Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) (eBook)

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Published Date

April 2012

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Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) (eBook)

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This programme has been developed as a tool to help operators of offshore vessels to assess, measure and improve their management systems. These systems encompass all activities undertaken by the company, including technical, operational, personnel and HSE, both on board and ashore. It should be noted that the range of different offshore vessels and units are commonly referred to as ‘vessels’ throughout this guide.

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The programme encourages vessel operators to assess their safety management systems against listed key performance indicators (KPIs) and provides best practice guidance. Best practice is an effective way to minimise the possibility of problems reoccurring. It creates opportunities and optimises performance in crucial areas, such as safety and environmental excellence. Companies should aim to transfer best practices across their fleet through the consistent application of improved processes and procedures.

It is recognised that non-SOLAS vessels operate outside the ISM Code. However, operators of such vessels may use this Guide as a tool to measure and improve their operations. A company that incorporates the guidelines contained in the OVMSA into its management system may be considered as having an active assessment process, even if it does not have ISM as a management system.

Section 1 The Quality System (OVMSA) and Guidelines 
1.1 Continuous Improvement 
1.2 About the OVMSA Guidelines 
1.3 OCIMF Guidance for Measuring a Company’s Management System Status 
1.4 Use of this Guidance Document by Industry 
1.5 Completion and Submission of the OVMSA Report 
Section 2 The 12 Elements of the OVMSA Guidelines 
Element 1 Management, Leadership and Accountability 
Element 2 Recruitment and Management of Shore-Based Personnel 
Element 3 Recruitment and Management of Vessel Personnel 
Element 4 Reliability and Maintenance Standards 
Element 5 Navigational Safety 
Element 6 Offshore Operations and the Management of Contractors 
Element 7 Management of Change 
Element 8 Incident Investigation and Analysis 
Element 9 Safety Management 
Element 10 Environmental Management
Element 11 Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning
Element 12 Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

The Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) programme offers a standard framework for the assessment of a vessel operator’s management systems.

The programme provides vessel operators with guidelines that contain the elements of a formal management system that are essential for the management and operation of their vessels.

To be effective, a management system needs to be much more than just procedures. The company leadership/management should define the company’s values and aspirations and detail how the company intends to achieve the objectives of their stated policies. Management must also provide adequate resources to ensure that the vessels are properly managed, crewed, operated and maintained by well-trained, competent personnel.

In an effective system, incidents and near misses are investigated to determine root causes and corrective actions are implemented to prevent reoccurrence. Hazards and risks are systematically identified and assessed to ensure that risk exposure is effectively managed and considered at appropriate levels of management. There is a system to manage change and quantifiable indicators are used to measure the system’s effectiveness and facilitate continuous improvement.

OVMSA contains these elements and provides a structure to help vessel operators assess and modify their management systems to improve overall performance beyond that required by minimum compliance with statutory requirements. OVMSA also provides the industry with useful information presented in a uniform format.


OCIMF was formed in April 1970 in response to the growing public concern about marine pollution, particularly by oil, after the Torrey Canyon incident in 1967. In the early 1970s, a variety of anti-pollution initiatives were starting to emerge nationally, regionally and internationally, but with little coordination. Through OCIMF, the oil industry was able to play a stronger, coordinating role in response to these initiatives, making its professional expertise widely available through cooperation with governments and intergovernmental bodies.

OCIMF was granted consultative status at the IMO in 1971 and continues to present oil industry views at IMO meetings. Since then, its role has broadened to take account the changing maritime activities of its membership. Its remit now covers tankers, barges, offshore support vessels and terminals and its advice extends to issues like shipping in ice and large-scale piracy, which rarely troubled the oil industry when OCIMF was first created in the 1970s.

The current membership of OCIMF comprises 112 companies worldwide.

Today, OCIMF is widely recognised as the voice of the oil industry providing expertise in the safe and environmentally responsible transport and handling of hydrocarbons in ships and terminals and setting standards for continuous improvement. Membership is extensive and includes every oil major in the world along with the majority of National Oil Companies.

OCIMF has much to be proud of. Not only has it contributed to a substantial quantity of regulation at the IMO aimed at improving the safety of tankers and protecting the environment, but it has introduced important new guidance on pressing current issues such as piracy and Arctic shipping. With the process of introducing new Internationally-accepted regulation necessarily slow as it crosses many individual countries and jurisdictions, OCIMF is in the unique position of being able to leverage the expertise of its membership to press ahead with much needed guidance on important industry issues. This provides the means to improve practices in the membership and in the wider industry, and serves as a valuable reference for developing regulation.

Title: Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) (eBook)
Subtitle: A Best Practice Guide for Offshore Vessel Operators
Number of Pages: 80
Product Code: WS1366EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-532-7 (9781856095327), ISBN 10: 1-85609-532-0 (1856095320)
Published Date: April 2012
Author: Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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