IIMS CEO answers questions about new Marine Corrosion Professional Qualification

We put some questions to Mike Schwarz, Chief Executive Officer of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), about the new Marine Corrosion Professional Qualification which is launching in June 2021.

What prompted IIMS to develop this new qualification?
“IIMS has a proud record of delivering training and education to marine surveyors going back 20 years and we were the first organisation to provide such opportunities to professionals working in this field. The award-winning IIMS diploma in marine surveying is highly regarded to this day and is constantly being updated and refreshed.

Whilst we have a core module in the main diploma dedicated to materials and corrosion, it does not go into anything like as much depth as the new standalone qualification will do. In my time with IIMS I have seen many surveyors struggle and scratch their heads when the subject of corrosion is mentioned. For some, I suspect it remains a bit of a dark art. And it is for that reason that the Institute has decided to invest, develop and launch a ‘heavyweight’ course. Corrosion is a complex and multifaceted subject and one that demands good knowledge. The new qualification will, through 10 modules, give delegates a thorough grounding in the subject of corrosion, testing their learning at each stage as the programme develops.”

Who should study for this qualification and is it open to non-IIMS members?
“Anyone may study for the qualification. IIMS members are offered a discount, but my primary motivation is to give the opportunity to surveyors worldwide, (no matter what their allegiance), to upskill in the area of marine corrosion. Let’s face it, most vessels of some age will be suffering from corrosion to one degree or another. Knowing how to inspect a vessel suffering from corrosion is just one aspect. Being able to accurately identify the type of corrosion and its cause is another. And finally, the ability to report the findings effectively in writing is vital. The aim of the course is to give surveyors the confidence through knowledge and learning to be able to do all three.”

Who has developed the course content?
“Mike Lewus is Director of Metal Metropol Ltd and boasts an impressive career record to date. He is the content producer and will deliver the live module lectures. A friend of the Institute, Mike has developed and delivered several seminars and a day-long course on corrosion for the benefit of members in recent years. I have personally seen the first few core modules and they are impressive and detailed. I am confident that those choosing to study will greatly enhance their corrosion knowledge and will gain new skills.”

His career highlights:
– Mike boasts over 25 years in coatings and steel-related R&D at USA and UK universities, including 20 years at Swinden Technology Centre (R&D labs of British Steel, Corus and Tata Steel).
– He was at the University of Sheffield and AMRC Training Centre for 4 years developing and building CPD materials related training courses.
– He has worked for 7 years as technical advisor at British Stainless Steel Association, including building and delivering training courses in stainless steel and corrosion.

When and how will the programme be delivered?
“How to deliver the course content has been a big challenge for several reasons. Although IIMS has extensive experience in delivering distance learning education, this has historically been over a two-year period. The plan is to deliver the 10 module marine corrosion professional qualification lectures over a one month period. The first course will be delivered from late June 2021 and the second one in November 2021.

The Covid pandemic has meant IIMS has had to translate a number of face-to-face training and education situations into the online space, and we have mastered it well. And this one is no different. We have settled on 10 online live tutorials, one for each module, with each lasting about three hours spread over a four-week period. Because there are students all over the world signed up to study, we have flexed the times and days of the week to give delegates the best chance of attending a good number of the lectures live. But it is not mandatory to take each lecture live as delegates will be sent a video recording made of each module lecture, meaning it can be studied at a time of their choosing. Similarly, there is no pressure to sit the online test for each module through the ClassMarker software in a month. The links to the module tests will remain open until a delegate is ready to take them. The pass mark for each module is 70% based on 25 multiple-choice questions. Resits are allowed if required. If the pass mark is achieved, a certificate to show a pass will be available to download by the delegate.

Delegates are required to pass 7 of the 10 modules to gain formal qualification. Four are core modules to be studied by all. There is an additional mandatory module for yacht and small craft surveyors and one for commercial ship surveyors too.”

How will the qualification be awarded and recognised?
“The course programme will be managed by the Institute’s wholly-owned subsidiary, the Marine Surveying Academy. The professional qualification will be awarded and certificated by the IIMS and will be recognised by organisations internationally just as the existing diploma is.”

What about the cost?
“There are other existing marine corrosion-related courses on the market, but from what I have personally seen, they are not specific to marine surveyors. Many of those I have found whilst researching are considerably more expensive and seem to offer less. IIMS has priced the course favourably to represent excellent value for money. Members and IIMS students benefit from a discount, meaning a cost of £895. For non-members, the cost is £950.”

What should I do next?
“Bookings for the June and November courses are open now. Those wishing to join the first course are advised all fees must be paid up in full by 17 June.”

Click to view the Prospectus with detailed descriptions about each module.

Click for dates and times of the live lectures.

And click here if you would like to confirm your place on either course.

If you have further questions about any aspect of the course and its delivery, please email Sharon Holland or call her on +44 23 9238 5223.

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