The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
The times they are a-changin'
We certainly live in changing times. The result of the recent European referendum, the very sad events in nearby France, and even the potentially confusing developments in Turkey only confirm that change, whether we like it or not, and in whatever form it comes, is now an integral part of daily life.
But I suppose it always was a changing picture in our world, the marine and commercial diving sector. Commercial divers are that rare breed that tend to pursue their careers wherever in the world productive work prevails, and that tends to be something driven by the oil price, the effect of which seems to influence pretty much everything. That said, despite the recent downturn in offshore activity, the inland/inshore sector seems to remain pretty resilient, with very few companies complaining about a lack of work opportunities ahead.
The ADC is also in the process of change, which could be more accurately described as the natural progression for the Association to become more formalised as a dedicated company, UK ADC Ltd. Whereas in the past the Association has simply been a trading name operating under the umbrella of a business owned and operated by the secretary, the formal progression to incorporated status should lead to greater representation benefits for the members and, in due course, the industry sector as a whole.
Members and others might not be fully aware of how active the Management Committee has been in the past few months, and how instrumental the committee has been in guiding and encouraging the changes planned for the Association’s set up. The recent search for a new specialist secretary was only one part of a process that started in November 2015, soon after the AGM was concluded. Changes to the constitution are being evolved along with the revision or update of procedures and practices that will form an integral part of the appointment of a new secretary, and how he or she will operate in the coming months.
The process and arrangements to select the secretary are now well advanced. Interviews of prospective candidates are imminent. The appointment should be confirmed by early September, and work activity should commence in early December, soon after those attending this year’s Annual General Meeting have had an opportunity to comment on the proposals from planned changes.
From the current secretary’s perspective, the single biggest change in the way the Association has operated over recent years – and probably the single biggest reason why it has been practical and sensible to formalise the new set up of the Association – has been the introduction of larger Management Committee that incorporates the most recently elected chairman and vice chairman, as well as all of the appointed regional representatives and, of course, the associates’ representative. As well as ensuring that all areas of the UK and Ireland are more fairly represented in the decisions and actions the Association takes, the larger make up of the Committee ensures that each and every step we take is properly discussed and has a more balanced feeling once it is implemented.
The great thing about the larger Management Committee is that the opportunity for members to take part in the activities of the Association is now much easier. While the chairman and vice chairman positions are open to election every three years, the appointment of the regional representatives serving on the committee are being renewed at two-year intervals.
Despite other world events, change does not have to be mean more worry. Change can actually be a good thing, and the plans for changes to the way the Association operates are most positive and should result in a stronger and more active Association in the coming years.
Roger O'Kane, ADC Secretary