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ICoCA Update – 1st Quarter 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Howie Lind
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3.Administration and Oversight Function Development

3.1 Development of Certification Procedures (Article 11)

3.2Development of Reporting, Monitoring, and Performance Assessment Procedures (Article 12)

3.3Development of Complaints Procedures (Article 13)




1.1.  ICoCA Board of Directors

The Association recently received notice from Andrew Nicholson that he will resign his seat on the Board, effective at the end of September 2016, because of external professional demands.  As a result, two Board seats from each pillar will open at the end of September.  The Secretariat will administer elections for each pillar, and Members will be invited to nominated suitable candidates for the opening Director posts.  The election will be concluded at or prior to the Annual General Meeting on 29 September 2016, in accordance with the nomination and election procedures developed by the respective pillars.


2.1.  Membership Growth

Since October 2015, an additional 17 applications from PSCs for ICoCA membership have been approved, bringing the current total ICoCA Industry Pillar membership to 99. An additional 29 applications from PSCs are currently under review. Three (3) applications for membership in the CSO Pillar were recently approved, bringing the current total ICoCA CSO Pillar membership to 16.  The ICoCA does not currently have any outstanding applications for membership from governments. A list of the current ICoCA members can be found at


3.1.    Development of Certification Procedures (Article 11)

3.1.1.     Feasibility study:  At the 1st Quarter Board Meeting in March, the Certification Committee continued discussions regarding challenges faced by Members wishing to become certified to currently-recognized standards.  Reported challenges included access to standards (particularly for PSCs operating in the “Global south” and non-English speaking regions) as well as the cost of certification.  In addition, the Committee and the Board discussed concerns, reflected in comments from Members and Observers, regarding the need for greater transparency and reliability with regard to current certification systems.

The Board directed the Secretariat to conduct a feasibility study, analyzing (1) whether other multi-stakeholder initiatives or organizations with certification functions had confronted similar problems regarding cost, access, and transparency/reliability, and (2) whether there are feasible options the ICoCA might consider to address the existing challenges to reliable certification while preserving the role and benefits of recognized standards.  The Secretariat completed the feasibility study between March and May, and the results are expected to be presented to the Board of Directors at the 2nd Quarter Board Meeting, on 14-15 June.  Thereafter, the Board expects to develop and propose a program and implementation timeline to address the challenges summarized above, including necessary changes to the Articles of Association and Certification Procedure.

3.1.2.     Recognition of ISO 28007:  The Secretariat completed its analysis of ISO 28007-1:2015 Ships and marine technology -- Guidelines for Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) providing privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships, and forwarded that analysis to the Certification Committee for its consideration.  In February the Committee released a Draft Recognition Statement for public comment.  Following the close of the comment period, the Board discussed the comments received and the Secretariat circulated a revised Draft Recognition Statement for Board consideration and potential approval.  The Board expects to release the results of its consideration following the 2nd Quarter Board Meeting.

3.1.3.     Certification Deadline: The Board has recognized the need to extend the deadline for Member companies to obtain certification, which is currently set for July 1, 2016 in accordance with the Article 3.3.1 of the Articles of Association (AoA), in order to implement a solution to existing challenges described above.  Since the General Assembly is the only body that has the power to amend the AoA, the Members of the General Assembly will be requested to approve an amendment to Article 3.3.1 that would implement a short-term extension of the deadline until the 2016 General Meeting in September.  As noted above, the Board expects to propose a program and implementation timeline for consideration by the General Assembly.  Members will be asked to vote regarding approval of the recommendation, including any required amendments to the AoA and Certification Procedure, at the General Assembly.

3.2.  Development of Reporting, Monitoring and Performance Assessment Procedures (Article 12)

A Working Group of six (6) Board Directors, supported by the ICoCA Secretariat, has been meeting on a weekly basis to develop procedures to implement the Reporting, Monitoring and Performance Assessment function described in Article 12 of the AoA.  The Board anticipates that final recommendations for Article 12 Procedures will be presented to the General Assembly for consideration and a vote at the 2016 General Meeting.

3.2.1.     Development of a Monitoring Capacity:  The Working Group achieved general consensus regarding the functioning of a monitoring capacity within the ICoCA Secretariat, including on the collection and receipt of information from civil society, governments, NGOs, and other third parties regarding PSC operations and compliance with the Code.  Information will be analyzed to enable the Secretariat to engage in dialogue with Member companies aimed at improving performance.  In addition, information collected will help identify areas where Field-Based Review is needed, and will assist the Board in reviewing and addressing performance and compliance issues.

3.2.2.     Development of Indicators:  The Working Group agreed in principle to the development of performance and compliance indicators for each paragraph of Sections F and G (Specific Principles Regarding the Conduct of Personnel, and Specific Commitments Regarding Management and Governance, respectively) of the Code, and completed work on an initial set of indicators for five subsections: Use of Force, Apprehension, Prohibition of Torture, Selection and Vetting of Personnel, and Training.  Indicators will be used to guide the assessment of Member company performance, including analysis of information obtained in the Monitoring process, identification of compliance concerns and alleged violations of the Code, and recommendations for improved performance against the Code.

3.2.3.     Company Self-Assessment Reporting:  The Working Group has been developing a proposed format for self-assessment reporting by Member companies, to address their performance, as required under Article 12.2.2.  The Working Group generally concurs that self-assessment reporting should be aligned to the Indicators, and that to the extent possible, self-assessment reporting should leverage web-based technologies to enable efficient reporting and longitudinal analysis of data.

3.2.4.     Field-Based Review:  The Working Group will work on the development of a model process for Field-Based Review, for proposal to the Board.  In addition, the WG is expected to recommend a timeline to test Field-Based Review through a pilot program. 

3.3.  Development of Complaints Procedures (Article 13)

The Board’s Working Group on Complaints has been working towards the development of procedures to implement the complaints processes defined in Article 13.  A first draft of procedures has been completed, and the Working Group has been meeting regularly to review and edit the draft.  A draft is expected to be presented to the Board for consideration during the Q2 meeting.   

Geneva, Switzerland

3 June, 2016

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