database. This means that paper reports not uploaded into the database will no longer be considered by IMCA to be ‘authorised’ CMIDs.

Secondly, only validated AVIs will be able to use the eCMID database and thereby conduct these authorised IMCA CMID and MISW inspections. In order to ensure that the CMID user community can adapt to this revised arrangement the new regime will commence in January 2018 enabling vessel owners/operators sufficient time to register on the eCMID database and to manage their vessel details accordingly.

Information on the CMID system can be found at