IMO has conducted a series of training and support activities under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), which had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A nine-day virtual training course (15-25 March) is being held for auditors from Member States in the Asia and Pacific region. The course equips qualified officials from Member States with the auditing knowledge and skills to assist in ensuring that IMO’s regulatory framework is universally adopted and implemented.
The 37 participants from 15 Member States who attended the course were senior maritime administration personnel who are, or will be, involved in preparing their respective countries to undergo the audit by carrying out internal audits and/or to be nominated for inclusion into the roster of auditors under the Scheme.
They were given access to the IMO Learning Management System (LMS) for the blended-learning course, developed in cooperation with the World Maritime University. The virtual training provides the participants with both lecturer-led and online learning experience in auditing using the IMO Instruments Implementation (III) Code as the audit standard, through a series of e-learning exercises.
In February, IMO held two virtual meetings – for Single Points of Contact (SPCs) and for Auditors under IMSAS, to provide information about and facilitate the exchange of views on the remote audit mechanism and experience in conducting remote and hybrid audits. Remote auditing was introduced by the IMO Council at its 125th session (C 125) in July 2021 as a means of continuing the important work of auditing member States through the pandemic. Four remote audits of Member States, one of which hybrid, have been completed since the use of the remote audit mechanism began in October 2021.
The meetings (on 15 and 17 February 2022) provided a platform for discussions of specific solutions and challenges in remote auditing. These included necessary communication arrangements, obtaining evidence and provision of digital records by Member States, conducting virtual audit interviews, livestreaming outdoor activities and associated arrangements required of both the audited Member States and audit teams. The two meetings were attended by 65 SPCs and associated personnel from 43 Member States which are on the audit schedule for 2022 and 2023, as well as by 106 auditors on the roster of auditors kept under the Scheme, respectively.
Outcomes from the meetings, will be used for enhancements of remote auditing methodology. They will also inform the Secretariat’s submission on the use of remote audit mechanism to the IMO Council at its 127th session (C 127), in July 2022, and feed into the work of the Joint Working Group on Member State Audit, which may be established by C 127.