International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) made a strategic decision to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) and have it certified through an independent UKAS Certification Body. FQM was tasked with the challenge of assisting in building the new QMS with IMCA and the company opted for the system to be built and run within our Mango QHSE Cloud Software.

IMCA aims to improve performance in the marine contracting industry worldwide. Based in London but with a truly global reach, IMCA was formed in 1995 through the merger of the former Association of Offshore Diving Contractors (AODC) and the Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA).

IMCA’s mission is to improve performance in the marine contracting industry. IMCA achieves this by leveraging the expertise of members through conferences, seminars and meetings, and in publishing leading standards of technical and operating guidance in key areas of safety, quality, and offshore performance. In addition, IMCA represents its members in dialogue with other industry bodies, regulators, oil companies and renewable energy companies. IMCA holds consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and is very active in international regulatory and policy matters within the upstream industry.

Having spoken with their Technical Team it was clear that IMCA was looking to demonstrate not only its commitment to its members, but to promote its commitment to continual improvement through the adoption of a Quality Management System (QMS) that would not only be externally certified against the International Standard ISO 9001:2015, but also serve as a foundation to assist in driving the business forward and providing organisational knowledge.

A short visit to London resulted in IMCA deciding to design and implement a system with our Mango QHSE Cloud Software solution, something we see more and more clients adopting, as it brings everything in to one place and can often save significant time and effort on the administrative side of a more traditional (non-software) based QMS.  “The key advantage with using the Mango software system is that nothing is left to chance, the system self manages and once something is in the system, it is safe, measurable and creates accountability” Mark Ford, Technical Director, IMCA.

Challenges

The main challenge facing IMCA was mapping out all the processes that the company undertakes in its day to day business, as on the surface it looked straightforward, but turned out to be far more detailed than first envisaged.

Needless to say, the company fully supported the mapping process from the Chief Executive down to every employee. Using the ISO 9001:2015 framework we were able to provide IMCA staff with the right amount of support to ensure the processes were mapped, reviewed, updated, approved and adopted throughout the business, outlining exactly how the company operates and providing them with a clear documented control system through the Mango software which provides the capability to document and control the company knowledge, allowing for succession planning, should key individuals move on from the business.

For many of the senior staff working in IMCA, this process was known to them, as many had come from large Oil & Gas or Marine companies which in most cases would have such systems in place. However, this approach was new to some in the company and therefore IMCA and FQM set about undertaking a number of Quality Management awareness sessions, engaging the workforce in the benefits of a Quality Management System, how it would work and importantly what their involvement would entail.

It was great to see all employees involved, from the CEO down through the workforce, engaging and supportive of the process. We wanted to ensure that everyone in IMCA was involved, so processes were written with key process owners/users to ensure a fully engaged workforce and responsible owners.

By having Technical Director Mark Ford manage the project from within IMCA and act as ‘change agent’, gaining access to the whole team was not an issue. This has the dual benefit of driving buy-in to the system, making it work more effectively in the long run.

So How Did The Project Go?

The full Quality Management System processes, Mango Software and Internal Auditor training was completed on time and within budget, resulting in a fully tailor made designed QMS, implemented throughout the business and achieving UKAS Accredited Certification to ISO 9001:2015 by the British Assessment Bureau within 4 months of the project starting. Not only that, the certification assessment was achieved with Zero non-conformances, a fantastic achievement all round.

The certification assessment auditor even commented on how simple the audit process had been with the use of the Mango Software. This was enhanced further by the fact that the stage 1 assessment was done remotely, giving access to the software to the British Assessment Bureau Auditor, without the need for him to come to the IMCA office.

The system has now been running in IMCA for 5 months since they achieved certification and visiting their office in London recently, it was great to see the system being fully utilised, demonstrating improvements through Internal Audits, learning and communicating well within the Mango tool.

IMCA Chief Executive, Allen Leatt had the following final statement to make on the whole process;

“The IMCA leadership team is well versed in the discipline of quality management systems and in particular the ISO standards. However, historically as a trade association, IMCA had for many years got-by with paper-based procedures and process maps. We set an objective last year to modernise the system and frankly I was amazed how quickly we made progress compared to similar exercises I had experienced in the past. The Mango software provided a comprehensive but simple framework onto which to hang our documentation, and this simplicity motivated our people to get the job done very efficiently. FQM provided us with an excellent level of service and were very focussed in driving business efficiency rather than bureaucracy. This is a great combination and I would have no hesitation in going this route again.”

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