Plan Approval

Classification of ships and marine structures, involves development and implementation of published rules, throughout the lifespan of these structures.  Plan approval is the integral system of the classification societies, ensuring the implementation of the classification rules.

The plan approval involves the following:-

  • The structural strength (and where necessary watertight integrity) of all essential parts.
  • The safety and reliability of the propulsion and steering systems, and other auxiliary systems built to establish and maintain basic safety on board.

In general classification process assure stakeholders that a ship or other marine platform complies with a set of rules or other safety and technical standards that have been shown to be appropriate for its function. This process is achieved by independent audit of the:

  • design review
  • equipment and material supply
  • construction; and
  • through-life maintenance of the vessel.

The process of plan approval ensures the first part of the above i.e. the design review. (Not sure what this means?)


IRClass Plan Approval Centre

IRClass plan approval centre works on the general principle of the requirement of implementation of rules, by providing a safety assurance to the ships classed with IRClass or intended to be classed with IRClass. This safety assurance process provides the ship owners / ship builder’s confidence of compliance to a set of rules and regulations.

IRClass Plan approval covers the following:

  • Hull – covering ship structures, stability and water tight integrity
  • Machinery – machinery and related systems
  • Electrical and control systems
  • Plan approval for in service ships covering plan approval required for existing ships coming to class approval required for conversions and modifications

IRClass plan approval process undertakes a detailed technical review of the plans to ensure that the design meets the requirements of the selected rules, taking into account the notation set that has been selected by the owner. For a major project the plan approval process will take a considerable effort on the part of IRClass and therefore requires careful planning and close liaison between the classification society and the organisation submitting the plans.

IRClass will provide a full list of documentation required for the design review which would depend on the type of the ship or marine structure and the set of class notation required by owner. The plan of submission of these documents and the timeline of deliverables would be clearly agreed with the clients prior to the start of the project.

To meet the timeline and ensuring best service to their clients, IRClass plan approval centre uses electronic plan approval process, through its portal Eplan Arena which is available to IRClass clients.

This portal enables IRClass clients to submit plans and documents to IRClass in an electronic format from anywhere in the world and also to receive the deliverables of IRClass process in the form of approved plans and plan appraisal letters to their office computer.

IRClass Eplan Arena takes utmost care to the intellectual property rights of their clients, ensuring transmission of the documents is done in an encrypted format and also by limiting personnel access to the client data.

In general IRClass approved plans can be accessed only by the submitter of the documents.

Approval of Statutory plans

IRClass acts on behalf of many flag administrations, as recognized organisation and this includes approval of plans on behalf of flags. IRClass plan approval centre has developed a well-established process towards approval of plans and documents towards statutory requirements on behalf of flag authorities. This approval is based on authorisations by the respective flags and a list of flag states which has authorised IRClass as a recognized organisation can be found on the statutory certification section of our website. (LINK here?)

Ships in Service

Plan approval and design review is required when ships are modified or converted, and this department of IRClass specially cover this requirement of our clients. This process assures the client, on its compliance to the safety requirement of the vessel in its converted version. This process also covers in service ships coming into IRClass classification, for which design review is applicable.

Ships in service plan approval also covers design review required for maintenance of ships during docking or other surveys. This process ensures alternate arrangements or material in case the ships cannot comply with the original requirements.

In principle approval of plans

IRClass plan approval centre also undertake “in principle approval” of plans to its clients, if required. This process ensures general review of plans during the concept stage itself. This would allow an early dialogue with IRClass during basic design stage itself ensuring the compliance to the chosen set of rules and class notations, enabling our valued clients to save time and efforts during the project stage. IRClass has already offered this service to our various clients.