The IOPC Funds ran an Induction Course for 1992 Fund Member States on 24 October 2022 at the Funds’ headquarters in London.
The Director opened the event with a welcome speech in which he emphasised the importance of continued engagement and cooperation between Member States and the Secretariat. He also reaffirmed the availability of the staff to assist representatives to the IOPC Funds’ meetings with any questions they may have or support they may need in relation to the work of the organisation.
This was followed by a networking luncheon which provided participants with an opportunity to meet members of the Secretariat in an informal setting and discuss any areas of particular interest ahead of the start of the course itself.
The Induction Course was developed following the success of the annual IOPC Funds’ Short Course, and in response to a continued demand from Member States to hold training specifically aimed at providing meeting delegates with an insight into the functioning of the organisations and a better understanding of the interaction between a Member State and the IOPC Funds in the event of an oil spill.
Participants were introduced to the international liability and compensation regime, as well as the entire process from an incident first occurring to the first claim being paid. The Course covered the role of the Member State’s delegation in London and the assistance that can be provided to the Member State by the IOPC Funds both during and after the incident: the dispatch of experts on the scene of the spill, the establishment of a local claims office and what to expect from court proceedings.
The course was full to capacity with 20 States represented. Members of staff from across the departments of the Secretariat contributed to the presentations and responded to questions from the participants on the various areas of responsibility of the organisation, including claims handling and the management of oil reports and contributions. Participants were also given a quick overview of what to expect as a new delegate to IOPC Funds meetings and the various tools and services available to them.
Since applications for the course exceeded availability, the Secretariat is exploring the possibility of delivering a further course in advance of the next meeting of the governing bodies, possibly as a remote event. Further information will be made available in due course.