IMCA: The facts and figures


For those Members’ working in the offshore sector, IMCA (the International Marine Contractors Association) is a great resource. IMCA’s objective is to improve performance in the marine contracting industry and provide their members (the global network of marine contractors and their supply chain) with a vast array of publications and guidance documents.

Our latest blog answers some key questions about IMCA and its benefits.

What is IMCA?

IMCA is an international trade association representing companies and organisations engaged in delivering offshore, marine and underwater solutions. It has roughly a thousand member companies who operate in over 60 countries. Its core purpose is improving performance in the marine contracting industry by promoting fit for purpose regulations and delivering authoritative technical practice guidelines.

When was IMCA founded?

IMCA was created in 1995 through the merger of the Association of Diving Contractors (AODC – founded 1972) and the Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA – founded 1990).

What is at IMCA’s core?

IMCA has three core committees – Competence & Training; Safety, Environment and Legislation; and the newly formed Lifting and Rigging Management Committee.

There are four technical divisions covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey, and remote systems and ROVs. In addition there are geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions.

IMCA has had observer status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1999, and plays an active role in their discussions as the only association at IMO representing offshore marine contracting interests.

What advice is on offer?

IMCA’s technical library of some 200 guidance documents, codes of good practice and information notes, form the core deliverables of the Association, and represent progress in the development of the industry since the 1970s. Changes in technology and best practice continually evolve so IMCA has set itself the goal of reviewing, and where necessary refreshing, every single document by the end of Q1 2017.

The publications are a definition of what IMCA stands for, and include widely recognised diving codes of practice; dynamic positioning (DP) documentation (including annual ‘incident and event reports’); marine and ROV good practice guidance; the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – available electronically as an eCMID¹ safety recommendations; outline training syllabi; and the IMCA competence scheme guidance.

In addition to the range of guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes important safety flashes. Safety lies at the heart of all the work undertaken by IMCA on behalf of its members. Safety flashes are used to disseminate important information on incidents, and potential hazards, in the knowledge that lessons learnt from them can help play an active role in preventing incidents occurring elsewhere in the industry.

IMCA also publishes a variety of guides, templates and discussion documents aimed at raising awareness on contracting issues. The Club itself has referenced IMCA’s safety advice on numerous occasions in our bulletins and case studies.

The very active IMCA Contracts & Insurance Workgroup holds an annual seminar. A report from this year’s seminar which had as its them the deterioration in contracting terms in the post Macondo and Post $100 barrel oil business environment, is available in ‘Making Waves 79’ on the IMCA website.

Members are kept informed of all the latest information and events for the coming month by means of a widely circulated monthly bulletin which also features on the website.

For further information and to find out more about joining IMCA we advise Members to visit

¹(working with the International Institute of Marine Surveying IMCA has established the CMID Accredited Vessel Inspector (AVI) scheme).

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