The Standard section 7.2 relating to competence is relatively straightforward. In simple terms the organisation should determine the skills and knowledge for staff that have a bearing on the key activities of the organisation.

The Standard is not seeking to be an HR framework like IIP. The requirements are to ensure that staff performing functions within scope, can do so with adequate skills and knowledge.

Whilst simplistic in its intent, demonstrating compliance can require more detailed evaluation. Operatives need to demonstrate their competence in fulfilling tasks in a manner that is satisfactory to the organisation. Especially if the operative is to work on their own away from site on critical processes.

Example: what if a new employee started work in an organisation and did not have their competence evaluated. They are sent to perform a specific mission critical activity at a customer site – and it fails – people are hurt, and the executive agencies investigate. A clear first step in any investigation would be the demonstration of training and competence records.

The author finds that this area often causes some issues within businesses that take a simplistic review of competence.

Some operations will require operatives to hold industry certifications. These will need monitoring to ensure they are kept up-to-date and relevant.

Where there are training needs arising from a competence review, the Standard requires that the organisation should provide suitable training in-house or externally and that it be evaluated for effectiveness.

In certain cases, staff must be members of professional bodies and associations or hold a variety of formal qualifications such as bachelor’s degrees. Where these are needed, the organisation should ensure that copies are inspected and retained.

For further information and to book your ISO9001 survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: [email protected]

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Including over one hundred ISO9001 programmes.

Marcus holds a BSI ISO9001 lead auditor qualification and is registered on the BSI Associate Consultant Programme.

Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol. Marcus is a Fellow of the Institute of Consultants and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.