7.2 Competence [ISO 45001]

7.2 Competence

Your organization should establish a process for assessing existing staff competencies against changing business needs and prevailing trends. Check for evidence that all staff which work under your organization’s control are competent, and that evidence continuing competence is maintained as documented information in accordance Clause 7.5.


Competence spyglass

Who does 'Competency' Apply to?

Ensure that those competencies are possessed by the people doing the work under your organization’s control including:

  • The organization’s own personnel
  • Contractors and outsourced personnel


  • On site
  • Off site


All personnel, whose work may create a significant health and safety risk, should receive appropriate training.

Personnel performing the tasks which can cause significant impacts or risks must be competent on the basis of appropriate education, training and experience.


Competency-based Training Programme

Competency-based training programmes can vary greatly and be as unique as the facility and personnel working at a facility. The distinct operations of the facility and the level of education, training, and experience of the personnel determine the necessary elements of a competency-based training programme.

To establish and maintain a competency-based training programme, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Identify competency-based training needs
  2. Prepare the training materials
  3. Conduct and evaluate the training

How does your organization determine the necessary competence of person(s) doing work under its control that affect its health and safety performance? Clause 7.2 is essentially a rewording of the text from OHSAS 18001. However, the impact of the change is that competency evidence is now expanded to be necessary for persons that may affect the organization’s health and safety performance. Competency could be obtained on the basis of their education, training or experience.

Identification of employee training needs is typically the first step in developing a competency-based training programme. In addition to existing workers, new hires, temporary workers and outside contractors must be included when identifying training needs. Your organization must demonstrate that the training needs for these employees were identified.

After developing a list of these employees, the Health and Safety Manager and the Human Resources Manager should establish an appropriate training programme for each person based on the type of employee interaction with each significant health and safety hazard or risk. Even though some personnel may have the same job, the type or level of training may vary according to each person’s past education, training, and experience.

A register containing information on specified levels of education, training, and experience must be established for each employee whose work is involved with any significant impact. The planned training programme for each individual then should be listed.

The training sessions should, at a minimum:

  1. Make the employee aware of the aspects and hazards, and the impacts and risks associated with their work
  2. Include training required by applicable regulatory requirements and the OH&S Management System requirements
  3. Include training necessary to obtain/retain required licenses or registrations
  4. Emphasize responsibility for minimizing significant impacts and risks associated with their work
  5. Identify potential consequences of departures from specified operating procedures
  6. Address the benefits of improved personal performance

Training options may be as simple as on-the-job training, administered by senior/experienced members; formal training, including classroom instruction; training provided by external consultants.

For some situations, commercially available training courses may be another alternative. Additional or customized training activities specific to individual needs, job descriptions, regulations and goals may be necessary pending the significant impacts and the existing skill level of each employee.

How to Demonstrate Competence

Training alone is not sufficient to demonstrate competence; this must be demonstrated through tests, observations, results, etc.

Auditors need to find objective evidence in order to determine that the competency requirements have been met.

Stormtrooper nonconformity

What Happends if Someone is 'Not Competent'?

If people are found not to be competent, your organization is required to take action - you must raise competence to the required level.

Examples of action may include remedial training, recruitment or the use of external people in order to acquire the necessary competence.

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Competence & Awareness Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to define your organization’s process for undertaking the necessary actions and responsibilities for ensuring that the competencies needed to meet customer and other external or internal requirements, applicable to our business, are defined and actions are taken to meet these needs.

This procedure also defines the responsibilities for planning, reporting and retaining associated records.

Forms & Reports also included:

  • Control of Competence & Awareness Process Activity Map
  • Competency Review
  • Training Attendance
  • Training Evaluation

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