1. WHAT IS THE ISAF IHC PROGRAMME ALL ABOUT?
IHC is a programme to enable builders to self-certify equipment – once they have met certain standards. The aim of IHC is to maintain the standards of fairness guaranteed by traditional control and certification, but reduce the time and cost of these activities. For sailors this means they can buy certified equipment, knowing it is ready to race. With an international system of IHC, ISAF can ensure standards and certification apply worldwide.
2. HOW DOES THE PROGRAMME WORK?
The programme is to be administered by either an ISAF approved Authorising Authority (AA), which will normally be the MNA, appointed for a country or region (where this is more appropriate), or ISAF itself. The AA will report to ISAF in accordance with the criteria set out in the IHC Criteria and Responsibilities paper (email ISAF Technical for further details).
3. WHO CONTROLS IT?
ISAF will implement the programme in cooperation with the MNAs; however, IHC by definition will apply to manufacturer and as most manufacturers are not class specific (i.e. they make equipment for more than one class), the scheme cannot be class specific. This means that the IHC programme should only be introduced by the ISAF and not through the class associations; however, under a single ISAF IHC licence, a manufacturer could work with a number of different classes.
4. WHO APPROVES THE IN-HOUSE MEASURERS?
The ISAF develop and establish training schemes for all Internal Official Measurers (IOM) and approve MNAs to undertake IOM certification training in accordance with these schemes. The manufacturer can then nominate a number of members of staff as Internal Official Measurers which will undergotraining specific to their manufactured product, as specified in the ISAF training syllabi.
5. WHO AUDITS THE MANUFACTURERS AND HOW OFTEN?
A qualified, independant certified auditor, appointed by an AA for ISAF IHC auditing. The auditing of a manufacturer provides the main element of control which is key to the success of the IHC Programme. Audits are performed by both the manufacturer and the Authorising Authority for internal and external auditing, to ensure the manufacturing process, and the certification control are maintained at the highest level possible. The frequency of these audits varies, with internal audits performed every three months, and an AA external audit every twelve months, although this is subject to change should there be incidence of non-conformity with current class rules.
6. WHY IS IHC BETTER THAN OUR CURRENT MEASUREMENT SYSTEM?
The ISAF IHC Programme is an international scheme that allows sailors to buy race ready equipment from anywhere in the world. There are examples of cases where fundamental measurement and certification of equipment was done at the event, taking up valuable time. The IHC scheme would ensure that all equipment presented at event inspection was properly certified to current class rules with all the correct certification marks in place.
7. WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED FOR SAILORS AND MANUFACTURERS?
This will very much depend on the class, the Authorising Authority, the manufacturer and the type of equipment being certified. In some cases, the costs will be quite small; however, in others this may not be the case. It is anticipated that in most cases, it will be less than those of current certification costs
8. WHAT IS THE CLASSES INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROGRAMME?
Classes are given the option to either opt in or out of the programme and may decide if they wish to be included in the IHC scheme from the outset Assuming the class wishes to be included in the IHC scheme, they are consulted at every step of the proceedings, to ensure the class rules are in order, the measurement of specific items is well documented and to encourage their manufacturers to adopt the ISAF IHC Programme, as well as liasing with the AA regarding the auditing of manufacturers etc.
9. WILL IHC REMOVE THE NEED FOR EXISTING MEASUREMENT?
It may do. Current measurement proceedures will continue to be necessary for classes that do not wish to be included in the ISAF IHC Programme, or for classes where their class rules are not suitable for IHC; however, this is time and class and manufacturer dependant