IMCA operates with a global focus via a structure of technical committees made up of experts elected from member companies, supported by a small, focused secretariat in London. They are a respected voice around the world promoting good practice, particularly in the areas of health, safety and environment, quality and efficiency, as well as providing technical guidance.
In common with other trade associations, IMCA provides its members with guidance, allowing them to ‘self-regulate’ rather than look to clients, or governments for setting rules and procedures. While governments legislate on a range of issues in the public interest, they cannot produce legislation for every part of an industry’s operations – nor may that be desirable. A key benefit of industry guidance is that it can be implemented and updated more quickly than legislation, which is vital in an industry with rapidly advancing technology.
As a trade association IMCA must also comply with international competition law (competition, antitrust and similar laws). IMCA uses strict guidelines to ensure compliance.
IMCA was founded in 1995 through the merger of the Association of Diving Contractors (AODC) and the Dynamically Positioned Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA).