Over the last few years software to help organisations organise and manage the skill set of employees has emerged. Although still a small market, the number of available systems is increasing. Many organisations have found that the software has become an invaluable tool for recording, managing and reporting on staff competence.
In our experience, many organisations have always recorded their competence using either paper-based filing systems or primitive electronic systems such as Excel spreadsheets or small self-built databases. These produce the required results in the short term, on small scale. However, problems begin to emerge when this data has to be shared, collaborated on, or detailed reports produced.
Recording competency in this way introduces many problems, especially inaccurate or out-of-date information. If a spreadsheet system is used, it is very difficult to share information. Versions are required to be passed around. Is the most current version the one being updated? Are reports being produced from the correct version? Does anyone know which is the current version?
We work with one client who, despite being a very large company with hundreds of employees, still used a spreadsheet system. They employed a team of administrators who struggled to keep these spreadsheets accurate and had difficulty cross referencing competence statistics with associated evidence documentation. When required to produce reports for their internal management and external clients, the competence data was always 1 month out of date as it took so long to collect, compile and check using this manual process.
Online Competence Management Systems (CMS) seek to replicate and improve on these archaic processes by providing the same management and reporting in a web-based tool. This allows many different types of users to access this data at the same time.
This means a competence team can work together to record the skills of individuals and, in a good system, upload appropriate evidence. It can even allow the employees themselves to contribute to their competency record. This ensures a full audit of competency evidence is available alongside comprehensive, up-to-date and historic data.
Since adopting a CMS, our client has never looked back. They can now produce live, up to the minute competency reports as required. These reports can be tailored for specific clients and requirements. Data is more accurate and detailed. The collected data can now be put into use for planning and gap analysis purposes, as well as reporting.
Is it time for you to update your processes with an online Competence Management System?