The NWA is the Trade Association for the owners and operators of workboats, mainly built under the MCA Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Small Workboats – the “Workboat Code”.
The Association is run by a committee of members and employs a Secretary who represents the NWA at various government and industry bodies and carries out the administration work for the Association.
The main function of the NWA is to act as the liaison and focal point with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) – from its beginnings twenty years ago the Association has worked closely with the MCA – providing a significant amount of practical guidance and constructive criticism in the formulation of the original Workboat Code which came into force in 1998. It is testament to the good work done by the founding members in drawing up the ‘Code’ with the MCA that it has stood the test of time – and is only now undergoing a major revision to keep it current with the ever-developing Workboat industry.
We have also worked closely with the Seafarers Standards branch of the MCA to establish sensible, practical manning levels for workboats and more recently in creating specific qualifications for Workboat Crews. – Several years ago we were heavily involved developing the Master <200GT (Code Vessel) Certificate of Competency and more recently the Master <500GT (Workboat) CoC which is now available. Both of these are unlimited STCW qualifications allowing the holders to act as Master of workboats operating world-wide. We are currently working to finalise a suite of 'Small Vessel Engineer' qualifications which will be applicable to Workboats.
Roger Towner, Head of the MCA Seafarer Standards branch recently met section heads and a lawyer from the BG Verkehr in Hamburg. Whilst the BG Verkehr are currently still refusing to accept the UK <200GT Master Code Vessel and <500GT Master Workboat CoCs, issued under article IX of STCW, they did reach a verbal agreement on an interim solution.
The next NWA Safety Forum will be held at the Orbis Centre, Lowestoft, on 6th September at 10am. This offshore wind-focused forum will look to involve all stakeholders in the offshore wind supply chain, with representatives from a selection of our members’ wind clients, shore managers and CTV Masters.
This month, the NWA launched its LinkedIn profile, with the creation of both a public NWA LinkedIn Page and a members-only NWA LinkedIn Group. This presence on LinkedIn will create two new channels of communication for our members.