Until the Registered Marine Coatings Inspectors (RMCI) standard was introduced in late 2014, there were no specific qualifications for marine coatings Inspectors – especially in the superyacht, leisure and pleasure vessel sectors. Over that period more than 120 industry professionals have achieved the qualification.
The formal RMCI qualification is a collaboration between the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), in conjunction with the SuperYacht Builders Association (SYBAss) and managed by the Marine Surveying Academy (MSA). The course, the qualification and the certification system were produced in response to the request from these bodies and industry.
Following a meeting of these key stakeholders, the process of RMCI revalidation was discussed and agreed.
The purpose of the revalidation process is to ensure Inspectors are competent to continue as an RMCI. To achieve revalidation, there are two requirements which are based on 1) a review of professional activity and evidence and 2) the completion of a mandatory online refresher.
The RMCI course and the certification of suitably experienced and qualified inspectors has been welcomed and supported by many in the superyacht coatings sector, including in newbuild and refit shipyards. Considerable feedback has been forthcoming to demonstrate that the RMCI qualification has greatly improved the standardisation of coating inspections across the sector.
Udo Kleinitz, Secretary General of ICOMIA, said, “RMCI is part of a framework to introduce objectivity to the inspection of coatings by introducing assessment acceptance criteria. Once the parameters for scientifically accurate and repeatable assessment of large yacht coatings are in place, the RMCI standard serves as an assurance that inspectors are qualified to do the job. The last 5 years have been a positive development since we have seen an increasing number of stakeholders (yacht management companies, owners and their representatives) requiring the assessment of coatings on a Large Yacht to be carried out by an RMCI inspector.”
Theo Hooning, Secretary General of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), said, “We have made good progress, but it is crucial that we continue our collaboration to find the broad support that this valuable initiative deserves. SYBAss is therefore pleased to continue to participate in the development of qualification programmes to further professionalise the industry. Both shipyards and clients benefit from mitigating risks through a more transparent coatings process, including an objective assessment.”
Mike Schwarz, CEO of the International Institute of Marine Surveying, the awarding body for the RMCI qualification, said, “I recall sitting as an observer at the RMCI pilot course held at Portchester Sailing Club in late September 2014. It was a testing week; but as I look back over the time that has elapsed since it is with a degree of pride. The standard has made an impact in the superyacht coatings sector and is recognised and valued. Knowing that RMCI is acknowledged within the industry and acceptable as an appropriate standard in the ISO is testament that we have come a long way.”