Safety Bulletin: Competency & Training – Distinctions & Relevance

“I’ve been trained to operate a forklift. Here’s my qualification and valid license. It was a while ago since I sat in a seat, but it’s just like riding a bike, right?”

How many times have we believed we are competent just because we have had the training, qualification and license? Are stretched resource pools, squeezed margins and tighter timelines adding pressure to businesses that may be driving a flawed reliance on licenses and qualifications?

To achieve competence in a specific job, we should be able to perform tasks or skills at a target proficiency level aligned to that role for that project and specific scope of work.

Would you let me wire your house without understanding my competency? Would you put the welfare of your family and friends in my hands if you didn’t know?

There is a duty to verify, develop and maintain the competency of our people. It is core to operational excellence. By deploying a robust competency program you are helping to keep your people and sites safe and delivering consistently safe and quality outcomes for your client.

So next time you go to operate a piece of equipment, take the time to ask yourself if you’re competent. It’s ok to say no. It’s much better to own it and get assistance than to cause an incident. PAUSE, RETHINK and RESET.