Major revisions of key IMCA diving system guidance documents concluded

Source: press release, 26 September 2022

Bryan McGlinchy, IMCA’s Diving Manager
Bryan McGlinchy, IMCA’s Diving Manager (photo: IMCA)

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has fully revised and updated the principal documents within its DESIGN (Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note) suite which includes:

  • IMCA D 018 Rev. 2 Code of practice for the initial and periodic examination, testing and certification of diving plant and equipment.
  • IMCA D 024 Rev. 3 DESIGN for saturation (Bell) Diving Systems.
  • IMCA D 063 DESIGN for Hyperbaric Rescue Unit (HRU) Life Support Packages (LSP).
  • IMCA D 023 Rev. 2 DESIGN for Surface Orientated (Air) Diving Systems.

Together these documents form the backbone of IMCA’s diving system DESIGN assurance process. Additionally, several supporting IMCA documents have been revised to assist diving contractor compliance with the revised DESIGN suite documents, and a new document, IMCA D 069 Guidance on the Systematic Assessment of Control Systems in Automated Diving Plant and Equipment has been published.

As IMCA’s Diving Manager, Bryan McGlinchy explains, “IMCA DESIGN documents are periodically updated to clarify any anomalies and ensure guidance is aligned with the latest industry good practice. These document revisions are aimed at assuring the safety and suitability of both traditional diving plant and equipment and the most modern complex diving systems.”

“Importantly, IMCA D 039 FME(C)A Guide for Diving Systems has also been revised to ensure the guidance it contains meets current industry good practice, including guidance on criticality assessment methodology, and is aligned with IMCA’s other principal guidance on FME(C)A, IMCA M 166 ‘Guidance on failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)’,” McGlinchy continues.

McGlinchy adds, “The revision of these important pillars in maintaining diver safety has been managed by our specially convened Diving Division workgroups – they have excelled themselves, and we thank them for their dedication and professionalism.”

As revised DESIGN guidelines are published, each of the new documents will not compulsorily replace the previous versions for a period of up to 1 year. After a year has elapsed, the older version of each document will be withdrawn, and members will be expected to comply with the latest revision.

During the year of overlap, IMCA members may choose to comply with DESIGN by meeting the requirements of either the old or the new versions whilst preparing to meet the new criteria. Both versions are available to members on the IMCA website.

Expanding on this Bryan McGlinchy says, “This arrangement is intended to give IMCA members a suitable period of time to make appropriate adjustments to their diving plant and equipment; and to their equipment management arrangements so as to facilitate full compliance with the new DESIGN documents once the old versions have been withdrawn.”

Updating of the remainder of the DESIGN suite continues.