What is competence? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the word ‘Competence’ is as follows:
The ability to do something successfully or efficiently: ‘courses to improve the competence of staff’
Many organisations are placing increasing importance on staff proving their competence in the areas of their day to day work, and then monitoring their competence over time. However, this isn’t only about an individual’s personal skills, it is also about recognising the need to assure the safety of themselves, their fellow workers and their employees assets.
Each worker must ensure that they can manage, operate and maintain the environment they are operating in, as well as behaving in the correct way to reduce the risk of major events occurring. This is particularly important in areas such as the medical professions, as well as oil and gas and construction environments. However, it could be argued that all working environments have some need to monitor the competence of their staff.
It is important not only to train staff to be competent, but also to assure that competence by proving it through evidence based assessment. This assessment is the proof that a company has the necessary skills, accountability, leadership and safety focus to operate in a professional manner. It reassures their clients and customers that an organisation has the ability to do their work successfully, efficiently and safely.
The most effective method for monitoring and proving this competency is by implementing some form of robust competency assurance system. It must have buy-in from all areas of the business so that it is kept up to date.
If implemented correctly, this competence tool can not only ensure the suitability of staff and ensure safe working practices, but it can become an asset that actually wins contracts.
Can you assure your customers that your staff are competent?