Competence assurance

Anyone who has met me or read previous blogs will know of my belief in the true measurement of competence. Recently I was horrified to hear that Conservative MPs had suddenly realised that the reduction in child benefit would affect all of them yet they had all voted for it. It begged the question for me; are they competent?

But irrespective of your (or my) politics one of the main issues, if not the most important, for us at work is competence of all the people in the organisation and our friends in the Health & Safety Executive agree. So over the next few years they intend to focus upon competence in all COMAH sites both top and lower tier. They have issued a guidance note which can be found at:

This is NOT the usual “do you do training, yes or no?” but a comprehensive look at the whole competency management system of an organisation. The inspection is in two parts; Type A which tests the system and its effectiveness by following one of your major accident hazard scenarios and looks at all the influences upon the competence of the people involved, e.g. recruitment, induction, safety critical hazard identification, procedures, etc., and if there is any doubt raised they will then do an even more in-depth Type B assessment.

The bad news is that this could be quite traumatic but the good news is that if all of your people and processes are competent then your business will be safe, secure and profitable. Now that’s a future I’d like to see more often.

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About the author

Dave Dyer

Dave Dyer is a principal consultant within the Operations Improvement team in ABB Consulting. His speciality is in bringing sustainable change and operational benefits to an organisation through the engagement of its people. He hopes to share good ideas and good practice, to inform and to learn.
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